An Independent Language Instructor's Digital Tool Belt
In 2007, I found myself in a very unexpected situation: I had a front row seat as my employer filed for bankruptcy. #Yikes, everything gone! Not just a paycheck, but everything:
- Network of friends
- Sales department
- Materials department
- Marketing department
- Legal department
- Office equipment
- A place to conduct business
- Payment system
- Resource & Development
- A product/solution
- A system
- et cetra and so on and so forth. All the stuff your employer provides.
Needless to say, it sucked, but it was what it was and I had to move forward. I focused mainly on developing a solution and a sound system. Being broke AF, one uses what one has at hand: a computer with a bunch of built in tools and enough personal knowledge of scripting and computers to work some magic. Here are all the tools I have utilized over the years:
- Terminal.app: Stuff
- bash scripts: automation of various tasks
- nano: note taking.
- say(): text to speech (I generate listening content on the fly.)
- afplay(): audio playback
- Markdown: note taking
- XML Generator: rss/xml generator to deliver audio recordings via podcasting.(https://github.com/iMorpheus/XML_Generator)
- CamTwist: Picture-in-Picture to display slides
- ooVoo/Hangouts/Skype: Video chat
- Hindenburg: Audio recording
- Keynote: slides
- SoundCloud: Listening practice (Sample - https://soundcloud.com/user-671851813/sets/of_dictation/s-iRlOa)
- Twitter: student progress — https://twitter.com/dla_eng
- Dropbox: Notes and stuff.
- Podcasting: Production stage of each lesson + serves as an audio log of progress.
It’s a total hack, but it works.
NEAR FUTURE: I will be adding the following tools this month
- JSON: Checklist/Markoff sheets for each student
- jq: filtering and modifying JSON
- Discord: Online Language Lab (Temporarily shelved but not forgotten.)
FAR, FAR, FAR FUTURE:
- Swift on the command line
And with that, I return you to your day.