Questions and Answers

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Could my ReLANpro Classroom double as a computer lab?

Absolutely – the profound benefit of an open system like ReLANpro is that it can be multifunctional, multipurpose. It can serve a spectrum of applications, disciplines, and teaching and learning methods.

How many computers will I need for a computer classroom?

Typically, this is answered by examining what a maximum enrollment might be in a given class that will use the room, and/or the target participant caps as established by the curriculum. If a given class has 28 students, then the answer is most likely “29 computers” for the computer classroom (28 student stations, and at least one for the instructor), plus a server.

A computer classroom can be dynamically different than a computer lab. Hence, since some labs will ask students to “double-up” and share their terminal with a partner if machines are limited, a computer classroom has a different focus, and suggests that each student have individual access to a computer.

Is a 'computer lab' the same as a computer classroom?

The differences between these two terms can be subjective, depending upon the relative pedagogical goals, the methods and accessibility of such a room, and basically, subjective personal or professional opinion.

Many feel that a lab is often:

  • used for a concentrated time for a specific task, or
  • made available to learners on a library-style or
  • drop-in basis for individual study.

A computer classroom, by the inclusion of the word “classroom”, infers a larger context under which instruction occurs. It may be used consistently for a particular program, or a score of programs may all be conducted so that computer resources, vast as they may be, are at the student’s disposal throughout the instruction. This of course includes study-specific computer-assisted delivery, as established by the instructor.

How do I learn to use the classroom to really help my students?

It is common to see exercises, quizzes and other activities simply “transliterated” from more conventional methods to a computer screen. Although these activities can be a good start, the real value of utilizing computer technology in instruction is of course, well beyond this.

We understand the broad scope of developing effective computerized delivery. That is why we offer robust technical training, so that all of our clients have plenty of opportunity to feel very at home with their new system. As a step beyond this, we are developing a large database of resources for instructors. This information resource will help our clients utilize their new classroom to its maximum benefit. From actual “adjust and use” activities, to more theoretical and methods related information, we aim to build a huge repository of helpful data, which will be available to any and all clients. In addition, the Internet offers a wealth of information on successful computer utilization.

The ReLANpro was designed as a language lab. Teachers can distribute practice recordings, allowing students to work at their own pace. Teachers can listen to and talk to students who need advice, and pair them with other students for conversational exercises.

A Wisconsin teacher says, “I love the language lab because it allows my students to push themselves to new levels of speaking. They are excited to communicate with their friends using the technology. I love the fact that oral assessments that used to take 3 class periods, now take only 10 minutes. In the end, our students have more opportunity to practice and gain much more confidence in their language abilities.”

After finishing their AP Spanish test, her students said, “we wouldn’t have scored so well if we hadn’t had the new lab.” The new lab is the ReLANpro.

The ReLANpro offers an easy to use multiple choice testing program (ReABC) which allows students to respond individually and at their own pace. Tests are graded by the system and the results are sent back to each student for reinforcement and/or directly to the teacher’s email.

The ReLANpro ReWrite software allows teachers to send written exercises to the students who then can copy and paste the teacher’s text into a window where their example can be manipulated. Students can translate the text, add punctuation or complete fill in the blank exercises, etc.

The ReLANpro offers teachers far more than a simple computer lab can; it’s the next best thing to being in the country where the target language is spoken.

What about using computers for world languages learning?

Computers have long been used in language instruction (often termed CALL, or “Computer Assisted Language Learning”). We have particular expertise in this area, and can offer field-specific ideas and resources for language learning.

The capabilities of the ReLANpro make it a perfect language laboratory. Language can be truly integrated into an interdisciplinary approach, courtesy of “pen-pal” programs, international archives around the world, and even international chat. Cross-connecting language with history, art, archeology, to name a few, are very exciting potentials. ReLANpro can certainly relieve school districts and higher education settings from the heavy fiscal burden of proprietary language systems.


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