iPad and Language Drills – Using Google Docs and Evernote for Communication

One unique factor about Dartmouth is the inclusion of language drills, a period of time where students are drilled on various types of phrases in a certain language. This method of language drilling is part of the John Rassias method, and is adapted by all of the languages at Dartmouth. Previous students who are at an advanced stage of  a language take part in a rigorous training, and are then chosen by a drill committee. These students are called Assistant Teachers (AT’s), and are typically given a large stack of cards to use for drilling.

This project was a collaboration with Tania Convertini (Language Director of French and Italian), Scott Millspaugh (Lecturer in Italian), and Nikki Boots (Instructional Designer). The project focused on integrating technology with the drilling process by replacing the drilling cards with an iPad. By using apps such as Google Sheets, AT’s and professors are experimenting with communicating with each other throughout the term. The professors and AT’s shared a spreadsheet where they could communicate about which drill cards to review, while the AT’s could report back notes on how the drill session went each day. The students in the classes are also able to view a grades spreadsheet, which contains a current update to the grades.

Evernote Premium was also an app that was used to annotate the drill cards when changes were necessary, such as when certain phrases were ineffective.

Why should AT’s be drilling with the iPads?
-increased ease of communication between instructors and AT’s
-easier long term annotation of content cards (updating the cards)
-increased transparency between the students and the instructor (absences, quality of work)
-more effective curriculum design
-flexibility (choosing cards),
-making the physical load lighter
-increases ownership of teaching by AT’s
- AT’s provide immediate feedback towards grammar drills

Posted in 2013 Projects, Apps, Arts & Humanities, Blog, Case Studies, Collaborating, Ed Tech, Giving Feedback

Using WordPress – Portuguese Language Films at Dartmouth Project (PLFD)

Portuguese-language Films at Dartmouth (PLFD), an interactive digital gateway to the collection of over 1,100 Portuguese-language films at the Dartmouth College Library, began as an organic collaboration between two Portuguese professors (Rodolfo Franconi & Carlos Minchillo), a librarian (Jill Baron), and an instructional designer (Nikki Boots). This project began with the desire to showcase Dartmouth’s impressive library of Lusophone films, as well as engage students learning the language.

Building on the work of Mackey and Jacobson (2011), the PLFD aims at building students’ media or “meta” literacy via the following goals: 1) evaluate content critically; 2) understand information ethics; 3) share information and collaborate; and 4) demonstrate ability to connect learning and research strategies. These four learning goals served as a framework for building the guide and using it as a pedagogical tool in the Portuguese-language classroom.

The PLFD is currently being used as a teaching tool in most Portuguese classes. Advanced students create posts as part of their coursework, gathering information from a variety of Portuguese-language sources, and translating that for this English-language resource.  Film posters, or DVD covers, are borrowed from online sources such as Google Images, IMDB and Cinemateca Brasileira.  This complies with the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ Statement of Fair Use Best Practices for Media Studies Publishing.  Summaries are often borrowed from the Dartmouth Library Catalog, and attribution is given when derived from another source.

To gather more information, please visit https://sites.dartmouth.edu/plfd


Posted in 2013 Projects, Arts & Humanities, Blog, Blogging, Collaborating, Creating, Discussing, Ed Tech

iPad Apps for Research & Productivity, Gear Up Dec 2013

Thank you for visiting our Gear Up table! We’ve gathered up some iPad Apps that you might find helpful to your productivity and research needs. Follow the links to the App store.


Notetaking & Organizing Your Ideas/Tasks:

Reading & Annotating:

Connecting to Others:

Connecting to Your Resources

Statistics & Visualization:


Posted in Blog