Our latest cafe session (Tues 12th October) featured the ever-popular carrot cake and tea – and turned into something of a birthday celebration! Gurwinder (one of teachers of Punjabi) turned 21 at the weekend and so we raised our cups and our cake in her honour (and wished we had brought candles), and we welcomed Humaira back after a prolonged absence due to advanced pregnancy – with the wonderful news that she gave birth to a healthy child just nine days ago! She looked great, and not actually that tired considering the circumstances! She was regretful of missing the podcasting workshop – but had very good reasons for doing so…
In the cafe this week, I reviewed how to use the LanguageBox website and showed off some of Krystyna’s Polish resources which she has been uploading regularly to the site. She is putting together a suite of materials on the topic of ‘famous Polish people’. This is a topic that she uses regularly with her students and is very popular- it also lends itself to a range of multimedia resources. I reminded the group how to put comments on other people’s resources, and was thrilled when, in the subsequent practice, Abanti immediately went and commented on one of my own resources – the start of a wave of reviewing, I hope!
We also talked about how we could add activities to the podcasts created in the last workshop, to make them useful for other teachers to use once they are published and shared on the LanguageBox. The group intend to prepare transcripts, translations and activities in time for the next workshop, which will be on the topic of powerpoint, and will be facilitated by two guest presenters from the Hampshire county council primary languages service.
We also talked about how to be creative in the use of technology: many teachers teach in rooms which do not have computers or Smartboards in them – and are only rarely allowed to use computer work stations. Many even have limited access to CD players/tape players in their work. We talked through the idea that they could make use of the fact that most pupils (if not all) have computer and internet access at home, and so once files are published on the LanguageBox, can be accessed and used outside of class to prepare for class or revise post-class. This issue of access to technology is one that the project team will broach again with the local council, to see if anything can be done to assist our enthusiastic teachers in the use of technology in their work.