Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"there's an app for that..."

In less than 2 weeks (eek!) I will be starting my 5th year of teaching, and my 4th year of teaching french as a second language.  I have only taught French 9 to date, and this year I will be teaching both French 10 and French 11 as well.  As you can imagine, dictionaries are hot commodities in class!  Last year I only had 5 good, extensive dictionaries and despite telling students at the beginning of the year that they should also get their own good, extensive dictionaries, many either did not get one at all, or went to their local office supply store and got the $5 version.  So with 27 students there was a lot of sharing and a lot of "Madame, comment dit-on (blah blah blah) en français?".  It was not ideal.

A couple of weeks ago I found that Larousse offers both an online dictionary and an iPhone/iPad app!

Larousse French Dictionary

The iPhone app is $5.99 which is both significantly cheaper than the paper version, and much easier to lug around in a backpack.  I know that not all of my students have an iPhone but many have an iPod touch so if I could get at least a few of them to get the app then that would free up some dictionaries for the other students.

This does bring up a question though for all of you:  do you let your students use their iPhone/iPod touch in class?  Would you let them use an app like this one?

1 comment:

  1. Web 2.0 in classroom is fascinating topic of discussion. Student use of technology is incredible! I know that at my house there is no need for call waiting because of the 4 different cell phone numbers that could be called if someone really needed us! In attempt to keep students engaged in class by connecting the classroom to the their real world, it seems timely to start finding ways to bring a little of the student's world into the classroom. We know as educators that students are using their phones/itouches during slow times of class so why not get them to put the technology to good use? I would think that if a teacher took time to understand the app and had the relationship with the students to create an agreement on the use of the technology in the class and was willing to follow through on keeping on top of the proper use of the app, then it would be appropriate and even useful for the app to be used in the classroom. Secondary schools and universities across the country and the US are already finding ways to use the Twitter app to keep students up to date on classroom topics and deadlines. Worth investigating I would say! The online dictionary is a great idea! Thanks for the link.