Language Acquisition Resource Center at San Diego State University
Tech Tool Discovery:
A Monthly Newsletter
January, 2015 - Issue No.7
Smoothboard: Interactive Screen Sharing
There is a family of software that enables teachers to mirror, annotate, and share screens with students: SmoothBoard 2, SmoothBoard Air, and SmoothBoard for Mac. They are inexpensive (free for unregistered testing versions), and they don't require students to set up accounts. SmoothBoard Air works across devices, which is perfect for BYOD schools.
Slang, Idioms, and Colloquialisms
In any language, non-standard registers of speech are tough to learn and teach. They can cause learners a lot of frustration, especially when expressions aren't in regular dictionaries. Here are a few online resources to help:
*Tip: Consider using the Google Translate extension for Google Chrome to see literal and idiomatic meanings of common expressions side-by-side.
Micro-Corpus: Twitter in Google Sheets
Corpus linguistics is the systematic analysis of real language-in-use. Educators who sometimes work with corpora may think to themselves, "I wish I had a way to easily build and work with my own corpus." This is possible with Twitter through the "Twitter Archiving Google Sheet" (a.k.a. TAGS). TAGS enables users to automatically collect and archive Twitter posts based on search parameters. The spreadsheet layout opens possibilities for processing and analyzing data for word frequencies, collocations, and patterns. At the LARC, we're exploring those possibilities (which aren't yet built into the sheet), but we wanted to share the base tool with our readers.
With Google Drive you can create forms for quizzes, tests, surveys, and other assessments. Responses drop into a Google Sheet, which you can easily view and process. You can also add video into forms. This is a great feature for keeping video content close to knowledge checks, comprehension questions, and opinion surveys for your students. Here is a video to show how.