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Monday, October 24, 2011

TandemPlus and the Multimedia Lab: Having an Awesome Autumn

Multimedia Lab
All work and no play?
Students enjoy the new lounge furniture in the Multimedia Lab

The Fall semester has gotten off to a great start for TandemPlus -- this is by far our biggest semester yet. There are 639 people registered, and 427 people have been matched for exchanges in 17 languages!

We hold many events for all Tandem participants, both matched and unmatched. So far we have hosted a kick-off party, and are currently planning a bowling night for all Tandem registrants at Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Union on November 11.

Our Skype matches are growing and an interest in Tandem is spreading through our international partners in countries such as France, Japan, and Russia.

Our class exchanges are also growing. This semester we have collaborated with 12 universities overseas to bring language classes and students together through technology. Students are assigned partners from a class overseas and spend half the time speaking in both of their native languages, allowing them to practice their second language and gain cultural insight.

We are enthusiastic about the future of the TandemPlus Program and so excited to keep moving forward as the program expands!

The redesigned Multimedia Lab in Jones Hall is also having a great semester. Students are flocking to the new design, which features hexagonal computer tables which allow more collaboration between lab patrons while better utilizing the lab's available space. Students are loving the "laptop bar" where they can work and charge their laptop and portable devices, or even print wirelessly to the lab's laser printer from their laptops, while they enjoy lots of natural light from the west-facing windows overlooking Pleasant Street. Students are also using the lab's new sectional couch and tablet-arm chairs to study and relax. Lab use has increased greatly this semester, but don't worry -- we still have space for you.

We still are looking for a new name for this awesome study space, so if you have a suggestion, post it in the comments section of this blog post!

Upcoming plans for the Multimedia Lab include live international programming on the lab's two flat-screen TVs. We will have a full list of programming, including news, game shows, and movies, from around the globe, in a variety of languages. Look for this Spring semester!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tutorial - Observe, Message and Chat with Apple Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop IconHave you ever asked your students to do a web-based activity in the classroom only to discover later that they were hopelessly lost surfing the web? What if there was a way to quickly glance at all the students computers to see what they were up to? And better yet, what if there was a way to discreetly send students a message to help them get back on track? With Apple Remote Desktop, there is!

What is Apple Remote Desktop?
Apple Remote Desktop is a software that allows instructors to remotely view, communicate and control classroom computers. It's installed on the Instructor machine in Jones 10, 15 and 30.


How can I use Apple Remote Desktop to observe students?
Observe a single student
  1. Open Apple Remote Desktop
  2. Click "All computers"
  3. Select a computer
  4. Click "Observe"

Observe multiple students
  1. Open Apple Remote Desktop
  2. Click on "Status" to sort Available computers from Unavailable computers
  3. Select all Available computers (Use shift to select more than one at a time)
  4. Click "Observe"
  5. Select computers from thumbnails
  6. Click "Observe" arrow icon.

ARD_Message.png How can I use Apple Remote Desktop to send students a message?
With Remote Desktop, you can send one-way messages to one or many students at a time.
  1. Select computers
  2. Click "Send Message"
  3. Type in your message.
  4. Click "Send."
  5. Your message will appear on the students' computer screens.

ARD_Chat.pngHow can I use Apple Remote Desktop to send and receive messages from students?
You can also have a two-way chat message with one student (you can not chat with multiple students)
  1. Select computer
  2. Click "Chat"
  3. Type your message and click "Send Message"
  4. Wait for reply

Have you ever used Apple Remote Desktop in your classes? Share your experiences in the comments section!

What other tutorials would you like to see on Elsie Speaks? Leave us a comment, or let Alyssa Ruesch, Classroom Support Coordinator, know what questions you have about using technology in your second language class.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Tandem Plus Fall Kickoff Event

Last Friday afternoon TandemPlus celebrated its sixth annual kickoff event. This year 125 American and International students attended the celebration in Nolte Center and enjoyed conversing in different languages, eating treats, and even singing songs. There are 571 students registered for TandemPlus this semester, making it the biggest semester yet! We hope to continue to grow the program and expand our international and community ties. Thanks so much for coming out to the event and for making the beginning of the sixth anniversary of Tandem a success!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Start Getting Excited for World Languages Day 2012!

Planning for the 9th annual World Languages Day is underway! The date is set for Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 and, similar to last year, the event will take place on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota campus.

World Languages Day is an opportunity for Minnesota high school students to explore some of the languages and cultures of the world and to experience life at the University of Minnesota. The event is intended for sophomore-level language classes, although other high school students are invited to attend, as well as teachers, counselors and parents.

This year we hope to once again offer the option of virtual attendance. Once we get a better idea of what the interest and expectation will be, we hope to create a virtual experience that will be enriching to high schools who are unable to attend the event in person.

We also hope to offer some new courses this year and we are always open to ideas, so please let us know if you have a suggestion for a new class on language or culture or if you would like to recommend a potential instructor. We are hoping to find an instructor to teach Hindi, Hebrew and a Native American language, since these subjects had to be dropped last year. We plan to offer a new panel class, which will focus on what college life and language study is like. Student ambassadors will lead the panel and allow high school students to ask questions that are relevant to them.

Interested in learning more? Read this summary of the 2011 event or visit the World Languages Day website.


Want proof of how much high school students enjoy World Languages Day?
This student, who attended the 2011 event, painted each of her fingernails as a different flag of the world!