Technology Integration within the Modern and Classical Languages Department

Last semester, the Modern and Classical Languages department worked with ATDL to create a workshop, offering faculty a “small taste” of how they can assimilate with hybrid courses in the future.  The workshop began with an interesting presentation titled “Migrating My Course to a Hybrid Learning Environment,” and was followed up with valuable copyright information and a rubric with assigned point values from  Next the MCL faculty were given an overview of the variety of communication tools available through Blackboard (Bb) such as Collaborate, Kaltura Media, and Blogs/Wikis.  An integral piece of language learning is utilizing class time to practice speaking it; these tools will help to fill that void.  A couple of professors were kind enough to share their feedback about the workshop below:

Professor Shenk commented “I really liked the hands-on part, working with Kaltura and setting up a Wiki. For languages, audio/visual recording possibilities are a key element, and the simpler the tools are to use the better, (as well as easy to access, such as through Bb), that’s what caught my attention about the Kaltura.  I’m planning to have my students submit their beginning-of-the-semester recording for their linguistics analysis in SPA 380 this fall through Kaltura.”

Professor Caballero stated “I think it was a very helpful workshop in many aspects.  I learned a lot about a few programs I was unaware of and now I want to use them in my classes, especially in my Conversation class. In that class, the students have to create a video in pairs, and I think the tools that we learned about in the workshop would help us get things done more quickly, and in a more useful manner.  By uploading their assignments onto Bb, students would be able to compare the quality of their recordings, and share their opinions through “Discussion Board” to learn from each other.  Prior to this workshop I was doing all of the uploading of student recordings myself, and it was very time consuming.  I always think about how to incorporate technology into the classroom more and more.  This new generation of kids is so used to it, that the transition from using (iPhones, videos, etc.) outside of classroom, to inside the classroom would go smoothly.  The whole presentation was great, as were the presenters.   I liked the fact that we were allowed to create new things on our own, which is better than just listening and taking notes.  I am definitely going to apply these tools in my courses next semester.”

Although faculty have been using Blackboard for a while, time constraints and uncertainty can prevent people from examining some of the newer features available.  After seeing these tools demonstrated, it opened up peer discussions about how to incorporate them into the pedagogy.  Faculty could leave the workshop with new skills and implementation ideas to develop over the summer.  Sometimes people don’t know what questions they will have about a tool, until they’ve had time to use it.  Therefore, we plan on having a follow up workshop with ATDL to provide any additional support that maybe needed.