What is a SmartClass+ Language Lab?
A Smartclass+ Language Lab is a multi-user interactive software platform that enables language teachers to build and manage language learning activities for their students – and deliver those activities for both in-class and self-study assignments.
- Teachers orchestrate interactive multimedia language lab activities for their students from an easy-to-use desktop interface.
- Students participate in the classwork and homework activities using any device and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) capabilities are fully supported.
Why use a SmartClass+ Language Lab?
Statistically, in schools having language classes of 25 to 30 students, the average student speaks for less than one minute per hour of class time.
The SmartClass+ Language Lab platform amplifies the opportunities for speaking practice by a factor of 10x. This is realized through activities like conversation pairing and oral recording, where all students are able to speak concurrently.
The SmartClass+ Language Lab enables students to use any type of device. Our available BYOD module supports Bring Your Own Device and 1-to-1 programs for both class work and self-study.
- Windows PCs
- Tablets (iPad, Android)
- Smartphones (iPhone)
Remote access to SmartClass+ self-study activities can be extended over the Internet using either the available SmartClass+ HomeWork module or the new secure cloud-based hosting option. Users (students and teachers) can work:
- In class
- From a study hall
- From the library
- From home
- From a coffee shop
With remote access enabled, students have 24/7 access to self-study assignments and teachers can manage all aspects of activity building, assignment, review and grading. At any time, and from any location, teachers can:
- Import or create multimedia materials
- Import or modify class rosters
- Prepare & assign new activities
- Review & grade student work
- Provide feedback to students
A SmartClass+ language laboratory can be used with all levels and all ages of learners, as teachers can customize learning activities to suit their students’ capabilities
- Elementary schools
- Middle schools
- High schools
To ensure that all teachers can confidently use their SmartClass+ digital language lab, simplicity and ease-of-use are hallmarks of our user interface.
- Clear on-screen language
- Uncluttered controls
- Step-by-step teacher guidance
- Simple exercise templates
- Automated file transfers
Teachers build up their own library of student activities using the powerful exercise templates integrated within the language lab system.
- Transparent to all languages – MFL, ESL & ASL
- English, Spanish, French, German, etc.
- Webcam support for sign languages
- Support for standardized tests like AP (Advanced Placement)
- SmartClass+ language lab software can be used in a multi-discipline environment to teach any subject
- Shared usage of a SmartClass+ language lab is often a viable way to share lab costs across more than one department
SmartClass+ is commonly configured as a 100% software-based Language Lab Platform that provides:
- Maximum flexibility for all devices and networks
- Optimum value for tight budgets
For schools requiring superlative sound quality and/or HD video
performance, hardware-based Intercom and Screen Sharing modules are available.
Teachers manage class activities from their desktop. The teacher station often includes a second monitor that is dedicated to the display of the language lab software control console. SmartClass+ language labs use audio intercom, webcams and desktop screen sharing capabilities to facilitate activities like making teacher and model student presentations, monitoring student work, student conversation pairing – with recording, launching self-study exercises, and live testing. Live testing is also used to support standardized testing such as AP (Advanced Placement).
To practice speaking, teachers assign students to pairs or small groups where all students can speak concurrently.
For live testing activities – like Advanced Placement testing – teachers control student recorders while all students respond in unison.
Launching a Self-Study Activity
Teachers can launch self-study exercises – like recording – where each student works at his own pace.
Teachers can present new concepts by broadcasting their sound and computer screen to all students – or teachers can select a model student to demonstrate his mastery of the new concepts to the class.
Monitoring Student Work
While students are working, teachers can monitor thumbnails of all students to ensure that they are on task – or teachers can work one-on-one with individual students who need extra support.
Teachers can split the class into independent workgroups and run differential activities in each group to ensure that all students are fully challenged.
Self-study activities are managed by the teacher from his or her desktop. Teachers build exercises and assign these activities to students. Students complete the exercises in class or online. Teachers then review student responses and provide feedback for completed student assignments. Teachers can work in the language lab, from their office, or from the comfort of their own homes to build, assign, review, and grade all activities.
Self-study exercises can be assigned for in-class work or for homework.
Teachers build self-study exercises using images, text, audio, and video. Easy-to-use templates are provided for speaking, listening, writing, reading, quizzes and pronunciation activities. The new SmartClass+ TALK family of pronunciation exercises uses speech recognition technology to provide instant feedback to students for honing their speaking skills. With TALK, teachers no longer have to manually review and grade student recordings, as student work is auto-evaluated by a sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (AI) based speech recognition application.
There are three different recording templates for supporting repetition drills, voice-overs & descriptive narratives, and creative speaking assignments.
Students can be given an oral stimulus and tasked to translate the original, transcribe the original, or complete a fill-in-the-blanks script of the stimulus sound track.
Teachers can use an open-writing template for creative writing assignments or a question & answer template for more directed responses.
Reading activities can be used to develop comprehension skills or for read-aloud practice.
Sign Language Activities
Video recording templates support sign language activities in which students must sign their responses rather than speaking.
Teachers can assign true/false, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blanks quizzes – which are automatically evaluated by the SmartClass+ software. Activities can be time-limited or unrestricted.