Learning Link Blog
By Marisol Greenwald, Spanish Teacher
This summer I walked a portion of the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. It was probably the most physical and mentally challenging yet rewarding thing I’ve done in a very long time. I did this for me, but my students stand to gain from it as well. As a Spanish teacher, I speak the language and am very familiar with Spanish culture, but on my Camino I learned so much more – the Galician dialect with its beautiful melody still rings in my ears. I tasted foods I’d never had before.
Camino de Santiago
My scrapbook is full of pictures of regional structures, such as the hórreos or family farm granaries particular to Galicia, hamlets lost in the hills, mountains and river valleys, bridges, cathedrals, large cities, small towns and new friends from a variety of countries. continue reading
North Branford, CT, July 2, 2013 – Carolina Training Associates (CTA) located in Charlotte, NC, has partnered with SANS Inc., an established 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 software suite, to sell and support SANS and Sony language learning technology products. The contractual arrangement, which will cover North and South Carolina, was announced today by SANS’ president Ron Remschel.
“We welcome CTA to our growing U.S. and international sales team,” said Remschel. “SANS is pleased to have a local company with extensive experience and proven dedication to technology in the education market work with us.”
North Branford, Connecticut, June 2013–SANS Inc., an established 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 software suite, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month.
SANS’ leading-edge product development, employing elements of both Sony and SANS technology, continues to be focused on alignment with 21st century skills for language learning with tools for real-world education. Both the Sony networked language lab software and the cloud-compatible, SANSSpace virtual language learning platform incorporate functionality to help students increase proficiency by using authentic multimedia content and web resources incorporated into their listening and speaking activities.
Over the last 15 years, there has been a massive investment in technology for education. First, it was computers in classrooms, then it was networking them. Most recently it has been about using content from “web 2,” VLEs, the cloud, or even ‘MOOCs. Alongside this has been a huge growth in smartphones and tablet devices, the launch of 4G superfast networks, and the increasing belief that a “bring your own device” deployment will become the norm, when students can access nearly any data from their own smartphones or iPhone®, tablet or iPad®.
Deputy Head Communications at Merchant Taylors’ School
At Merchant Taylors’ School in the UK, there is also the realization that the transformation to a more personalized 24/7 access to data combined with student use of social media will ultimately shift their framework and content to being video-based. These videos not only have to be made but sequenced, indexed and stored, so that they can be searched and found easily and activities completed in the correct sequence.
Anytime, anywhere access to video and audio resources
Merchant Taylors’ School has invested in SANSSpace Virtual Language Learning Platform to allow a much greater level of interoperability in the use of video. With SANSSpace, a teacher can set a series of bookmarks (in text, audio, or video) on top of any original audio and video file, and send these contextual comments to a group of students. continue reading
Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, a college prep school in Joplin, MO, with about 300 pre-K through 12th grade students, is a fine example of an institution that has committed to teaching their students 21st century skills. They set the bar high for academic achievement in every area.
Students work on communication skills in the Sony Virtuoso language lab.
Their language program would be the envy of any school. Students learn Spanish or French in pre-K to 5th grade; progress to Mandarin Chinese in the 6th grade; advance to Latin plus a modern language in the 7th and 8th grades; and graduate to a chosen language for proficiency (either Latin, Chinese, French or Spanish) in grades 9–12. Every upper school student is required to have a minimum of three years of language study, and some students choose to study two languages.
This curriculum translates into an enviable college placement record for the school, producing students who graduate with a high proficiency in oral and written skills in their chosen language(s).
It’s that time of year again; the culmination of all the hard work that language teachers and students have done to prep for AP® exams. As language teachers continually point out to us, standardized language tests can be so stressful for students. At SANS, we encourage our customers to use the Sony Virtuoso™ language lab technology regularly to give their students more time with listening and speaking activities so they are well prepared when exam time rolls around.
We all want students to do their best; to be focused on the content and not on the technology. We continually ask our customers about their experience in administering the speaking section of the world languages AP exams and digital collection of student recordings using their Sony Virtuoso and Soloist® software.
Students at Bournemouth University will soon be able to brush up on their language skills from any location using their laptop, iPad® or smartphone, following the announcement that the university has installed SANSSpace™, a cloud-compatible collaborative language learning platform developed by SANS Inc. SANSSpace allows students to listen to an audio file or watch a video clip, record a translation or respond to a series of audio and video questions at home, on the bus or on campus.
Paul Barnes, manager of the Languages Resource Centre at Bournemouth University, says: “The introduction of SANSSpace marks an important milestone for Bournemouth University. In any academic year, we have up to 600 independent language learners who study a language along with their main course to increase their chances of employment when they graduate. The ability for students to access audio and video files anywhere on campus or at home will provide them with the motivation they require to practice their skills and stay on track with their learning.
North Branford, CT, April 9, 2013 – The SANS Inc. SCOLT Leadership Luncheon takes place this week in Birmingham, AL, 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 and SCOLT also participate in the program, which occurs on Thursday afternoon during the conference. The theme of the 2013 Leadership Luncheon is “It only takes a drop…the ripple effect.”
As a 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 is the corporate sponsor for this event. “SANS is pleased to work with SCOLT on this endeavor,” said SANS president Ron Remschel. “We would like to thank SCOLT for inviting us to participate so that we too can be a part of the ‘ripple effect’ of the sharing and professional collaboration that the luncheon brings.”
North Branford, Connecticut, March 14, 2013 – SANS Inc., a 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 software suite, has just announced that Change Forward in Vashon, WA, has contracted with SANS to represent the SANS and Sony language learning technology products in the Pacific Northwest U.S. and in British Columbia, Canada.
The principal of Change Forward is Charles “Buzz” Blick, M. Ed. Blick has worked with school districts, universities and other education-related organizations for many years. At various times he has held positions as school psychologist, federal grant administrator, project consultant, staff trainer, community planning coordinator, large group facilitator, and community engagement consultant. Most recently, he has been a consultant on instructional technology projects focused on language learning solutions.
North Branford, CT, March 4, 2013 – Awards to the four fellowship recipients of the 2013 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 Baltimore, March 7-10, 2013. SANS is a 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 six years.
This year’s fellows are Douglas Crouse, French and Spanish, Sparta Middle School (NJ); Crystal Dunkin, Spanish, St. Mary Ryken High School (MD); Jeanne O’Hearn, Spanish, Masconomet Regional Middle School (MA); and Deborah Orth, German, Cony High School (ME).