Oral assignments on iMacs

picture of garage bandMy year 9 students won’t get their laptops until next term so I have spent this term getting them used to a technology approach for learning a language. At the moment I use my white board in class and then we use the computer room for 2 lessons a week. We also use Twiducate for homework and for giving me feedback about what I am doing. I must say they are very good at adapting and are very keen to try out new things. We were going to use Voki for the oral assignment because there are some good French voice synthesisers. They had prepared 20 sentences to introduce themselves as an avatar. That was all easy because they loved the avatars and so were keen to get their sentences together. We couldn’t record our own voices because the network blocked flash as we still use some Windows computers. What I then had to decide on the spot was how to resolve this. What we did was use Voki to rehearse the sentences which the students had cut and pasted into Voki and then could play and hear how to say it . They could still consult with me when they wanted to. Then we used the microphone button on Garage Band to record our voices. Some students played their recording to me on the iMac, some saved it to a USB and brought it to me so I could listen on my MacBook. These students have one year of French and the standard was impressive. When they can do it on their MacBooks it will be easier because they can record on Voki at home or we can still do it this way in class. Read some of their feedback. It speaks for itself:

I think it was great using garage band for the orals. It was a lot easier because I shake when I talk in front of audiences.

I think that working with garage band and Voki is good because you don’t get quite as nervous as going up in front of a class and doing a oral.

I thoroughly enjoyed presenting the French oral on Garage Band, because there was no pressure from the rest of the class and we could rehearse our speeches several times. I hope that next time I don’t have as many problems with my usb and iMac!

I really enjoyed doing the oral presentation on a computer. It was something new I never did before. Of course there were some problems, like this weird echo on the background, because of which I had to restart my presentation 3 times, but overall I had lots of fun with Voki and the Garage Band.

Really enjoyed doing the oral on Garage Band because there wasn’t as much pressure as doing it in front of everyone. It was really good apart from the background noise. It is also interesting hearing yourself speaking.

The oral was interesting and the first time I have done a French oral through the computer. At times it was hard to hear because of the background noise. Other than that, it was a good and fun assignment.

I really liked doing the Voki oral. It was interesting and fun because it was different. It was sometimes annoying because of the problems I encountered, but overall I enjoyed the assignment very much.

eSchool News

eschool news site eSchool News which keeps very up to date on news in technology for education and the classroom. There are ideas, information and some good materials for discussion the varying merits of introducing classroom change with technology. It is a thinking site but also a place where you can keep yourself current in terms of the possibilities for technology in education. The turnover of material is good and it is not a site which just stands still! Plenty of good resources are to be had.

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