Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Technology Integration en Español (VIDEO)

Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the Barrington High School Spanish classroom of Ms. Sheila Soss. In a single class period, I observed several great examples of technology integration and students who were constantly engaged. Since the classroom had a strict “no English” rule, I did my best to follow along (I am a native English speaker and had 4 years of high school French in the late 1980s).

The first activity was “interpersonal writing,” where students created shared Google Docs and shared them with a few of their peers and the teacher. Students wrote back and forth to each other in Spanish in the document while Ms. Soss viewed the conversations, added to the conversations, and made a few comments and corrections.

Students then assembled in groups of two and used one of the audio recording applications (Audacity or QuickTime Player) to record a conversation in Spanish. When the recording was finished, students listed to themsleves and then uploaded the recording to the class Learning Management System for Ms. Soss to hear later.

Perhaps the highlight of the class for the students was when everyone logged on to Kahoot, a “game-based blended learning and classroom response system” ( In advance, Ms. Soss had selected a YouTube video of an interview in Spanish. At key points, multiple-choice questions were introduced during the video and students could answer on their laptops in a gameshow-like presentation. The feedback was instant as Kahoot displayed the running and final results, and named a “winner” at the end of the game. Kahoot is free and works on any Internet-connected device.

The final activity was a continuation of the previous night’s homework. Students had created a short presentation in Movenote, an online video presentation tool (, and had posted the presentations on the class Learning Management System. Movenote allows a video recording of a presenter speaking in a small window and offers a larger window to add images or other visuals that advance in synch with the video. Students selected presentations of their peers and provided written comments and reactions of the presentations in Spanish.

As students attest at the end of the following video, they very much enjoyed these activities. Even with my limited understanding of Spanish, I was able to follow Ms. Soss’s directions for using the various applications and web tools that she embedded along with her language instruction. Please take a look at this 2-minute video of BHS Spanish:


  1. She makes seamless integration effortless.

    1. Effortlessly...and completely in Spanish. It was a truly great example of integration on many levels and the students were loving it!


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