Technology Use and Presentational Language

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Materials from Sept 2011 Instructor Retreat

short url:




pdf handout

Why use technology?

Because it can capture (transient) speech

However, you have choices:

What to assign, how to capture it, and how to share it

What I do when I teach presentation

  • Show other presentations – online and me, live
  • Students do presentations ~ 1/week >> Video capture and share >> Peers critique immediately
  • Teacher critique: sometimes in writing, sometimes in 1-on-1 meetings
  • Students write reflection (sometimes) and then do a second draft (sometimes)

Showing examples: use the Internet

  • What to show: Examples that illustrate a point, a style, something cultural, 5 min or less
  • Reflection questions for students: How is this different with respect to structure, physicality (eye contact, gestures), voice (pronunciation, intonation, pace)?

Choosing a mode for student presentations

  • Modes: recorded vs. live (nervousness is part of the experience)
  • Recorded modes: audio recording vs. webcam talking head (both can be done in the Lab)
  • Live modes: speech vs. presentation (In what situations is a ppt deck culturally accurate?)

How to capture video

  • Buying a camera: SD-card, may need a mic jack, use lowest video quality possible
  • Audio: weakest link, but the most important, get an external mic if necessary
  • Encoding settings: sacrifice audio for video (see
  • Important: use some sort of backup system (audio recorder)

What to do with captured video

  • Get the video to the student ASAP: email, drop box, Kaltura
  • Give feedback and get a reflection from students
  • Options for commenting: live meetings, text, audio/ video annotations (not really worth it?)

Peer feedback options

  • Live or online, but learners may not be able to accurately comment


  • Explore your culturally appropriate options
  • Constrain the student presentations very precisely
    • Format: ohp / ppt / keynote / pdf / prezi / etc.
    • Reading < Using notes < Impromptu
    • Recorded edited audio < Recorded video < Live
    • Short < Long
    • Speeches < Presentations (unless they are just reading slides)
    • US Presentation < Target culture presentation
  • Have a backup capture (even if it is just audio), and don’t capture over the network
  • Upload immediately after class: Download is OK for < 10MB, otherwise find a way to stream (Kaltura!)
  • Structure feedback requirements: peer, reflection, and your comments


  • Other class members? Yes: We’re all in this together
  • On the open web? No: There are privacy issues, even if students are comfortable
  • "Real" pressure is good? What is your policy for visitors? Student / parent expectations?


  • In CourseWork! Or temporarily keep them in a special folder for deletion at end of quarter.


  • Can I use my iPad/iPhone?  Usually the mic is not good enough to capture what you want, but you could try it out.  Also, when you connect the device to your computer, the video gets processed by iTunes.  You need to know all of the places the file gets saved and copied once it goes through iTunes, so that you can completely get rid of it when you are done with the course.
  • Is there a better way to record the audio in multi-participant discussions?  There are multi-channel recording devices that we might purchase.  However, an easier solution would just be to place a digital audio recorder next to each participant.  This idea, of course, begs the question of how you would listen to something that had many channels, no matter how you recorded it.  One option would be to listen to each audio track separately, and you could even add each one to a video track to make separate videos for each participant.  However, this plan does assume that you will actually listen to or watch each version, which may be a bit ambitious for most language instructors.
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