When I arrived, Diana Vera-Alba and her principal Bernard Balanay greeted me. We spent some time going over her project plan and TIMAC deliverables. While working on her TESOL certificate, Diana was introduced to Voxopop, which she loves. Her principal played a lesson Diana had created for her class.
Diana’s project involves training teachers to use voxopop.com. The Website allows teachers to record lessons. Students can then practice their pronunciation and record their voices. She wants to create lessons using dialog from their textbooks and then have students record the dialog while in the computer lab. Diana has been working with two mentees, Laura Canche and Eileen Pesa. I was delighted when Laura stopped by and expressed her excitement about the project. Diana has already set up free administrator accounts on Voxopop for her mentees and also has helped their classes set up email accounts.
Diana and Mr. Balanay, then took me on a grand tour of their campus, pausing as we left his office to point out one of their computer carts using in classrooms. Our first stop was the newly renovated Cisco Networking classroom. Under each student desk was a computer. Monitors are conveniently stored beneath the desktop and flipped up when needed. Mr. Balanay was excited about the new Culinary Arts facility and the photos of students’ work impressed us.
Next it was on to the Multimedia and Introduction to the Computer Lab and the Medical Assistant Clinical classroom. We paused briefly to watch ESL instructor Vince Ortiz using music to help his students learn. We then stopped by the Parent Education classroom and the adjoining indoor playground.
We passed quietly through the Distance Learning and Computer Applications Labs. They have many computer labs. The last one was the Media Center. This is the lab used by ESL teachers and where Diana and her mentees will be helping students log into Voxopop. Our final destination was Diana’s ESL classroom.
It was an amazing visit. Diana has a great start on her TIMAC project and the enthusiasm to support and inspire her mentees.