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Title: Speaking of Tablets: An idea to promote digital learning in my school





Every school offers languages. At most schools the choice is simple: French or Spanish.  My school offers these two obligatory languages and German. Really, these choices only begin to scratch the surface of languages. I propose that my school invest in language software and tablet computers. Then, as a class or an extracurricular option, students would be able to use these tablets and software in order to master a language outside of the usual constraints of a classroom. With this software, students needn’t rely on having a capable teacher, can move at their own pace; one student could work on implementing the subjunctive, while another ensures he can apply the basic conjugations. Also, those fluent in a language can more easily switch to one that would be more applicable in their lives. So, instead of taking French or German next year, having finished all the available Spanish courses, I could learn Portuguese, allowing me to travel all of South America. Personal software, while not overwhelmingly expensive, would still be a large commitment for most families in my school district, at $500 for all 5 levels per language. Both companies offer discounts for schools, which would maximize the effect this program could have. To boot, Ohio’s credit flex option would allow students who can demonstrate proficiency to earn credit for their work, even if the learning occurred outside of school hours. To compete, we need to expand linguistically and I can think of no better place to improve than a Midwestern public high school like mine.

This essay appeared on World of Learning Blog; Josie submitted it to a contest held by Olive Garden.

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