I believe that in order to meet the needs of our students, who are digital learners, we need to implement the use of technology on a regular basis in our lessons. I think that learning the new means of communication that students use will not only raise the probability of engaging them in our lessons, but will also make our own teaching more intriguing and challenging.
Technology requires, by definition, a continuous adjustment to the new forms of learning. Textbooks with smartboard software and dynamic activities have slowly replaced the old type of grammar-oriented courses and have revealed themselves way more effective and student-centered. I assign technology-based homework and projects on a regular basis, and often ask students to be creative and use the software they are comfortable with. They often surprise me with the latest technological tools and often teach me new apps and software that I then use to create new lessons.
I use Google docs on a daily basis and communicate with my students through group mails, individual emails and shared documents and presentations. I post most of my activities on the Schoology platform and calendar. Before Schoology, the communication took place through the website http://missp-classes.weebly.com , where I posted some of the lessons and several other class information. Students are encouraged to create their own website for my class; some of their sites are listed in the site on the above link.
Students’ technological products in my classes have improved dramatically during the years. I am attaching some examples from the past years, just to give an idea of the technological skills they displayed while learning Italian in my classes. Many students created websites for their course (see http://missp-classes.weebly.com/students-websites.html ), but their creativity is displayed in a lot of different technological forms (posters, power-point presentations, videos, cliparts, logos, postcards, advertisements and more). Also, I am including a couple of posters and worksheets that I myself designed to support some of the activities in class.