Monday, October 19, 2009

Potential for Microblogging in the Classroom

It seems like everyone is talking about Twitter lately, and it is not only for the actors of Hollywood. Many educators are starting to use this tool as a way to collaborate and offer real-time interaction between users. It can also serve as a forum to ask questions/get advice/receive directions/find support. For my own professional development it would be wise to find experts in the field of Spanish education to follow.
It also makes sense to introduce Twitter to students in a way that is beneficial to their learning. Many students may already be familiar with Twitter and they may even be following some of their famous idols. However it would be great to show them how to use this tool in an academic sense. There were some good ideas in the following article/powerpoint called "27 interesting ways to use Twitter in the Classroom." One that would work well in a foreign language classroom is the story starter - where I could start a story and my students could continue it with a tweet. This provides even quiter students with a way to be heard. Another way to incorporate Twitter would be to post what is going on in the classroom and provide parents with another mode of communication with me. It would be a great way to make a quick annoucement to both parents and students.
Overall Twitter can serve as a way to make writing more enjoyable and can promote literacy and editing skills at the same time. However one article, "Can we use Twitter for Educational Activities?" points out some flaws of Twitter in the classroom. The constant tweets can be a distraction for some students and having only 140 character tweets may lead to bad grammar skills. As a teacher you must also be aware of the privacy of the students and Twitter spam.
Right now I do not think I am experienced enough using Twitter to introduce it into my classroom program. However I do believe it could help me personally in my own development by following other Spanish teachers, finding useful websites through them, and asking questions/seeking advice about the best ways to teach topics from people more experienced than myself.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Madrid Promotional Videos

While we already know the result of where the 2016 Olympics will be, you can still see the promotional videos for Madrid, Spain. I like them because they show parts of Madrid and use some basic Spanish. I showed two of them in my Spanish 2 class. Before watching we were able to talk about the process of picking a city and the importance of hosting the Olympics. Then we watched a video which showed parts of the city and another in which people spoke in the past tense: I sang, I lived, I applauded, etc. I covered up the subtitles and had my students try to understand what was being said. The video was perfect because it combined current events with the preterit tense, which I was already reviewing with my classes.

Click here to see the post with the promotional videos

¿Ganará Madrid 2016? ¡Vénte pa' Madrid! is the post available on the blog, Vamanos