Getting ready for the ELI (now with added L2 acquisition theory!)

Barbara Ganley and her student , Lizzie and I along with one of my students, Evie, are all about to head off to the Educause Learning Inititiative Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA where we are (all four of us) presenting on the topic of using blogs and Skype in the classroom to create communities of learners and as a means of promoting cultural literacy through our classrooms.

Evie just posted her first attempt at her portion of the presentation here.

Here is my first whack at trying to encapsulate, in 7 minutes or less, all of the things we accomplished (and also left undone!) in HISP 305 last semester. Have a listen. Excuse the raspy voice (I’m tired). Give me feedback.

Take One.

Addendum: Here is take two.

It’s 10 minutes long but I think it covers the theoretical underpinnings that motivated the use of the technology in HISP 305, the results, the implications, and how it changed my teaching …

I may have confused Paolo Freire and Pierre Levy towards the end. Apologies. Comments?

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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  1. Ryan · January 17, 2007 Reply


    Comment the first: seven minutes is nowhere near enough time – you’ve done an excellent job of summarizing.

    Comment the second: this is an incredibly hard idea for a lot of people to wrap their heads around … more concrete examples might help. (“no textbook? so, what did you do in the classroom on a daily basis?”)

    Also, I find it fascinating that the best technologists either deny outright that they are technologists, or see it as a secondary identity. (What’s the saying … anybody who wants to be a politician shouldn’t be allowed to do so?) 🙂

  2. Barbara · January 18, 2007 Reply

    (notch) (notch) (notch)

    Having spoken (skyped) with BG at length last night, brace yourself for take two. L2 acquisition theory, learning theory, etc upfront (the basis upon which the class was constructed and taught) followed by Evie who will report on “what the hell happened in there anyway.”

    The thought is that the teachers talk about the theoreticalk underpinnings of the class, the students, in tuen, report on what they learned and what went on.

  3. Ryan · January 18, 2007 Reply

    (notch) (notch) (notch)

    That wasn’t an insult … in take one you said “I am a teacher first, and a technologist second”. The more blogs I read, and the more presentations I attend, the more I hear similar thoughts from the people who I think are using technology most effectively, most efficiently, most creatively – whether it’s for the purposes of education or not. And yes, technology should be a means, not an end … so I am fascinated by the idea that the best technologists are not technologists at all (or at the very least don’t really -consider- themselves as such).

    Thanks for the clarification on the structure of the presentation – I’ll keep it in mind while listening to take two…

  4. Barbara · January 19, 2007 Reply

    Silly rabbit (slippers)… I know it wasn’t an insult and I did not take it as such. You pose precisely the questions that will undoubtedly come up by the more incredulous participants in the room…hence the need to be sure to mention the theories that created this way of teaching and using technology in the first place.

    I am gearing up for take two and will get there…soon.

    Hey but in the meantime, I do think it was pretty amusing that when we talked to the person from our humble college’s admissions office she mentioned how she had sent out (to prospective students) Lucia’s article about my HISP 305 class going textbookless (insert gasp here). And that the prospies were intrigued. Hmmmmm.

    So wait, what does that mean? If the students get it, and the teachers get it… who then DOESN’T get this stuff?


  5. Ryan · January 19, 2007 Reply

    It’d be easy to say “clearly it’s the administrators / upper level staff – they just need to get on the bandwagon that everybody else has already joined.” But -do- students and teachers get it yet? What happened when you told your faculty colleagues that you’d not be using a textbook? What happened when you told your students that you expected -them- to largely determine the course of their learning for themselves?

    I’m not, however, saying a disconnect between faculty/students and administration doesn’t exist – of course it does. To wit: I giggled (inside my head) about several of the comments from said admissions person. For instance: “Who cares about what classrooms or a dorm rooms look like? It’s really about the quality of interaction, right?” Uh, yeah, but college isn’t -just- about student-teacher interaction, and who decides to go /anywhere/ for four years without checking out the living quarters first? That’s not to mention what buildings on campus (whether they are poorly-kept, well-kept, or a combination) can say about an institution’s management of resources.

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