Teachers Teaching Teachers
The ACIE Newsletter, May 1999, Vol. 2, No.
workshop summary submitted by Gabriela
Sweet, NLRC Immersion Project Assistant
immersion teachers “going to school” at
Teachers and administrators from eight immersion schools
in the Twin Cities area met at Emerson School in Minneapolis
(MN) on February 6th to share ideas and strategies on the
use of technology in the immersion classroom, in a workshop
sponsored by the American Council on Immersion Education.
The workshop was broken down into five working sessions, where
participants got a chance for lots of hands-on work with the
Internet, and discussion on key issues related to immersion
The presenters, immersion teachers themselves at the elementary,
middle, and high school levels, led participants through a
variety of activities. Greg Anderson, from the Adams Spanish
Immersion School, held a session on creating basic web pages
using Claris HomePage Trial Software. This software can work
on its own or within Netscape (running without an actual connection),
giving new designers a chance to see how their created pages
might look on the web. Participants reported that they were
happy to see how easy web publishing can be! Teachers had
an opportunity to begin building a page at the workshop, which
they could later take home and develop.
Maureen Curran-Dorsano, from the Normandale French Immersion
Community School, guided participants through building web
activities using Netscape Navigator Composer. This group developed
interactive games about animals.
From Highland Junior High School, science teacher Andy Burfeind
showed how he uses the Internet as a learning resource in
his Spanish immersion classroom. Burfeind led a surfing session,
showing how teachers can effectively use links with their
students during content-based science lessons, and increase
student motivation at the same time through the use of technology.
Emerson’s Tomás Gonda and Terri Geffert, from
Bridgewater Elementary in North- field, collaborated on a
demonstration of KidPix, a program they both use in their
Spanish immersion classrooms. Gonda and Geffert showed how
teachers can create slide shows that tie to lessons, using
both audio and video to
reinforce students’ developing language skills.
Víctor Barela, from the Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion
School, led an informative session on assessing students’
speaking ability in the second language through the use of
video. In addition, Barela showed examples of rubrics in use
at Robbinsdale, providing workshop participants with a concrete
example of performance-based assessment.
Robbinsdale’s Angie Cabrera provided user-friendly guidelines
for creating multimedia presentations through HyperStudio.
In addition, all participants received a disk containing web
site URLs specifically chosen for immersion teachers, featuring
sites for class activities, software, identifying “key
pals,” and more.
Participants noted that, despite their busy schedules, the
opportunity to meet with immersion colleagues to learn from
each other was tremendously valuable. “I tend to forget
that other people have faced the same challenges that I have,”
admitted one teacher. “It’s great to be able to
collaborate: it makes my work that much easier! Good to remember
that we’re all in this together.”