Findings and Insight:
It was an incredible thing to watch students so engrossed in the learning activities that they didn't want to stop. I felt students had never learned so much and so enthusiastically without me walking them through it. I was able to set up the learning environment in such a way that they took charge of their own process.
When I was in Florida for the Educational Technology Conference, a substitute was assigned to teach my classes. The substitute does not speak Chinese. How did my students learn from a non-Chinese speaker? A student from Advanced Honor Chinese 5 class taught Chinese Intro II when she was in her free period, and another student taught Chinese III. The most exciting thing was about the Chinese IV student's learning. They had class discussion by themselves through Tapped-in. I was surprised to receive the transcripts from the Chinese IV student's Tapped-In session when I was in Florida. From the transcripts I was very glad to find out that the Chinese IV students learned the new vocabulary of the new lesson and together as a group constructed their new knowledge through Tapped-In. I was so proud of my students for their own learning.
The insights of cycle one are still true. The synchronous and asynchronous communication technologies have still served as tools to facilitate students' learning activities. In project based learning,
the students have collaborated around meaningful projects and powerful ideas
that allow them to get a new sense of themselves as learners - that setting a goal and working to achieve it is something valuable to them. Student-centered learning has enabled the students to control over their own learning, and thus they have learned for deep understanding. As a student states: "This year has been much more beneficial than the past few years just because of the way we have been learning Chinese."
I was very excited to discover from student's learning activities that PowerPoint could not only serve as a presentation tool, but also it could be an interactive teaching tool. I also found out that video recording was not just for presentation, but it could be a powerful assessment tool in the language education.
Self knowledge and reflection reveal and deepen student learning. When students collected their semester's work and began to reflect they realized how much they had done in the first semester. The review also seemed to remind them of their knowledge and helped them retain it. Learning to practice meta cognition helped students to take responsibility for their own learning. The students were thinking about their learning. Since portfolios cause dialogue and reveal perceptions, I became aware that discussions about their reflections would be a good way to further understanding. I think if students presented their portfolios to their parents, parents were then able to see so much more than a grade marked on a paper would have told them.