So I’m taking the German class, and one of the things we do for our teacher ever week is to record an audio journal. I use Voice Recorder (FREE) to record on my the journal on my phone. It’s very easy to use, but I haven’t found a great way to edit audio on the iPhone or on the iPad. I suppose I’m a little picky, being a recovering podcaster and all. I am trying to find a way to assign audio homework to my students as well, without it being a pain in the neck to collect and grade.
This week I made the video above using Adobe Voice, which is a crazy easy way to narrate a slideshow. In terms of audio, it’s even easier than the voice recorder; you can’t edit the audio, but you can do multiple takes of smaller chunks of audio. Also, there is a good chance that your slideshow might actually be interesting to watch. It’s a thing right now to make student work that is shareable; the idea is that students try harder when they know that their audience is the whole internet.
The image to the left is a screenshot of me using the Google Translate app camera function on my German homework. I pointed my camera at some German sentences, and the app changed them to English right before my eyes like magic. Well, “English” is a strong word; the translations come out a little janky.
The funny thing about Google Translate is that people, and by people I mean students–they don’t want to believe that the final product is often janky. They see the sentence “At me in” and “They comes from Germany” and they think, oh yes, this is an awesome way to get my homework done faster. Then when a teacher like me confronts them and says “this is a machine translation,” they get all haughty and say they worked really hard, and how dare you accuse them, my daddy is a lawyer, meow meow meow…
(It’s the same when they get a native speaker to translate their homework for them; the native speakers throw in advanced grammar and idioms and the students try to pass it off as their own.)
It’s not even difficult to spot.
Finally, my German teacher Frau S showed be a paperback book called “Café in Berlin” from the “Learn German With Stories” series I was surprised, because I’ve already read this book; in fact I’ve read the whole series. I told Frau S that I read it on my kindle, which is handy because you can just poke at a word to find the definition in the dictionary. She was not happy at all when I said this, because looking up everything instantly is not good for your second language reading strategies. Don’t worry, Frau S, this is not my first rodeo. Anyway, I’m halfway to a paperless lifestyle; no more paperbacks for me.