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Wimba Voice Tools for Langauge Labs and More!

A couple of our members who teach Latin mentioned to me that they are using Wimba Voice Tools to modernize the language lab component of their classes. While I am not intended this post to be a sales pitch, after reviewing the site and speaking to folks who have used Voice Tools for their classes, Wimba seems to be on the right track in getting modern technology into the hands of language teachers to facilitate the oral and aural components of learning a language (including Latin and ancient Greek).

From the Wimba web site: Voice Tools are "perfect for language learning and creating vocal exercises in any subject...web-based voice tools facilitate and promote vocal instruction, collaboration, coaching, and assessment. Increase the interaction and student engagement level of any online class by allowing faculty and students to easily embed vocal interactions into the page level of their CMS [course management system]."

Wimba offers the following benefits to language instructors: live discussions between students and teachers anytime, anywhere; teach foreign languages by speaking and listening; encourage ongoing discussions and debates; teach pronunciation, rhythm, stress, and emphasis; 24/7 access (for those students who like to do their homework at three in the morning); live conversation and voice coaching; threaded voiceboards; voice-enabled e-mail; integrate with a CMS (like Blackboard); record voice assessments.

And yes, to continue the wildly popular threads on podcasting on this site, Wimba Voice Tools can help you with that, too.

Wimba Voice Tools are currently being used in several college and high school language programs and centers like: UCLA Center for World Languages, the University of Minnesota, Choice 2000 Online High School, the University of Wisconsin - Madison Language Institute, Emory University, the University of British Columbia and literally dozens of other institutions of higher learning.

If you have used Wimba Voice Tools and want to share your stories with the rest of the group, please leave your comments here! Latin should have an oral component to it, and Wimba Voice Tools are a great way to set up a system to manage the audio content that supplements your written homework and tests.


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Comment by Laura Gibbs on June 10, 2007 at 11:22pm
Wimba was considered to be too costly for use at my school (where they have fully online courses in Spanish, French, Italian, German and Russian) - there's a very detailed assessment of Wimba here: http://uccllt.ucdavis.edu/WimbaBCF/wimba.pdf. It contains a lot of useful information for those who are interested in the possiiblities!

When I taught Biblical Greek online, the students did their audio contributions using Audacity software, which is a great free software option, available for both Windows and Macintosh. There are some great materials for Audacity linked here (Wes Fryer podcasting workshop): http://teachdigital.pbwiki.com/podcasting.

Audacity is the software I use to do audio, and I've used it on both Windows and Mac; it works great on both.


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