Mary Jane Kelley, Ohio University
The Ohio Valley Foreign Language Alliance held its annual fall meeting at Ohio University in Athens on Saturday, October 31, 2015. This year’s program featured a workshop on “Integrating Technology to Assess for Student Proficiency” lead by Bryan Drost, Director of Educational Services for Firelands Local Schools and Tech Integration Committee Chair for OFLA. Drost guided the thirty participants through a series of mobile-apps and Web-2.0 tools that lend themselves to real-world learning in the language classroom. Drost shared examples of activities he has created using these apps in order to teach and assess the eight themes of the Ohio Standards via Integrated Performance Assessments (IPAs). The three-hour hands-on workshop was lively and entertaining as Drost alternated between demonstration, participation, and small-group experimentation. As always at our OVFLA meetings, participants had time to catch up, meet new members, and share ideas informally over coffee and other refreshments.
The 2015 meeting represents 32 years of collaboration between high school and university language teachers in Southeast Ohio. Again this year, newly minted language teachers joined veterans to dialogue about the most important issues facing our profession. It was particularly gratifying to see that our meeting generated some buzz on the OFLA listserv!