Second Life in Spain This is my Avatar walking the streets of Spain interacting with other fluent Spanish speakers

Second Life a virtual world

This week I had so much fun immersing myself into a 3D virtual world. Second Life is a great tool for my Spanish students to practice their Spanish speaking and writing skills since they can create an Avatar and take that Avatar into a virtual environment surrounded by Spanish native speakers. Students can communicate with other Avatars by chatting, instant messaging and speaking. For example, I created an Avatar and took my Avatar into virtual Spain where I was able to walk around and communicate with others using Spanish. This tool provides students with authentic learning experiences and as our textbook Using Inquiry in the Classroom explains, “technology in the classroom has the potential to provide students with experiences that they will encounter in the world of work or in their everyday lives” (Coffman, 2013, p. 154).  While I was exploring Second Life I found many Spanish speaking virtual environments where my students can take their Avatars and practice their Spanish. For example, Instituto Español where students can practice their Spanish writing, speaking skills and learn about different Spanish-speaking cultures. Another virtual environment I found interesting for my students to check out with their Avatars is G-Zone Latino where students can attend parties and participate in social activates while practicing their Spanish. Second Life will allow my shy students to feel more comfortable about participating and interacting with others while practicing their Spanish skills. In addition,  I will ask my students to take their Avatars to the same virtual environment so students can communicate with native speakers as well as their classmates. While students are engaged with Second Life I will walk around the room making sure all the students are participating and interacting. Then I will ask my students to take a screenshot of their favorite moment in Second Life and then they will have to write a paragraph of what they were doing in Spanish.

Here are some of the Spanish speaking destinations I found for Second Life. However, if you look at the tool bar to your left you can click on different virtual destinations. For example, science and technology, education and nonprofit, Japanese virtual environments and newcomer friendly spots.

Second Life is not only beneficial for my foreign language students but also for myself as a teacher. As our textbook Web 2.0 How-To For Educators mentions, “many educators have discovered virtual environments for their own growth and learning (Solomon & Schrum, 2010, p.121). In Second Life I can interact with other foreign language instructors, share ideas, work on projects and learn new concepts.

 QR codes for instructional purposes 

 

This is a QR code for my indt501 blog page

This is a QR code for my indt501 blog page

 

I never thought QR codes could be used for educational purposes but now I can see how useful they can be. For example QR codes can save classroom time (classroom management). If you want your students to go to a link instead of waiting for all of them to type the link correctly into their computers/ iPads they can take a picture of the QR code and this will take them directly to the link. Also QR codes can be use to assist students when they are practicing  their Spanish pronunciation. I can record correct pronunciation of a list of Spanish words and phrases and link them to QR codes.  Then I can print study worksheets of those words and phrases with QR codes and students can practice their Spanish pronunciation this way.

QR codes will engage students because it is an exciting new tool. Check out this link 50 QR code resources for the classroom. 

References:

Coffman. T. (2013). Using inquiry in the classroom: Developing creative thinkers and  information literate students. (2nd Ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Solomon, G., & Schrum, L. (2010). Web 2.0: How to for educators. International Society for Technology in Education