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.