Hi-tech homework your dog can’t eat
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.”