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2011 Summer Technology Report

The NALRC hosted the 2011 Technology Workshop from May 31st to June 3rd (concurrent with the second week of the Summer Institute 2011) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The goal of the one-week, hands-on technology workshop led by Professor Jacques du Plessis from the University of  Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was to demonstrate how technology can be used as an effective tool for African language teachers, and to teach the participants how to use technology to their advantage.  The workshop was comprised of nine participants from across the United States.  These participants represented Arabic, Isixhosa, Swahili, Wolof, and Yoruba languages.

On the first day of the workshop, the participants were taught how to use PREZI, a free cloud-based presentation platform.  The participants learned how to create effective and visually pleasing PREZI presentations and how to incorporate YouTube videos and images into their presentations.  They were also taught how to use “Jing” a screen capture tool to gather images and videos to insert into PREZI. “Jing” has many applications and the participants were shown how to use some of these to benefit their students. For example, “Jing” enables language teachers to send links of class material to their students. The participants were tasked with creating vocabulary/pronunciation presentations for their native languages using both PREZI and “Jing”.

On the second day of the workshop, the participants were shown how to use colors in PREZI and editing tools such as IrfanView and CorelDRAW were introduced as tools that could be utilized to enhance PREZI presentations.  By the end of the day, the participants were able to incorporate images (JPEG, BMP, GIF etc) and PDF documents into PREZI and use Google Sites as a tool to edit HTML links and to share links from “Jing” with others.  The participants also spent time working on their vocabulary/pronunciation presentations.

Audacity, a program to record and edit sound, was another tool introduced to the participants on the third day.  The participants learned how to record their sounds, remove white noise and amplify selected sounds in the recording, fix mistakes, and save the recording as an MP3 file.  Best practices for recording were discussed, such as speaking slowly and keeping the volumes constant.  The participants each translated a fairy tale into their own language and recorded it, and learned how to incorporate sound into PREZI presentations.

An awards ceremony was held in Bascom Hall on June 3rd, 2011 to celebrate the completion of both the 2011 Technology Workshop and the 2011 Summer Institute.  Opening remarks were given by Professor Antonia Schleicher, NALRC Director and Professor of African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin Madison, and Professor Dustin Cowell, Chair of the Department of African Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Participants of the Technology Workshop and Summer Institute gave cultural performances and reflections of their programs.  There were Zulu, Urohobo, Akan-Twi, Swahili, Yoruba, Sesotho, and Wolof performances to captivate the invited guests at the ceremony. Certificates were awarded to the participants by Professor Jacques du Plessis and Professor Dustin Cowell . Closing remarks and thanks were given by Thulani John Mbuli, a participant of the Summer Institute and Said Hannouchi , a participant of the Summer Technology Workshop .

The following participants received certificates from the NALRC for completing the 2011 Technology Workshop:

Buyiswa Mini – University of Florida (Isixhosa)
Teles Machibaya – University of Arizona (Swahili)
Kazeem Sanuth – University of Wisconsin (Yoruba)
Paap Alasane Sow – University of California-Berkeley (Wolof)
Said Hannouchi – University of Wisconsin (Arabic)
Adeolu Ademoyo – Cornell University (Yoruba)
Hicham El Majdi – University of Wisconsin (Arabic)
Sami Alkyam – University of Wisconsin (Arabic)
Sadam Issa – University of Wisconsin (Arabic)

Memories in FLASH may be found HERE