Learning Link Blog
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).
Wow! Another ACTFL Conference has come and gone. SANS had the opportunity to be a sponsor for the NADSFL breakfast meeting with a great group of enthusiastic District Supervisors. In case you haven’t heard, Todd Bowen from New Trier HS in Illinois was the winner of the Kindle Fire! Congrats, Todd!
The SANS booth was buzzing with FL teachers participating in our in-booth technology sessions that focused on accessing and using authentic content in the classroom, language lab, and anywhere 24/7. Everyone received a wristband drive with the resources that were demonstrated so they could begin using them immediately with their students. It was great to see many of our customers and chat with other language educators who are reviewing technology to integrate into their language programs.
Planning for 2013 has already begun. The ACTFL Conference theme is “New Spaces, New Realities: Learning Any Time, Any Place,” which aligns so well with emerging SANS technologies like the SANSSpace™ Virtual Learning platform. Looking forward to seeing everyone next year!
If a choice of six foreign language courses plus ESL defines “progressive,” then the world language program at Northern Valley Regional High School (NVRHS) in Bergen County, New Jersey, definitely fits the bill. And aptly so, since both of the school’s two campuses, in Demarest and Old Tappan, were ranked in the top 30 schools in New Jersey in the 2011 “Ranking America’s High Schools” special issue by The Washington Post. Their language program consists of 22 instructors teaching Spanish, French, Latin, Italian, Japanese, Chinese and English as a second language to about 900 students in each high school. Many students come through middle school having taken Spanish, but at the high school level, students are presented with a rich variety of language options.
District Supervisor of World Languages at Northern Valley Regional High School (NVRHS)
According to Jim Buoye, District Supervisor of World Languages at NVRHS, the ultimate goal of their world language program is to have students come out of the program being able to communicate in their chosen language. “Ideally we want to give them the foundation so they can continue into college and hopefully also use that language in their professional careers,” said Buoye.
Under the direction of Dr. Adina Alexandru, Foreign Language Department Chair, the Southington, Connecticut, school district has received a Learning and Leadership Grant from the NEA Foundation. The not-for-profit NEA Foundation partners with educators to advance student achievement by investing in public education that will prepare America’s children to learn and thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Dr. Adina Alexandru,
Foreign Language Department Chair
This grant will enable Southington foreign language teachers to develop critical reading assignments, authentic listening assignments and interpersonal speaking prompts that will become part of the FL curriculum. These assignments will be available to teaching staff throughout the district. The activity for this project began with a professional development training session conducted this past summer by SANS Inc. Teachers received basic training on the SANS Inc. SANSSpace™ virtual learning technology, which they will use to create digital assignments that students can access anytime/anywhere. Teachers will use the technology as they continue develop-ment throughout the school year and will share their work with peers through presentations at state FL organizations including COLT (CT Council of Language Teachers) and COFLIC (Coordinators of Foreign Languages in CT).Additional information on the NEA can be found at www.neafoundation.org.
This article has been taken from Fall 2012 Learning Link Newsletter.
Click here to download a pdf of the entire Fall 2012 Learning Link Newsletter.
Click here to read the next Fall 2012 Learning Link article.
Click here to read the previous Fall 2012 Learning Link article.
Santa Monica College’s first-ever President’s Circle Award for Innovation and Progress has been awarded to its Modern Languages and Cultures Department.
The $25,000 award will be used to purchase a three-year license for SANSSpace, a web-based program that will provide students anytime/anywhere access to lab resources, track usage and assign lab credit, double lab seating virtually without increasing physical space, and provide additional resources to enhance both teaching and student learning.
“Our department is honored to be given this award,” said Toni Trives, chair of the Modern Language and Cultures Department. “The 24-hour student access to our lab resources is a boon to our program and will immeasurably help our students speak, write and think better in the many languages we offer.”
Today, more than ever before, technology is ubiquitous to everyday life—and that extends to teaching and learning, too! That’s why it’s so important to have teachers who are focused on integrating technology into their curriculum.
This past week, an enthusiastic group of world language teachers met at the Warren Township High School in Gurnee, IL, for an advanced workshop on using Sony Virtuoso™ and Soloist® digital language lab technology to help students develop core language learning skills. Teachers from local Illinois school districts, including New Trier, Maine, Grayslake, Vernon Hills, and Evanston, participated in this professional development workshop, along with post-secondary language instructors from Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and Virginia. continue reading