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The Sights & Sounds of Education

3064AV Case Study,Taylorsville NC

North Carolina Educator Uses Technology
to Teach Spanish Virtually


Case Study:
North Carolina Virtual Public School
Taylorsville, North Carolina

Issue
Mary Beth White, an English teacher for Alexander Central High School in Taylorsville, N.C., also is one of many teachers nationwide expanding their classrooms virtually. As a teacher for the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS), White teaches Spanish – another subject she is passionate about – to a large group of students with varying skill sets and interests.

“The idea behind NCPVS is to provide students with an opportunity to gain the skills necessary for success after graduation, including the ability to communicate and use technology appropriately and efficiently,” White said. “I assign 8-12 projects each week to my students and communicate with them via our online learning system. This program needs a headset that can not only help my students to focus, but also to allow them to practice their oral skills.”

Implementation
Based on the recommendations of her colleagues, White asked her students to purchase Multimedia Stereo Headsets from Califone. An ideal companion for today’s digital classroom, the lightweight USB-equipped headset allows students to efficiently access media files and streaming video. Enhanced speed makes it perfect for language learning, adult literacy groups, multimedia applications, music theory classes as well as general listening and call center uses.

White’s students use the headset for language activities, such as practicing verb conjunctions. Many of her lessons require students to listen to specific phrases or words, and to practice by saying each out loud into the microphone. They record their practice lessons, and send the resulting MP3 files back to White for her review and grading.

White appreciates that the headsets are not huge and bulky, and that they help to block out ambient noise. This allows her students to focus on the task at hand, instead of letting other noises distract them. She has her students send her recorded files of them reading paragraphs out loud, saying rhymes or even singing songs. She can then correct them, if needed, by re-recording pieces of text and sending the electronic files back to them to listen to.

Results
Using the Multimedia Stereo Headsets from Califone, White’s students listen to native Spanish speakers pronounce vocabulary words, watch videos about Spanish culture, and practice speaking out loud.

“The headsets allow for remediation and differentiated instruction as each student is learning at a different level,” said White. “And it is so much better than using the built-in microphone on your computer. These headsets allow me to clearly hear what each student is saying.”

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