Thursday, July 14, 2011

FLC Tech Tools 2011

A few weeks ago was Tech Tools 2011…and I am still recovering. Tech Tools is a one intense week of workshops for language instructors. Using both theoretical and practical applications we explore technology tools readily available to instructors to aid in creating in-class and out-of-class activities for foreign languages. We focus on student-centered activities with task-based goals and include web-based platform like blogs, wikis, YouTube, Skype, and other software/systems like Audacity, Podcasts, Windows LIVE Movie Maker, MS PowerPoint and more.

How do we do this all in ONE week? Well, lots of preparation and practice. We have multiple instructors teaching various technologies while also paying attention to pedagogy and specific needs of these learners. While this is not easy, we try and work individually with the learners since they have a range of backgrounds and technology skill-sets. The following highlights some of the features of the workshop.
The entire course material and activities are based on a Google Site. Learners immediately get a taste of a wiki and learn some of the features. Next, they learn about the use of a blog and how to use them in a class setting. The biggest difficulty of using social net platforms is dealing with privacy and security since we are dealing wuth teachers and school students. Of course this is a huge issue in schools.

We guide the learners through the principles of image selection (Google/Flickr) and video selection (YouTube). I bet a lot of people don’t know about YouTube’s language selection, captions, and limiting videos by countries. These are essential tips for lang
uage instructors. More video editing is introduced in Movie Maker Live. Audacity introduces them how to edit audio files and use them in various ways – podcasts as a great example. Learners are now able to use these images, audio files, and videos in a PowerPoint presentation along with learning other important facets of making a successful PowerPoint presentation.

Collaboration plays a big part in teaching today. Skype was used for collaboration from various locations. Group work and wikis also enhanced collaboration. Choosing and using authentic material was also a big part of the course. YouTube videos, images, and Google Earth brought in an element of localized material/culture.

Though the week was intense, the learners were able to incorporate some of the new technology into their final presentations – that included KMZ files from Google Earth, audio/video file they had created/edited, use of a wiki or a blog, and more! It was truly an accomplishment for the learners and us instructors as well to see these results.

If you like more information on enrolling into Tech Tools, please feel free to contact me!

Technologies discussed in this post:
Social networking, Blog, Wiki, Movie Maker, Audacity, PowerPoint, Skype, YouTube

Contact me:
Sujan Manandhar
Technology Integration Specialist,
Foreign Language Center
Ohio State University


  1. I can't imagine how you can do so MUCH technology in a one-week class!! I would think you would only show the basics and hope the students continue on their own in order to learn more.

  2. Do you have some of the handouts online? Ok to share with those who could not attend?