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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Updated Language Learning Resource Page

If you are interested in assessing your level of Spanish proficiency on-line, want to know the most commonly used Korean vocabulary, or need a "quick fix" of essential Norwegian holiday phrases, then check out CARLA's newly-updated Language-Specific Content Links Page. This page, compiled by language instructors, contains many links in a variety of languages, including LCTLs like Hebrew, Hmong and Korean. It is useful for instructors and students alike.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Expanded International TV Schedule in Multimedia Lab

The Multimedia Lab has expanded its International TV programming this semester. We now offer programming in Finnish and Korean, in addition to French, Spanish, German, Chinese, and many other languages. Check the schedule below to see when your favorite languages will be broadcast on the Lab's large-screen TV. Each channel is also available any time on the desktop computers in the Lab if you'd like to watch on the small screen; ask the Lab attendants how to do this.

You can view the schedule online at our website.

Wimba Users: Instructors and Students Need to Enable Java

In the interests of being a good network citizen, keeping Language Center computers safe and secure and safekeeping the data of our users, Java will be turned off in web browsers by default in Language Center classrooms and the Multimedia Lab starting this Fall. Java has proven to be a leading source of security exploits allowing malware to be installed and run in the background. This can occur even without a user clicking on anything and when visiting what might be assumed to be a trusted site like CNN.

We recognize that this will add some extra steps for classes using Wimba activities which need Java to run. Students will need to change a setting in the browser preferences and re-open the browser. The Classroom Support and Multimedia Lab teams are committed to providing excellent customer service and will do everything possible to make this new policy easy for instructors and students; providing training and assistance as needed. Please email elsie@umn.edu if you have questions or feel that your classes will need additional support.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

World Languages Day Comes Home to the East Bank!

For the 10th annual event, World Languages Day will return to the East Bank of the University Of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, after two years on the West Bank. High school students will take classes in the recently renovated Folwell, Jones and Nicholson classrooms, as well as the beautiful Bell Museum!

On Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 approximately 850 high school sophomores will come to campus to take three short classes on a variety of language and culture topics. Since the event was last held on the East Bank in 2010, Folwell has undergone a complete interior renovation, and most of the Jones Hall computer classrooms have been updated.

Breakfast and check in materials will be distributed outdoors, and welcoming remarks will be spread across several classrooms for a more personal and interactive experience for students.

The other big change is that all students will register for three interactive language and culture classes with 25 to 35 to students in each class. We will not offer larger informational classes as one of the options for the three classes. Schools interested in informational topics, such as admissions, college readiness and learning abroad can register for an additional class scheduled before the first language and culture class. This will allow all students to sample up to three languages, while retaining access to useful information related preparing and applying for college, and getting the most out of the college experience.

Students that do not attend the optional information class will have a shorter day, and a later start time. Students whose teacher has selected an optional class will have an extended day and attend a total of four classes.

The World Languages Day team is currently working on an international music playlist to play during periods of time when students are waiting. If you have a favorite modern, upbeat, non-English language song, please email your suggestion to wld@umn.edu.

More information about the 2013 event will be available on our website later this fall.

Jones Hall Computer Classrooms - Now on Google Cal

Beginning Fall 2012, Google Cal is the system used to manage all Language Center reservable spaces, including the four classrooms: Jones 10, 15, 30 and 35.

You can view the calendar online at our website. The web view only recently became accessible, and we have found that Firefox and Safari are good browsers for accessing the calendar. Here are some highlights of the move to Google Cal:

  • Classrooms are reserved via the Language Center online request form, not directly into Google. The online request form can be used to reserve all Language Center resources, including small rooms, media and equipment.

  • Language instructors and other individuals who schedule rooms will be "invited" to the reservation so that it shows up on their calendar. This will make it easier for instructors to remember when their class meets in a Jones classroom.

  • When classrooms are scheduled by a level coordinator, and the instructor is TBA, no instructors will be invited. Instructors will be added at a later date, once the teaching schedule is posted on Onestop.

  • When a reservation is confirmed, instructors and other individuals who reserve rooms will receive an attached agenda with all upcoming dates at a glance. The agenda will also be available through Google Docs, and will be updated if changes occur later in the semester.

  • Confirmations will be sent from a new email account, lc-staff@umn.edu.The primary departmental account remains elsie@umn.edu.

  • Media and equipment reservations are still managed through FileMaker Pro, not Google Cal.

We now have four DiLL classrooms available for Fall reservation. Here is a reminder of classroom size for each:

  • Jones 10 = 30 computers
  • Jones 15 = 28 computers
  • Jones 30 = 29 computers
  • Jones 35 = 24 computers

Learn more about the renovated Jones 35 at Elsie Speaks, or stop by this week for a tour.