Monday, June 1, 2015

Learning Tools and Social Media

Learning Tools and Social Media
By: Mohamed Ansary

Speech Tools:
Google Voice

Why do I ask my students to use Google Voice?

Flagship students should get trained to speak over the phone using the target language.  (OPI)
For a warm-up, Google voice saves time.
All students have an equal opportunity to speak and leave a voice message.
I listen to each and every one and text him/her back in the target language commenting on his/her message.
I get notified by email when a student leaves a voice message. I can text him/her back using my Gmail account or my Google voice app on my phone.
Students are encouraged to speak on the sentence level/paragraph level as they are encouraged to use the whole 3 minutes of the voice message.

Students first were intimidated.
Example: when my students were asked for the first time to use Google voice for a warm up, a student said: “ What? Am I going to speak in Arabic over the phone? No way. I cannot do that!”. The same student, later, was looking forward to knowing the daily topic of the warm up.
Some students began to leave me voice messages whenever they had questions.

This method is very interactive and engaging.
Students become connected with their teachers.
Teachers can trace the development of
their students as all voice messages are saved on their Google accounts. ( Formative Assessment)

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