Thursday, May 06, 2010
More on Using Google Wave in the Foreign Language Classroom
I've really taken to Google Wave as a scratchpad for collaborative translation work.
Splitting my Latin II class up into small groups, I requested that each group create a Wave in which to help one another translate a chunk of a larger passage from the Gallic Wars.
Here's a screenshot of a brief section of translation being worked on by one of the small groups. Among the things that I love about working like this, foremost is the fact that I can watch live as each student helps contribute in real-time to the same document. Wave automatically tells me which student is doing what; so, if I see that one student is having problems in one area, I can easily give them a little more attention in real-time or link them together with other another student for some quick peer-tutoring -- or even make a new Wave to use as a 1:1 tutoring block in which I can directly help the student (or multiple students having the same problem) without disrupting the flow of the class, forcing faster students to slow down, or causing anxiety by publicly "pointing out" the kids who need extra help.
Another thing I like about Wave is that it archives everything typed into it and allows me to play back the Wave's history. So I have a complete step-by-step record of the kinds of mistakes my students are making. Which of course lets me address any common problems quickly and effectively.