What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

It all started innocently enough when Susan Furste, Foreign Language Department Head at Ashland High School, asked Ron Rehbein of EBI Systems if he ever ran multi-day summer training programs for users of the SANAKO 300 Lab.

His reply went something like, “Great idea, would you like to organize it?” As a result of their efforts, July 10 found 15 teachers from 5 different school districts sitting in the brand-new language lab at Ashland High School.

The group consisted of teachers who had been using the lab for several years, relatively new users, teachers who had used a different lab and were moving to a school with a Sanako 300 Lab, and teachers who would soon have a lab in their high school. Over the next three days, under Ron’s expert and very patient tutelage, we would progress from learning about the basic functions of the lab to more technologically sophisticated applications that are sure to dazzle our students and, along the way, increase their proficiency in the language they are learning.

Monitoring Student Activity
Even the teachers who had prior experience in a Sanako 300 Lab learned new things at every turn. Monitoring students’ activities in the language lab is always a challenge – making sure that they are on-task rather than playing poker on the web, for example. I had been using the thumbnail view feature (accessed from “other” on the toolbar at the top of the screen) and then clicking on an individual screen to see a larger version.

We learned about the auto-monitoring feature which is available on the right side of the main screen. This features automatically cycles through all of the students in the group you select so that the teacher can see what is on their individual screens sequentially in a larger format. By double clicking on student screens you can talk with them and reiterate the necessity of practicing irregular verbs in the subjunctive as opposed to checking the baseball standings.”

The preceding material was an excerpt from an article entitled “What I Learned on My Summer Vacation”, by Deborah Fernald Roberts. Find out more about her experiences during a refresher course on use of SANAKO Lab 300 by reading the full article in the SANAKO User Club. Visit the columnists’ page to learn more. Or you can read the article in the latest issue of the online Language Learning Newsletter on our US website. Just click  here to go!