Learning Link Blog
By Amy Mason, French Teacher
Warren Township High School, IL
When 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
SANS Inc. Announces New Version of Language Lab Software Compatible with Microsoft Windows 8.1
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
By Amy Mason, French Teacher
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
Warren Township High School, IL
For 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.
North 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.”
By Jay Carney, Chester Technical Services, CT
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.
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