TESOL 2016 Highlights (Part 3 – Using & Teaching With Technology)

--Originally published at flipping – Martha Ramirez

Here is a summary of my favorite technology oriented sessions from TESOL 2016.

Practice-oriented session: “Making instructional videos: The Technology, Planning and On-Camera Delivery”
I attended a session on making instructional videos by Jennifer Lebedev and Vicki Hollet. I immediately recognized Jennifer’s face (from her youtube videos, which I’ve used in my teaching), and learned about Vicki Hollet’s work. They presented the technology they each use to create their videos as well as the types of videos they make. The videos were very insightful as well as their real life examples on how they have lived the process of video creation. This is some serious work! They’ve got film sets and have definitely made an investment on different cameras and equipment to make quality videos. I’ve been ok with the basic microphone, laptop and screen casting software, but the sessions I saw in this event really made me think about exploring new resources and taking the video creation process more seriously.


Here’s a picture of me with Jennifer.

Practice-oriented session: “Delivering Instruction and Individual Feedback via Video Screen Capture Technology”

Cheyne Kirkpatrick and Wayne Walker shared how they deliver instruction and give feedback to students through videos. What I loved about this session was the idea of providing feedback on a writing task through screencasting in which the teacher walks through the student’s text while recording the feedback. Therefore, the student receives a video with the teacher’s voice giving a step by step explaining of what could be improved in the text. It’s more personal and allows the teacher to give more feedback than if it were written.

The tool recommended for instruction was EXPLAIN EVERYTHING and for screencasting they mentioned CAMTASIA, SNAG IT, and SCREENCASTIFY (which records in google chrome - learn more here).

Poster session: “Crossing key-boarders: Incorporating touch-typing in ESL classes.”

Trisha Dowling and Clarissa Codrington are teaching keyboarding skills in their ESL classes. Check their poster out!

Workshop: “Building Content Resources for Creating a Flipped Classroom”
In this workshop, Amy Roither from Webster University in St. Louis, focused the session on three resources for building content:
1) Google forms
2) Mashups – Rich Internet Application (RIA)
3) Spreaker – Recording app

Google forms:
Here Amy recommended using google forms (which are available for anyone who has a google account) to create syllabus quizzes , which is intended to expose students to the syllabus before they start classes within a flipped approach (What a great idea!). She also uses this tool with comprehension questions  in order for students to answer before class as well as for collaboration among students, in which they are encouraged to create their own quizzes or comprehension questions.

This was the first time I heard about this tool. A mashup is an RIA where video, audio and interactive exercises can be created. Amy shared examples of how mashups could be used for language classes. She shared a lessons on the present real conditional, passive voice  and a content-based reading and writing course. With these three examples, she showed how the audio dropbox   application works as well as the conversations one within a mashup. These are great tools to get students to record their voices or to make videos easily without having to download anything. These RIAs are developed by the Center for Language Education and Research at Michigan State University, so check out their website to explore these different resources further.

In her classes, Amy makes podcasts to explain students’ “muddiest points”, meaning, topics they really have difficulty understanding. I thought this was genius! For this, she uses the app Spreaker at www.spreaker.com . Here is the example of the podcast she shared.

I was amazed about becoming familiarized with these resources, especially the RIAs, since many were new to me and I find them fun and useful for flipping purposes. The session was great, hand-on, and applicable!

It seems my to-do list on resources is getting longer and longer. The different workshops and presentations were very insightful!


With Robyn Brinks Lockwood at the TESOL closing event.

I also had a chance to talk to Robyn Brinks Lockwood, the author of the book Flip It! She attended my presentation and told me she liked what I was doing!  Robyn talked about collaborating in the future and I would be more than honored!

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