Visual interpretation in the language B classroom

Yesterday I attended the MS/HS language B department meeting. We have both MYP & DP Language B offered in Arabic and French. One of their criterion is Visual Interpretation. The teachers wanted to learn about a few ways they could create posters (etc) for summative tasks for their students. After doing a little research, I decided to highlight 4 tools: PS Touch, Glogster, ThingLink and Tumblr. Below is the follow-up email I sent out this morning. I would love to hear about how you and your students create visual interpretation tasks & summatives in your MYP or DP language B classes! 

My reflection: First – why not use authentic realia for visual interpretation tasks? The power of language B is that it is alive and real in the world. Second – as a language B teacher and technology integration lover, my mind goes to what can my students create. The tools I presented can simply be used by staff to create tasks for the students but the real power comes when the tasks can be transformative.

  • Students create their own media (or find Creative Commons licensed media).
  • Pictures are edited using Photoshop (Instagram?) and videos could be uploaded to YouTube.
  • This media is then be used to create Glogs and/or ThingLinks.
  • The next step (towards redefinition) would be to compile the media into a Tumblr blog where students could document the journey of their visual, reflect on their visual and others’ and get input from the teacher, classmates and people around the world.

Good morning!

Thanks for letting me stop by your department meeting yesterday. I hope the tech tools you saw gave you a few ideas for visual interpretation in your classrooms. When I chose them I thought that they could be used by teachers or students to create visuals. These tools range from augmentation (PS Touch) to the possibility for redefinition (Tumbr). If you’ve found other tools, please don’t hesitate to share! Let me know if you have any questions. 🙂

Creative Commons Search – a great place to start to find media (photos, videos, audio, etc) that you are allowed to use (not copyrighted).

PS Touch (school iPad app)

  • No account needed.
  • Can create visuals with text from basic to advanced.
  • Tutorials built into app.
  • Students can email photo and/or print (or export to use in one of the options below).

Glogster (create & view on computer, view only on iPad)

  • You must create an account.
  • There is a free version that includes a 31-day premium trial.
  • Students should use Glogster.com to create accounts.
  • Great for students or teachers to create.
  • Choose your editable template. Add text, graphics, images, audio and video. Save & share the link. Can be printed.
  • CAN view on iPad (with free app) but cannot create.

ThingLink (also a free app)

  • You must create an account.
  • Great for students or teachers to create.
  • Can create and view on both computer & iPad.
  • Add an image. Then add ‘tags’ to insert text, photos, web links, music or videos. Share & save the link. Not ideal for printing.
  • Cool example

Tumblr (also a free app)

  • You must create an account.
  • You can have multiple ‘blogs’ per account.
  • Best for students to create on-going visuals throughout a unit.
  • Add text, photos, quotes, web links, chats, audio & video.
  • Students can share the link to their Tumblr blog with teachers. Not ideal for printing.
  • Has potential for redefinition (SAMR).

Language B Final Exam Review

When I brainstormed with the Language B department (Arabic & French) about how they could meaningfully integrate technology (SAMR prof development), they were eager to talk about the (quickly approaching) end of the year. Reviewing with students can be frustrating for both students and teachers. They wanted a way to put the responsibility of the review on their students while also engaging them. Although we came up with several ideas, they were most intrigued by Popplet (some of them had already seen it) and two of our French teachers (MYP & DP) gave it a try.

The teachers signed up for free Popplet accounts. For homework, the students signed up for accounts. Amel, the DP French teacher, created a popplet for each unit. She then created popples for grammar, vocabulary, and sub-topics. Once the structure was set, she invited students to the popplet. It was the students’ responsibility to fill in the popplet with grammer concepts, vocabulary words and sub-topics.
Tronc commun  Relations sociales

The middle school MYP teacher also used Popplet in a similar way with her students.
FRENCH REVIEW GRADE7

It was fun to hear the oohs and aahs from the students when I added a popple from the desktop and it showed up on their screens. The teachers liked that their students could collaborate and that each popple automatically included the creator’s name. Although only the creator can edit a popple, the teachers liked the comment function to help guide students. The ease of adding students to popplets was beneficial for the teachers. The ability to share links to popplets (on their class Edmodo pages) and create images was incredibly useful. The biggest negative? We’re an iPad school – the fully functional free website is flash-based and the app (with ability to collaborate) costs money. Also, you can only create a limited number of popplets (easily solved by saving the image when done and deleting the popplet).

Although this isn’t a “redefined” use of technology, the ability to simultaneously collaborate on a brainstorm with students gives it more oomph than “substitution.” It was a little taster for our teachers and hopefully they’ll be able to build on their experiences next year.