Hi-tech home­work your dog can’t eat

The Jewish Chronicle - - JC SPECIAL -

ECH­NOL­OGY I S t r ans­form­ing the teach­ing of mod­ern for­eign lan­guages, re­ports the Royal Ma­sonic School in Rick­mansworth. “Since the in­tro­duc­tion of iPads last year, we have seen a num­ber of ben­e­fits in the MFL depart­ment,” says a spokesper­son. “Apps such as Google Class­room and Google Drive have com­pletely changed the way in which we set work and re­ceive it from the pupils.”

The school can now ask pupils to com­plete work on Google Drive, so that it is cloud-based — elim­i­nat­ing the need for hand­ing in a piece of pa­per or ex­er­cise book. Teach­ers can see when pupils com­plete their work, so they can bet­ter judge the qual­ity — they will know if it has been rushed. “We can also flag up any or­gan­i­sa­tional prob­lems, as we can see whether a pupil is about to miss a dead­line,” ex­plains the Royal Ma­sonic. “Con­tact can be made with par­ents be­fore the prob­lem es­ca­lates and they can then keep an eye on their child’s progress.” When draft­ing an as­sign­ment, pupils are able to re­ceive as much online feed­back as they need to per­fect their work.

One of the ma­jor is­sues in lan­guage learn­ing which has been ad­dressed by Google Class­room is that of speak­ing prac­tice. It is dif­fi­cult to cre­ate enough op­por­tu­ni­ties for pupils to speak in lessons but now speak­ing tasks can be set for home­work. Pupils record their work and upload it, then lis­ten to their peers’ speak­ing work and learn from each other’s mis­takes.

Teach­ers are con­tin­u­ally ex­plor­ing how tech­nol­ogy can best be used to sup­port and en­rich their pupils’ learn­ing. “At RMS, we are cer­tainly en­joy­ing get­ting to grips with the many dif­fer­ent ways that this can be done in mod­ern for­eign lan­guages.”

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