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Learning Link Blog

Finding the Right Fit for Professional Development

June 2, 2014 Learning Link Blog no comments

By Amy Mason, French Teacher
Warren Township High School, IL

finding-right-fit-for-professional-developmentEducation is an ever-changing issue that is frequently in the forefront of community and political discussions. As we strive to provide the best education for our students, we demand the highest quality teachers to deliver that education. Highly effective teachers help create high-performing students, and providing new and experienced teachers with effective and innovative training helps them to become talented educators.
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NECTFL to Announce Recipients of SANS Inc. /Mead Leadership 2014 Program Awards

March 25, 2014 Learning Link Blog no comments

NECTFLNorth Branford, CT, March 25, 2014 – Awards to the two fellowship recipients of the 2014 SANS Inc. /Mead Leadership Program will be formally announced this week at the annual meeting of the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) in Boston, March 27-30, 2014. SANS is the leader in the development of instructional technologies for language learning, including the SANSSpace™ virtual language learning platform and Sony Virtuoso™ and Soloist® digital language lab technology suite. SANS has been a sponsor of this program for seven years.
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SCOLT Luncheon Fosters Leadership for Southern Region Language Educators

March 11, 2014 Learning Link Blog no comments

SCOLT Conference Logo 2014North Branford, CT, March 11, 2014 – The SANS Inc. SCOLT Leadership Luncheon takes place this week in Memphis, TN, as part of the annual Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT). This event is an opportunity to develop connections and foster collaboration among leaders of the 14 state associations in the SCOLT region. Members from ACTFL, state supervisors and district supervisors, Shelby County Schools and SCOLT will also participate in the program, which occurs on Thursday afternoon during the conference. The theme of the 2014 Leadership Luncheon is “Strengthening the Corps: Building Leadership Across the SCOLT Region.”
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Using Technology For Speaking Assessments

February 10, 2014 Learning Link Blog no comments

By Amy Mason, French Teacher
Warren Township High School, IL

SANS_180x120_Build-ConfidenceWhen asked why they are taking a foreign language class, a lot of students will tell you that they want to learn to speak another language. Yet, for many of them, speaking is one of the least comfortable parts of the class. They are happy to listen, read, and write but are shy about speaking out loud. And you can imagine their panic when they hear that they will have to take a speaking test!

As part of their semester exam, my students must take a speaking final. This portion of their exam is often the one that they worry about the most. It’s stressful for the students—they feel self-conscious when they speak in the target language. Despite the fact that they do not have to speak in front of the class, they are always worried that someone will hear them. continue reading

New Version of Language Lab Software

February 4, 2014 Learning Link Blog 1 comment

SANS Inc. Announces New Version of Language Lab Software Compatible with Microsoft Windows 8.1

Soloist-OnScreen
North Branford, Connecticut – February 4, 2014 – SANS Inc., the developer and exclusive licensor of Sony language learning software solutions, has just released Version 14.0 of the Sony Virtuoso™ and Sony Soloist® digital language lab software. A key element of this software update is compatibility with the Microsoft® Windows® 8.1 Operating System (OS). continue reading

Making Technology Personal

December 2, 2013 Learning Link Blog no comments

By Amy Mason, French Teacher

Amy Mason,  French Teacher

Amy Mason,
French Teacher
Warren Township High School, IL

Technology drives our lives. In the past 25 years, we have gone from using technology as an occasional tool to depending on it for so many different parts of our daily lives. These days our classrooms are “live-wired” with technology. Many schools are using digital textbooks, and their students can access them online or load them onto their iPads. Online videos are being used to provide students with images and information that supplements what they are studying in the classroom. Flipped classrooms allow students to watch explanations and lectures online and then come to class and practice and apply the concepts they saw in the videos. Online learning management platforms like SANSSpace™ provide a framework for lesson content and enable teachers to track student activity and provide feedback. Our students of today are much more savvy than many adults, because of the technology that surrounds them every day. continue reading

Teachers Focus on Technology at ACTFL 2013

November 18, 2013 Learning Link Blog no comments

2012-Convention-LogoFor over 40 years, language educators have been meeting at the ACTFL Convention and Expo. This year the legacy continues as 6,500+ language professionals will convene this week in Orlando, FL, to listen to visionaries in the language teaching field, learn from their peers, share best practices, see the latest products and technologies for language learning, and spend some time with old and new friends and colleagues.

This year’s theme is “New Spaces, New Realities: Learning Any Time, Any Place,” which speaks directly to the changing face of education and the ubiquitous use of technology in everyday life. At a glance, there are over 50 sessions and presentations that are focused on the integration of technology into language teaching and learning. This is a great opportunity to see what the creative minds in FL education are working on to make that “Any Time, Any Place” learning a reality.

Sony® and SANS also have a long history supporting ACTFL and with the foreign language, ESL, and ASL teaching community. As we celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we, too, will continue our legacy of showcasing our best and latest instructional technologies for language instructors and their students. Our virtual language learning platform, SANSSpace™, is a technology that fits perfectly into the “Anytime, Anyplace” learning paradigm, with apps for iPad and Android devices. Our Sony Virtuoso™ networked language learning system, used by so many language programs in the U.S. and abroad, has proven to be an indispensable tool to increase student production in the target language. We will be showcasing both technologies in Booth #811.

Our product development over the years in large part has been a result of consultation and listening to what language teachers need. Continuing that conversation, we invite you to take our technology survey with a chance to win a Sony tablet or iPad!

We look forward to seeing you at ACTFL. Join us for live technology demonstrations on Saturday at noon and during the afternoon break or any time during the conference to discuss your language program and technology integration. We, too, hope to meet old friends and make some new ones in Orlando.

Chester Technical Services to Receive FLAVA Award

September 30, 2013 Learning Link Blog 1 comment

flava awardsNorth Branford, CT, September 30, 2013 – Chester Technical Services (CTS) has been chosen as the recipient of an annual award from the Foreign Language Association of Virginia (FLAVA). The Friend of FLAVA award, presented during the group’s annual conference, recognizes individuals and institutions that have made a significant contribution in building a strong foundation of support for foreign language education.

CTS is a SANS Reseller and SANS and Sony technology provider in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. As former president Norah Jones wrote in her nomination, “Patiently and collegially, Chester Technical Services has been FLAVA’s partner in bringing good-quality concepts and products to the attention of annual conference attendees for many years. This partnership has always been in the spirit of support for excellence for both teachers and students, and has therefore made a powerful difference in Virginia’s overall excellence in world language education.”
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Mobile Devices, Notebooks and Language Programs

September 13, 2013 Learning Link Blog 1 comment

By Jay Carney, Chester Technical Services, CT

Jay Carney Chester Technical Services, CTS

Jay Carney

Recently, Long Island Newsday published an article on the use of tablet technology in Long Island, NY schools. Having attended a mobile conference/learning summit at Hamilton College earlier this year, specifically geared to addressing this issue with a K-12 audience, I was really surprised at how many districts had a plan on how to implement the technology into their curriculum.

However, for language teachers there still seems to be a lack of effective ways for students to practice oral work on these devices. Most digital audio recorders simply allow you to make one recording, and save or delete it. There are no controls to rewind and re-record, or rewind and listen, or compare your voice to the native speaker.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no products for these devices that allow the teacher to listen to the student recording and then insert corrections.
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