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Technologies for Teaching Language, Culture & Literature

 

Digital Audio Recordings

Streaming audio from local media server (e.g., Windows Media) - prerecorded audio for listening only. Available to students 24 hours per day, 7 days per week using any computer with Internet connection. For audio supplied with textbooks, obtain permission from the copyright holder before digitizing. The TEACH Act, passed by Congress in November, 2002, provides for digitization of audio (without permission) for delivery over computer networks under certain conditions. To learn more about the TEACH Act, consult the following: University of Texas TEACH Act information, North Carolina State University TEACH ACT information.

Audio only, SAMPLE (Windows Media Player format).
Audio source can be prerecorded material bundled with textbook, other sources with appropriate permission, or recordings made locally by faculty and other proficient speakers.

Audio with synchronized text and/or still images, SAMPLE
- allows student to follow transcript of audio or to view images related to the audio (created with Microsoft Producer - free software if you have MS Power Point installed on your computer - download from Microsoft).

CD Audio discs - play these in classroom with boombox or in CD-ROM drive of computer (classrooms in Admin. bldg. or LLC).

Prerecorded audio - these will primarily be music CDs in target language. Other audio in target language may be available on CD.

Audio from other sources - digital audio files on computer hard disc can be used to create an audio CD. These files can come from a variety of sources on the Internet (use with permission only and/or follow the TEACH Act), or can be produced locally (e.g., via microphone connected to computer).

Student digital audio recordings

Student recording only - use digital recording software on computer to create a recording (e.g., Audacity sound editing software). Recordings can be saved and submitted to instructor via Blackboard drop box.

With prerecorded program - prerecorded material designed for student to record responses. For best results, use dual track recording software like Audacity (available in the LLC). Audacity is free software and can be used on computers owned by students. Recordings can be saved and submitted to instructor via Blackboard drop box.

Digital Video Recordings

Video on DVD disc - this format is overtaking VHS as the preferred format for prerecorded movies. DVD recorders are also available now. These will replace VCRs in the future as the preferred method to record video from broadcast sources (you must follow JCU copyright policies that address recording of programming). Play discs in a DVD player (a stand-alone unit like those used for home entertainment) or DVD-ROM drive of computer (classrooms in Admin. bldg.)

Streaming video from local media server, SAMPLE (broadband only) - video on VHS tape can be digitized in streaming video format for access 24 hours per day, 7 days a week (using computer with broadband Internet connection). For video supplied with textbooks, obtain permission from the copyright holder before digitizing. The TEACH Act, passed by Congress in November, 2002, provides for digitization of media (without permission) for delivery over computer networks under certain conditions. To learn more about the TEACH Act, consult the following: University of Texas TEACH Act information, North Carolina State University TEACH ACT information.

Audio and video with synchronized text and/or still images, SAMPLE
- allows student to listen to audio and watch video while viewing related images and text (created with Microsoft Producer - free software if you have MS Power Point installed on your computer - download from Microsoft).

Student created video - students use a digital camcorder to record a video. Can be played back with a digital tape player or transferred to computer for streaming, etc.

Analog Audio Recordings

Prerecorded audio on cassette tape -typically this will be audio provided by the textbook publisher to accompany the text. Or may be audio obtained by faculty. Can be played on cassette player in the classroom, or on student-owned cassette players.

 

Analog Video Recordings

Prerecorded video on VHS tape (e.g., movies licensed for home viewing)

Student created video - use camcorder to create a student video. These can be played on VCR or digitized and made available on the Internet (via media server).

Foreign language TV broadcasts

Free Satellite TV - there are a limited number of foreign broadcasts available without subscription via satellite. These require the use of a steerable satellite dish and programming of the dish by technician to receive a specific broadcast.

Subscription Satellite TV - the major subscription satellite TV services offer some foreign language programming (especially Dish Network). These can be watched live or recorded to tape for later viewing (you must follow JCU copyright policies that address recording of programming). Dish Network channels are available in the LLC, OC 112 and the department library.

 

 

Digital still images

Images scanned from photographs or graphic art work with flat bed scanner - images from many sources on paper can be converted for digital presentation. These may be organized with software like Power Point or Extensis Portfolio, which allow for annotation. Presentation in the classroom (with digital projector) is readily accomplished. Images can be available on a network or the Internet (providing permission is obtained for copyrighted images, or follow the TEACH Act). Methods for restricting online access to images exist if required by copyright holder.

Images scanned from film or slides - comments above apply here as well.

Images acquired with a digital camera - images from a digital camera are immediately ready for use, which may be a useful characteristic.

Digital text

Web pages or Acrobat pages - the web page format is designed primarily for viewing on a computer monitor, the Acrobat format is useful if a print out is desired.

On local computer - since nearly all computers are loaded with a web browser, the web page becomes a universal format for digital text. The format was developed for the Internet, but it serves equally well for document delivery on a local computer (store the files on computer hard drive, network drive, or removable disc). Web pages can also contain elements other than text: images, embedded audio, embedded video. If the local computer has an Internet connection, then one can also make use of hyperlinking to other documents on the Internet. Use a digital projector for display in the classroom.

