• Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Use of Technology in the Classroom

Children and Teens live the age of technology, studies show that an
average child spends hours in front of the tv and computer, exceeding
any other regular activity, so the why is answered by using a powerful
innovative tool, which will build a bridge between you and your student.

There are many components involved in using technology in the classroom:

1) Equipment

  • computer, laptop
  • Ipod, mp3 player
  • Ispeakers: Idog, Icat, Ipenguin, Transformers, Barbie and Bratz.
  • Projector
  • DVD Player
  • TV

I use my laptop as a vehicle between the internet and my student. I connect to the site and using a cable; I have the website on the screen of my 30 inch plasma TV, so that the whole class can see the website and interact together. You can buy the cable at Best Buy and have the image transfer by adding a second monitor to your screen properties.

I bought a nano ipod and a regular mp3 player, which only takes songs, (2 gig) I downloaded songs I use in my classes, every class has at least one song related to the theme, but any mp3 player can be used, which is connected to my speakers, idog, transformers, icat, the speakers move, dance and light up when you play the music. I can’t describe how excited the children are when they see the speakers. It becomes one of the focal points of my class, so besides learning Spanish, they really connect to the song, by enjoying the speakers. I use them in every class with children ages 18m-6 years old.

Music used: Original Recording CDs, Boca Beth, Nursery Rhymes in Spanish, Spanish Songs for ninos, Spanish Lullabies, Mexican Fiesta and others.

I don’t use the projector but other colleagues use it successfully.

The DVD player is used when showing videos and movies. I add that as an extra activity, always connecting the theme to the class. For example, I use Charlotte’s Web 2, the cartoon movie, to teach them about feelings, happy, sad, etc. I have the movie in Spanish. I also use shark tail, nemo, and other movies, which come with the Spanish version of it. The children have seen the movie, which makes it easier to have them enjoy the experience.

I have found YouTube videos of Hanna Montana, Corey in the house, Sweet life of Zack and Cody and other series that kids 6-10 love, in Spanish, and we look at the series on the TV I have in my classroom. I used The Sweet Life of Zach and Cody, a 8 min scene, which talks about persuasion. I also added to that class a Wikipedia text which has the character’s description in Spanish, very easy to read, they had to read it and describe themselves and role play as characters, using the vocabulary learned. I added a glossary to it.

2) Websites

The websites are used as tools to enrich the classroom experience.

I listed the websites that I most frequently use, but I will be happy to send you others upon request. – for music videos – for dialogues, many themes – for numbers, many drills, games – good blog about teaching, many tips – great site for dialogues, ages 7 and up. I use this site after a theme is worked in class, they have a homework assignment and they watch the videos before doing the assignment. More than 200 dialogues, monologues with vocabulary and grammar points.– more than 100 websites with information for Spanish Teachers, drills, games, songs and more Spanish Activity for 5th graders Free Flashcards. I use three flashcard sites, they love playing with them. – for children 10 and older, good verb quizzes, I divide the class in groups and each group answer a quiz, they love the competition! – many games and activities – where there are videos of Hanna Montana, Sweet Life of Zach and Cody and Corey in the House in Spanish – printing pages and activities

They have online exercises, bingos, worksheets, coloring pages to be printed, coloring books, dictionary, theme of the month in Spanish, verbs and dialogues recorded for pronunciation…..

I also bought some comic books in Spanish which I use with ages 6-10. The comic books have some parts in English and some in Spanish, which makes it easier for novice students to understand.

3)  Use

The use of websites, iPod and other resources need to be carefully planned and tested, in order to ensure that they are part of your class, not disconnected to your weekly/monthly theme or curriculum.

Google has a specific search for pages in Spanish, which usually come from countries where Spanish is the native language, that is also a helpful tool to find teaching materials, articles, magazines, songs and many other materials.

After having many adult students come to my office and tell me they spent 4 years in High School, taking Spanish and they didn’t have any recollection of anything seen in the classroom, I decided to use the technology as a powerful weapon against boredom, bringing young minds closer to the foreign language.

Claudia Krusch

Director of CK Translations in South Jersey and Creator of EasyLearn Programs for Children

Teacher and Translator since 98, holds a BA in Portuguese and ESL Teaching with emphasis in Translation – UNIFACS – Brazil and 4 year Spanish Teaching Training Course – Cabaleros de Santiago – Brazil


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