How to get started using tablets in the language classroom

Oxford University Press is sharing, on its YouTube channel, an interesting podcast called  “Question for Q authors” on a regular basis. It always has a video (max two minutes), in which OUP authors are sharing their experiences. The podcast with Joe McVeigh’s response to “How can I get my students to use smart devices in the classroom?”   inspired me to create some practical examples using the SC+ language lab platform.

Joy McVeigh is sharing tips for good ways to get started using smart devices in a language class. I need to say as a SmartClass+ passionate language user, it sounds familiar to me. For all three techniques mentioned by Joe, I do have great tools in the SC+ language classroom. Enjoy the video and then get inspired by my practical examples.

FIRST: Give students very clear, simple, and easily acomplished tasks; e.g. send a text about the lesson or a question about it.

For this task I am using the new “Chat All” function in the SC+ dashboard on the teacher´s computer. I first send a message defining the task.  This opens a chat session on all student devices (tablets, computers, etc.).  Students can then respond using the chat window. All responses are displayed on the SC+ dashboard.

chat all, SC+ dascboard

SECOND: Technical devices are very good for recording audio. You can have your students record themselves doing activities from the course textbook or other kinds of assignments that you are giving to them.

In this case I am using the SC+ “open recording” exercise template on the teacher´s computer to create the instructions for my students. I assign the exercise on my computer and immediately the recording exercise with the instructions is accessible from students’ devices (again devices of any kind). It looks like this:

rec. ex. on tablet SC+ language platform

THIRD: to set up the task that obtains information perhaps online and uses that information in the video made for their fellow classmates.

For this idea, I like to have the students take on the role of a speaker. I updated this thought: Imagine the situation when student brings his homework to school, e.g. a letter to a pen pal, and then records the homework at the beginning of the class. Some of the more interesting student work could be presented to the whole class. This view shows several exercises including recording on the student´s device (assigned to students in the SmartClass+ app from the teacher´s computer):

tablet with SC+ language platform

And finally what is best on this system? All work is saved automatically and I can easily access it and give students some feedback. This view shows the “My Performance” screen on a student´s tablet.

tablet with my performance view

The SmartClass+ language lab platform is a powerful language tool that saves my time.   Equally wonderful, is that it can be installed on any tech device. For tablets there is an app to download and a computer-based classroom provides even more features.

I think, YES! Teaching foreign languages could be brought to another level through educational technology. We are interested in your opinion, share it with us.

Veronika, trainer, passionate teacher, blogger, member of smartclasscommunity team

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