Thursday, November 7, 2013

TPRS Year 4 - Google Voice

I'm behind the times when it comes to technology in classes.  My thoughts are that technology is no replacement for good teaching.  However, if I can find a way to use the technology to further enhance my instruction.

Something my (new) department and I are trying out this year for our snap-shots/assessments for the students is Google Voice.  I have never used this before.  This is a result of students in my previous schools not being allowed to have their cellphones.  In this case, students are able to in my new school.

So instead of speaking out in the hallway today and scrambling to figure out where they were on a scale, I had them go out into the hallway and retell some of the information from class.

This was great because it gave me the ability to see how they were doing and I can continue to listen to it.

One students recorded 9:00 worth of speaking Spanish.  He was retelling information then decided to make up new things with other words.

Another student decided not to do it at all.  He called and hung up and came back into class.  I reminded him that this was to give me an idea of where he is in my class (snap-shot) which will be recorded in the grade book and that is a 0.0 (No Evidence of Learning).  He told me he would make it up on a different day.

I'm excited about the possibilities to keep these in the students portfolios.

I also liked it because I could deal with testing issues or questions instead of being between the classroom and the hallway listening to each individual student.

What are some ways you use technology to enhance your instruction?


  1. Hi! I found your Spanish videos while preparing for my Spanish tests at Kent State; they were very educational and I found them to be very educational and fun. Looking at your Spanish blog, I was prompted by a link to visit here--and your blog is very interesting and your teaching style seems very interesting. I hope all is well. Have a good week!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Matthew! Glad to know that you've found my videos helpful!

    2. Thank you so much for sharing your videos and thoughts! I truly appreciate you!

      I am also experimenting with the use of Google Voice. I have only used it once so far when I asked my students to call in and recite a nursery rhyme in Spanish that we had practiced several times in class. This gave me some wonderful evidence about how well they are able to correctly pronounce the words. I used Tengo, Tengo, Tengo and La Cucaracha. One student began by saying, "Don't laugh," before she launched into singing La Cucaracha.

      I plan to divide my classes up to leave their voicemail homework on different days of the week so that I won't need to listen to more than about 30 each evening. (I have an hour commute each day, so that is when I plan to listen to them!)

      Angie Smith - Spanish 1 & 2

  2. I just found your blog and this post when doing a search on Google Voice. I use it with my Spanish 1 & 2 students, though we do not use TPRS much (I'm working on it though). Anyway, I have my kids call in once a week to recite something we had gone over earlier in the week (and as often as they ask me to repeat it with them). I have many kids who take the zeros every week, but I also have many that push themselves to practice better pronunciation. I love Google Voice and can't wait to find new ways to use it. I know this post was written a few months ago - I hope you're finding luck with it. :)

    1. I am glad you were able to find a way to make it work! I have phased it out since I wrote this post because it just didn't work well for me. ;-)