Student Eddie Cho created a short video using Blabberize.
He superimposed his photo on a Spiderman image and recorded dialogue in Spanish. View it at http://18.104.22.168/
Parents were very receptive to the digital portfolios, as they provide
a window into the class. Through this digital lens, they can listen to
podcasts and view student media productions and writing samples.
Spanish V—Describe your first day
of school using the imperfect and
preterite tenses correctly.
Kerpoof ( www.kerpoof.com). Allows
users to create their own cartoons.
Create a cartoon in Spanish, using language freely, creatively, and appropriately.
Parents were very receptive to the
digital portfolios, as they provide a
window into the class. Through this
digital lens, they can listen to podcasts
and view student media productions
and writing samples. One parent said
she could see the transformation of
her child from a caterpillar to a
butterfly. I showed the portfolios to
parents at our open house and again
at parent–teacher conferences. They
listened to students recite poetry and
browsed their restaurants. They especially enjoyed seeing the students’
best work showcased. One parent
tearfully said about her daughter, “She
has taken Spanish for many years, and
I have never heard her speak like this.
I did not know she could do this.”
Students enjoyed the digital portfolios because they were “something
new” and provided an outlet for
creative, intuitive work. The students
engaged in both independent and collaborative assignments throughout
their digital journey this year.
On many occasions, I saw students
using translators because they did not
know how to create accent marks,
and they said it was easier to copy and
paste from the translator. In addition
to teaching the shortcuts for accent
marks and showing them how to
switch the keyboard to different languages, I posted a site called spanish.
typeit.org on the portfolio main page.
This allowed students to click a button
to get the accent marks and copy and
paste them into PowerPoint. For the
digital kids, the click/copy/paste maneuver was more efficient.
Every time we went to the lab, I
watched students work with their
heads, their hands, and their hearts.
These three domains are the foundation of our character education program and serve as a segue to digital
citizenship and ethics.
In the lab, we had many conversations about social networking, ethics,
and safety. The students learned the
importance of always protecting their
portfolios with passwords and learned
to never use their last names on any
I was thrilled to hear that students
were using tools such as Google Docs,
Flickr, Blabberize, and Animoto not
only for their assignments, but for
their own creative purposes. Web 2.0
tools, when properly infused into the
curriculum, create a dynamic learning
environment and foster both collaborative opportunities and individual
—Lisa Bucciarelli is a foreign language instructor
at Hinsdale Central High School. She has a master’s degree in Spanish and an EdD in curricular
studies. She is a Google Certified Teacher and a
Johns Hopkins University adjunct faculty member.
November 2009 | Learning & Leading with Technology 33