February 4, 2014

The Language Classroom 2.0: How Making a Self-Made iBook Has Transformed Language Instruction (7-12) – from Jennifer Carey
This post first appeared on Jennifer Carey’s blog.
The next session I’m attending is: “The Language Classroom 2.0: How Making a Self-Made iBook Has Transformed Language Instruction (7-12)” with Violet Richard and Anderson Auza from Noble and Greenough School. You can see a copy of their presentation slides here. The agenda states that they will cover three main topics: Video, iBook, Apps & Websites. Noble & Greenough is currently piloting iPads in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grade (1:1) as well as some shared carts. There are also some iPads for specific classes (like the language class). Anderson shows us a lovely video of Violet and her students reflecting on using the iPads in their Spanish Classroom.  Violet states that incorporating iPads has helped her to create the text that she wants (not one that is based on the textbook) and allows greater organization. Her students highlight a well organized, condensed piece that allows them to take notes directly on the iPad allows them to more effectively study and learn. Textbook Textbook What Violet determined from her experience were that the iPad allowed for:
  • multi-dimensional capabilities
  • custom-designed
  • personal interest – songs, cultural aspects, etc.
  • mobile & lightweight
  • efficient & condensed
  • interactive & engaging
  • It can be edited in real time
  • It can be financially sustainable
For language teaching, the most effective tools on the iPad is the camera, the photo roll, and the apps! By using these tools you can create a multimedia, finished device. Violet now shows us the iBook she created for her Spanish II Honors  class. The book includes video, images, as well as text. Students can progress through at their own pace. Students do not need to switch between multiple tools/devices, it’s all in their iPad. By incorporating Quizlet into the book students can study their word lists. Violet highlights the fact that the iBook option allows them to focus on developing oral proficiency in their language learning environments; you certainly can’t do that with a traditional book! Anderson highlights that the mobile nature of the iPad helps to foster the necessary spontaneity of language proficiency. When putting together your Book, be sure to contact publishers to ensure you can use the image in your book (Fair Usage is a little problematic). You can also build your own content using tools like GoAnimate, as well as film and video that you take (from field trips, your own travels, etc) to build your book. This allows for even greater flexibility in building content. Creating an iBook iBook Author iBook Author The primary means of building an iBook is via the application, iBook Author. While the software is free, it’s important to know that it only works on Apple computers. Building an iBook does require that you hone a new set of skills because now you’re the author, curator, editor, designer, and publisher. Before you start, she suggests that you outline:
  • Decide on chapters/themes
  • Generate/collect activities
  • Take photos
  • Find images & consider copyright
  • Record audio/video & format them
  • Organize a storyboard/outline
  • Create customized activities
  • Build screencasts
  • Find YouTube & other online links
  • Familiarize yourself with iBook author (here’s a great tutorial)
Apps & Websites There are many apps that you can use in your classroom, so Violet & Anderson highlight a few apps that focus on creation and flexibility, rather than simply content based tools. Notability for grading Notability for grading Reading & Writing Notability ($2.99) and Goodnotes($4.99) These tools allow Violet to quickly grade their content using her own, hand written notes! These tools can integrate with Google Drive. Video & Audio Camera (free, included) and YouTubeCapture (free) These allow students to quickly record and share content via a link, not uploading large files to Drive (which can be time consuming). Reading Safari (free, included) and iBooks (free) The digital textbook is shared via iBook and the Safari browser allows them to access foreign language content throughout the world. Listening iTunes U (free) and Podcast (free) With these tools students can access content from various educational institutions and experts for free, right on their iPad! Explain Everything Explain Everything Multimedia Creation Explain Everything ($2.99), Book Creator($4.99), and Educreations (free) These tools allow you to create and edit content as well as opportunities for the students to demonstrate their own learning in multiple formats. Sharing Information Google Drive (free) Sharing content created on iPads is key. One of the best ways to do this is with cloud computing options. Google Drive is popular because of its connection to Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Communication Skype (free) and Facetime (free, included) Using these tools students can engage with people in other countries, practicing their language skills, or communicate with one another. There are several other tools and apps that they highlight in their talk, which you can view here.