CALICO 2014 – Athens, OH

May 7-11 I attended the annual CALICO conference at Ohio University in Athens, OH. CALICO is always a great conference because it brings together people who share a passion for computer-assisted language learning. This year’s conference theme was “Open, Online, Massive: The Future of Language Learning?” A multitude of sessions was offered that addressed diverse topics including virtual realities, research issues in CALL, specific tech tools for the classroom, and other SLAT-topics. 

Today I want to share what I think will be useful information for other teachers interested in working with technology, not just in the classroom but also for work purposes. I attended a session  on “Top 10 Technology Tools for Foreign Language Instructors” and found some of the presented tools to be very interesting, so I thought I’d share them here.

  1. This website can be used to shorten a website, so if you created a website or have a link that is really long, you can paste it here and it will give you a shortened URL. It’s useful if you often write links on the board, for example, and don’t want to write a really long URL.
  2.  This website was very interesting and I will need to try it out a bit, to really see what it can offer. It’s a tool that allows you to upload different documents, images, videos, websites, and organize them, as well as use a slide show to present it. You can also work collaboratively with others, so it’s a bit like sharing a google doc folder, only that here you can view everything right away. Check it out, it’s pretty neat!
  3. This website helps you to cut out only a segment of a youtube video, if you want to show only a part of it. You can combine this tool with tool #4
  4. With this tool you can combine youtube videos to create a medley of different videos.
  5. This tool allows you to download a youtube video to your computer. You can choose from different file formats, for example you can download only the audio.
  6.  This tool can do two things: you can use it if you need to make screenshots from a DVD; and you can use it to play all region DVDs without having to change the region code on your laptop!
  7. With this tool you can convert files into different formats. I don’t usually do this, so I am not sure when you would use this 🙂
  8. Here you can convert documents and other files into other formats (doc, pdf, …)
  9. This is a tool for sharing and viewing files even if you may not have the required program (Adobe) installed on your computer. it supports over 200 different formats.
  10. This is a tool similar to Jing that works like a screencast recorder. It has some advantages over JING, for example you can record longer videos.

I hope that some of these tools sparked your interest and maybe you will try them out! If you tried them out, I would love to read about it in the comments. Do you think there are other tech tools that should make the list of “top ten tools for instructors”? 


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