Tatiana Calixto must incorporate her classes into the larger academic organization of the Spanish program at the University of Michigan. Often she uses content that has been co-created by colleagues but needs to be adapted to specific classroom needs. She usually doesn’t have access to an “enhanced” classroom with technology so any use of digital content or Internet resources in the classroom must be planned carefully. Much of the work that is done in the classroom focuses on developing Spanish speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. In order to address the need of her students to review content, practice it, and access it outside of the classroom, Dr. Calixto developed a series of podcasts and clips taken from movies (that rely heavily on Fair Use) to help her students practice concepts learned in class right before midterms and other tests.
The Learning Objects that include movie clips incorporate very important context into the lesson objectives. By offering this, Dr. Calixto can engage students beyond just clicking on content, but by watching a scene unfold and understanding how the language describes actions, intent, and events. With this content, students are able to see which sentences and verbs describe the scene.
In order to address difficult concepts that are relatively standardized (grammar and grammar rules), Dr. Calixto created a website that students can access anywhere they have Internet access. Before these podcasts were created, many students were using office hours to ask the same questions over and over. Now the podcasts serve to address this gap in learning, allowing students to access them outside of the classroom with the opportunity to stop, rewind, practice, and review. Dr. Calixto created this website with content she created, based on her experiences with students at U-M. She licensed all of this content, however, so that other Spanish teachers across institutions can access and use the podcasts to support their classrooms. Students at other schools can use these podcasts as well.