Exploring global language classes using educational technology

Rachel Denise Booth brings educational technology into all of her classes. Poth, an instructor at Riverview Junior-Senior High School in Pennsylvania, focuses on digital citizenship, artificial intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality with her STEAM students, but also integrates technology into her other classes.

Booth says, one EdTechInfluencers in the field of information technology for the year 2021 from kindergarten to secondary education. “My students were seeing some augmented and virtual reality, and they’re like ‘Why can’t we do this in Spanish?'” “

It is now incorporating new technologies into its global language classes. One of the projects she has implemented connects her students in Pittsburgh with students in France and Spain. This gives them a first-hand look at the cultures they study, immerses them in the language and teaches them technical skills that they can carry with them to future jobs.

“I want them to learn the language, but I also need to prepare them for whatever they are going to do later in life,” Booth says. “There are many tools we can use to help students build the 21st century skills that employers need and want.”

When she started using more technology in her language class, Poth discovered other benefits she wasn’t expecting. Students became more engaged with class materials, and the projects they worked on improved their participation in lessons.

Related: Three Spanish teachers share their favorite teaching techniques.

Classroom technology increases student participation in language learning

Poth adopts many smart approaches to learning in its language classes. It highlights the engagement and the social and emotional benefits of game-based learning platforms, which raise the level of the material beyond the conjugation of verbs on the board in front of the class.

“In the last year in particular, they were able to go into the break room and play a game together and feel connected or be part of a team – even though they weren’t in the same physical space – and they knew they were already involved in something in the same,” says Booth. time with someone else.

Using the technology available to them to choose how they want to interact with class materials during virtual and in-person classes creates a purposeful learning environment for students. They are able to process and hold the material in a way that makes sense to them, which facilitates their subsequent application.

This immerses Poth’s foreign language students in the language and provides an additional benefit you, as a teacher, weren’t expecting.

“Given the use of translators, or the acquisition of these great books and textbooks and exercise books, but knowing that the answers are all online, what do you do? You have to find ways to get around it,” she says. “Technology is not always the answer because we know it doesn’t always work, but it can facilitate or enhance something.”

Providing game and project-based learning approaches at Poth helped direct students away from searching for answers online. Instead, they solve problems and think creatively, which makes them more interested in the languages ​​they are learning.

Bring STEAM lessons into the language class

While the use of game-based applications is something any language teacher can employ in the classroom, Poth’s dual position as a STEAM teacher creates interesting opportunities for her students.

“I did some lessons on artificial intelligence with my Spanish students, looking at the translators, like, let’s test it out,” she says. “It is important; we interact with artificial intelligence in our daily lives.”

Working with artificial intelligence allows her students to see how translators work. This highlights ways in which they can be useful, but also shows students the drawbacks of using translators.

Poth also uses augmented and virtual reality tools in its classrooms to show students other cultures, taking them on tours of life in France, Spain and other countries.

Emphasizes that any teacher can use technology to improve class engagement and bring the lesson to life; It doesn’t have to be AI or AR/VR. “You don’t have to do all the things, you just have to choose one thing,” she notes. “Pick one thing, give it a try and work your way up to having three to five tools in your toolkit.”

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