On local server - by placing the web page on the JCU web server, the page becomes available on the Internet. This has the advantage of 24/7 access for students. If access must be restricted, then web pages can be imported to a course in Blackboard or placed on Electronic Reserve in the library. The web page on a server also has the advantages described above for local computer.

Word processor documents - another common format for digital text. However, the local computer must have the appropriate word processing software loaded to display the text (this becomes more of a limitation than for web pages). Word processor documents created by faculty can be used on a local computer in the classroom (e.g., by digital projector), or imported to a course in Blackboard for online viewing. If the classroom is appropriately equipped with computers, word processors can be used for interactive writing exercises.

Digital communications

E-mail

Local communications - may be used in a variety of ways for communication between students and instructor.

Distant communications - may be used to communicate with others located in a country using the target language (pen pals). There are resources on the Internet to assist in finding correspondents.

Discussion board

Local communications - use the discussion board feature in Blackboard to create a local forum for students in a course.

Video conferencing - use for communicating with individuals in foreign countries. Both parties must have a broadband connection to the Internet for this to work well.

Computer software

Stand alone software for language learning. Transparent Language is an example. Assuming quality programming, the main disadvantage in stand alone software is that it is difficult to incorporate into the curriculum of a specific textbook. In addition, stand alone software rarely incorporates tracking, which makes it difficult to document student performance or usage. This type of software may be more applicable for higher level courses (if the material is at an advanced level). An example would be Teaching Medieval Lyric, which we use in the LLC (you can examine this title in the LLC, located in the Spanish folder on the desktop). Software in this category comes from many sources and one must be diligent in the search for this category of programming.

Links to other stand alone software examples:

The Rosetta Stone

Tell Me More (has some interesting speech recognition features)

Linguaphone

Software bundled with textbook - usually the software comes in the form of a multimedia CD-ROM. The quality of these can vary and usually there is no tracking of student use. Currently we are using the CD-ROM for Prego in first year Italian. In the past we have used CD-ROM programs in first year Spanish. In addition, some publishers now offer web sites with supporting materials for language texts. Course cartridges for our Blackboard server are also offered by some publishing houses. The online content has the advantage of 24/7 access in or out of the LLC. Tracking may or may not be available with online content.

Custom software has the advantage of programming here on campus. The programming can be simple or complex, as desired. The disadvantage is that substantial effort may need to be expended to develop the software. Nevertheless, this should not be a deterrent in at least considering this software avenue. The LLC coordinator is ready and willing to assist in custom programming. We can also employ student help in this effort if required.

The most complex software we have developed to date is the online workbook for first year Spanish (not currently in use). In this case there was no need to develop the content, it was lifted directly from the paper version of the workbook and the accompanying CD-ROM program. However, this effort required a significant time investment by faculty and LLC staff.

It should be noted that we have substantial resources on campus for creating custom software. The FTIC and FTIC satellite (located in the LLC) are equipped with high-end workstation computers, scanners, video and audio equipment, etc. Furthermore, we have authoring software like Macromedia Flash, graphics software, audio software, etc. These resources combined with our Blackboard server and media server (Windows Media) offer many possibilities.


CLICK HERE for examples created with Flash (turn your computer sound on).

Reference software, for example, dictionaries on CD-ROM. There are a number of dictionaries available on the Internet (click here for example) as well as translation software (click here for example).

 

Language learning systems

Analog systems - the Sony LLC 9000 system in the LLC is an example of an analog system (audio cassette recorders). Most of the functions available on our Sony system have been replaced by digital technology incorporated into lab computers. The cassette recorders in the LLC are no longer functional. However, the LLC 9000 system continues to function as a source of audio and video for lab computers.

Digital systems - a number of corporations offer digital solutions that incorporate the functions we now have in analog form with the Sony LLC 9000 system. Digital technology in place in the lab now duplicates (and has replaced) many of the functions of the Sony system. The addition of SchoolVue software to lab computers allows students and instructor to interact in ways that are not possible with the Sony system.

Sanako

Can 8 VirtuaLab

 

Course management software

Blackboard is the course management software that we currently use on campus. This system has great potential for language learning and is already being used in a number of language courses. We need to examine all of the capabilities of Blackboard to appreciate its potential. Blackboard offers a convenient method for creating online content in support for language courses, including documents (web pages, word processing), assessment material (quizzes, with results stored in electronic gradebook), announcements, communication (e-mail, discussion boards, virtual chat, student created web pages, group web pages), drop box for submitting digital files to instructor (e.g., word processing documents, audio recordings), provision for including hyperlinks to other resources on the Internet.

Internet resources

Internet resources can be conveniently organized by authoring local web pages with links to desired web sites (SAMPLE).

Language learning material - can be found on the Internet. Nine American National Language Resource Centers were created by grants from the U.S. Department of Education and some of these centers have online content that can be used freely. LARC at San Diego State University is an example (try the Digital Archive at this site). Additional resources can be found at a number of universities (example: Carnegie Mellon).

Literature - SAMPLE

Culture - many web sites can be found that offer information on various cultures

 

Last update 3/28/07

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