Week two

Week two has been a week of planning, reassessing goals and working with my two techie assistants.

One of my advice when lecturing about the use of technology in the classroom has always been, go slowly, one thing at a time, wait till you (and the students) feel comfortable, be patient, etc… I had to apply this to myself.  I especially have to remind myself to be patient!

After the first journals came in, some in Pages, some in Word, some in my mailbox, some in Dropbox, I realized I needed to have some uniformity or I was going to have to chase journals all over cyberspace. Check.

Then, I wanted to have flashcards available to them to review the vocabulary of the first Dossier. There were many terms that referred to architecture throughout centuries that could be paired up with pictures; many were not cognates (flying buttresses, steeples, etc.). I thought this would be a good way to get my two helpers involved.  They did a magnificent job, but now we have no idea how to get their flashcards from their iPads to my dropbox or my iPad, or somewhere, anywhere accessible to me and my students, except by going through gWhiz (manufacturers of the FlashcardPro app) and following directions neither my students nor I understood… so far. Let’s hope we can get this solved before the review session for their first test on Feb 19th.  Any suggestions?

I also decided, in order to avoid “forcing” the iPads in situations that did not make any sense to the students, to concentrate on three they were familiar with, such as videos of interviews, presentations and story books.  This week, we are going to talk about interviews as a way to bring French culture and language to the classroom.  We will discuss possible questions students could ask that would relate to our textbook.  Sometimes, the questions at the end of the chapters (True or false especially since the end result is a rather bold statement about the French or France which sometimes gets my hackles up) could be opened for debate with Francophone interviewees. One good way to make the textbook come to life.  We have an International student body on campus that is a great ressource to tap into for my students.  It is also a way for USD students to become acquainted with international students and help them integrate into campus life.  Filming the interviews wil allow them to bring into the classroom the faces, voices, various accents and mannerisms of their francophone interviewees instead of just their answers to a questionnaire on a piece of paper.  To be continued!

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