On Friday I was able to attend and present at the MAFLA Conference which was held in beautiful Sturbridge, MA. This conference was much larger than I expected and there were teachers from many different places. My presentation on using technology in the language classroom had around 40 teachers in the audience and we had a very lively discussion. The teachers were eager to try out some of the tools I presented and it was great to have an opportunity to discuss how to make the incorporation of technology in the classroom easier for teachers and students alike. After the presentation we discussed issues such as accessibility of certain tools (some tools are compatible some aren’t compatible with tablets) and how to get around these problems, how to adapt activities for different ages of learners, how to prepare students for using technology effectively without overwhelming them, and other topics. It was great to see so much interest in using technology in the classroom.
I also enjoyed speaking with different exhibitors in the exhibit hall. I had an interesting conversation with a representative from Wayside publishing who explained an interest of his publishing company to publish easy readers in different languages. If anyone is interested in writing stories (for different levels, could be middle, or high school, or college), you can contact the Publishing Company and discuss your ideas with them! I had spoken with him because I am always trying to find texts to complement the classroom but they had nothing in German yet!
There were many interesting sessions to choose from (though not enough in German!) and I especially enjoyed a session on using video in the classroom. This presentation not only discussed activities to connect to video showing in the classroom but also included best practices for student-made video projects. This was very interesting for me because we include video projects as our final assessment in German classes.
The conference was very interesting and I encourage you to attend it in the future if you have the chance!