Over the last few years SET-BC has worked with various French Immersion classrooms, partnering with the classroom teacher to integrate technology into teaching practice. Along the way there have been many discussions around technology supports that work well in the French language learning environment.This year as part of the Synergy Projects, SET-BC supported French language classrooms throughout BC with iPads and apps. Teachers were able to experiment with ideas to support language learning activities, and to blog about examples of ways in which they were using the apps in their classroom. Monthly meetings with each other and the SET-BC team offered a platform for sharing their findings.
Ten iPads and three ‘evergreen’ apps went to each school. Evergreen apps are apps that allow students to show creativity across many subject areas and are open to individual content. Book Creator, Pictello and Explain Everything were chosen as they provided a completely immersive experience for the students with all the menus, prompts and supports being provided in the French language. Pictello was particularly valued for its superior downloadable French language voices.
The French teachers involved embarked on a learning process that was new to many of them. Along with learning to manage iPads among their very enthusiastic students, the teachers quickly learned to navigate between both official languages and had students learn technology terms in French as they learned to use each app.
The students range from Kindergarten to Grade 7; the response to the infusion of technology into their classrooms has been excitement and enthusiasm. Projects included making technology produced posters of “Les règles pour utiliser les iPads”, creating sound books “Les Sons” for beginning language learners, creating dynamic projects to illustrate a Science, Socials Studies or Math concept for older learners, practicing reading fluency (in French of course), sending and receiving letters with other French immersion students, creating conversations using “bande dessinée” templates, and creating mini videos to take on other personalities – the list continues to grow!
Technology project successes to date:
As we move toward year end, teachers are realizing that their successes are not limited to French language learning, but expand to how students feel about working and learning in general.
“The students are just picking up the iPads and using them in creative ways to help themselves. They come up with how they might use the technology. They are helping each other and are more open to figuring things out for themselves or to asking for help from a peer when working with the technology.”
“I quickly learned that it was not to be that I was the “sage on the stage” with the apps that we were introducing and that, though I would have a basic working knowledge of how the app worked, the students and I became co-facilitators to make the technology work for us.”
The SET-BC French Literacy Synergy group of teachers continues to record their successes in a working document to fuel ideas for their future pursuits. From a great design of how to create an inexpensive storage unit for the ideas, through ideas to support French tech use in various subject areas, to the quick links that help with digital citizenship, classroom management and evaluation of potential other supportive apps, this document allows the teachers to look at other people’s ideas and try them in their classrooms. Watch here as it continues to grow as the French journey progresses: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KnhG_QajDdLpZmBtNMeJgEbeiEpAeUAvcJWAh8rM1zc/edit#heading=h.gjdgxs
Bravo aux professeurs et aux élèves aux écoles Puntledge Park (SD 71), Robb Road (SD 71), Chief Dan George (SD34), Tuc-El-Nuit (SD 53), John Muir (SD 62), Garabaldi Highlands (SD 48) et W.L. McLeod (SD 91).
To learn more about the technology used in this SETstory, search for it by name in learningSET.