Blueprints for collaborative action were the ambitious goal the Tech Center had set forth in its most recent event “Pathways to Collaborations” in Eugene, OR. The workshop was held in conjunction with the International Association for Language Learning Technology’s (IALLT) biennial conference at the University of Oregon on June 23, 2019. At this event, the Tech Center leveraged the expertise of Flagship colleagues, Flagship alumni, language center directors, and other professionals in the IALLT network working at the intersection of language learning and instructional technology.
Guided by the principles of design thinking, the participants focused on laying the groundwork for inter-institutional collaborations involving the integration of technology in language programs and Flagship institutions. A total of five projects emerged from the day-long workshop. Regular online work meetings, facilitated by the Tech Center, are scheduled in Fall to keep the momentum and further advance the proposed projects.
In preparation for the event, participants were asked to share their ideas for collaboration via a virtual hub in Padlet, a collaborative online platform. The goal for the end of the day was to have a rough plan for implementing multi-institutional collaborations built around the ideas that have the most potential. The Tech Center scaffolded the formation of these plans using a set of guidelines that help make ideas comprehensible to potential funders and supporters. Over a year after the event, two projects continue to be supported by the original participants and an expanded community: AMPLIFY (launched on August 12, 2020) and PODCASTS (launch TBA).
AMPLIFY: A Professional Learning Resource Aggregator
The goal is to create a common architecture for sharing professional learning resources and events that will allow participating institutions to open existing events to a broader audience and share institutional expertise in areas of common interest.
Finding podcasts that are suitable for or even relevant to language learning can be a challenge, partly because of the time needed to scan audio in order to find suitable content (e.g., particular language features, dialects, discourse domains, etc.). This project aims for an index of vetted podcasts that can be searched using parameters relevant to world languages.
Open Educational Resources (OER4U)
People working in language teaching/learning at various institutions have started using H5P but need common solutions to problems and the ability to share H5P materials with each other, as well as help with effective uses of the software. OER4U proposes providing a location for easily finding and accessing OER content that can be used in any course. Content is smaller learning artifacts not full texts or units, specifically looking to start with H5P content.
Steps to Advanced Reading (STAR)
STAR is an app that targets reading proficiency in Russian both at micro and macro levels. With the inclusion of further choices for short curated, authentic readings, the app may be expanded to other Flagship languages, in particular, Arabic and Chinese, to help students reach advanced reading proficiency for their Capstone year.
Immersive mixed reality is making inroads in language education. This group explores how to leverage AR and VR technologies by defining, crystallizing, and discovering the benefits of immersive exploratory practices through student generated-content.