Technology integration is more than just bringing a device or introduce a new learning platform. There are different levers of integration.
In the majority of cases, we use technology to substitute or practice knowledge and skills. Especially now, during DL time, I am using Google Slides, Google Jamboard, and Google Docs for presenting new material, practicing new knowledge and skills, assessing and giving immediate feedback.
In a classroom, I would go around and listen to students’ dialogues and help them; now, I put them in Breakout rooms and do the same. Unfortunately, I can see others.
When the students are writing their assignments in a classroom, I would go around and support them. Now we are using Google Docs or Google Slides, and I can write comments. The next level is Modification when students start using different tech tools to demonstrate their knowledge and skills and sharing their learning experience. We have begun implementing Flipgrid to reinforce interpersonal and interpreting skills, and students are able to watch (listen to) an authentic piece, express their thinking, and discuss the ideas.
Another platform is Seesaw; we use it as a student’s e-portfolio to collect and track students’ work. All teachers working with a student in the school provide information about the student’s progress in the Seesaw. Students define their learning goals in all subjects, collect their learning engagements and assessments, and reflect on their learning strengths and areas for improvement.
A courageous classroom
Learning can be a challenge; learning a foreign language can be a double challenge that is why it is essential to create a classroom culture and climate that supports communication, collaboration, respect, and responsibility. Once this is established, students will be more comfortable taking risks in speaking the language and not be afraid of making mistakes. At the beginning of the year, we create our classroom rules. The major ones are:
- I will be a risk-taker and speak Russian in the classroom.
- I will respect myself and others, different cultures, and opinions.
- I will work collaboratively with my classmates respectfully.
- I will be a responsible partner in the classroom community.