Digital Content Creation
Every January, GLXi gathers all of the Open Books, Open Minds (OBOM) teachers at a training conference in Guatemala City. Nathan Fouquet, a Spanish Language teacher at Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis, Missouri (and a GLXi education committee member), went to Guatemala with the team in January 2018. He worked with Lee Ann Lyons at the annual training delivering Intermediate Training to teachers and principals. During the conference, teachers expressed the need for a more diverse set of digital books. A main component of the GLXi curriculum is Guided Reading. Teacher’s deliver this curriculum component to their classrooms using a laptop, projector, and library of digital native-language books that GLXi provides.
Diverse digital content for grades 1-3 in Guatemalan Spanish is difficult to find. Most digital primary grade books are translated from English, or are Catalan or Mexican Spanish which differs in some key areas from Guatemalan Spanish. For instance, the noun ‘vos’ is not used in Guatemala , and slang that can mean very different things from country to country is often in books making it problematic when using the stories during lessons.
In 2018, GLXi deployed the Book Creator app loaded onto IPADS to our advanced teachers. Nathan experienced the Book Creator app demonstration during the training, and saw an opportunity. In response to the need for more digital content, using the Book Creator app as a springboard, Mr. Fouquet came back to his high school AP Spanish Class and proposed a solution to his students. He created a semester long class project that focused on the vocabulary his students had been working on all year that would engage his class in active learning, and benefit the kids of Guatemala. This project was so successful - and so loved by Nathan’s students - GLXi is expanding the effort into other US High School Spanish classrooms.
GLXi’s Open Books, Open Minds curriculum has target vocabulary and competencies classrooms will use to cater the books to the 1st and 2nd graders in Guatemala. This fits with what the kids are learning each day, and helps the Guatemalan teachers to build out their lesson plans effectively. Story-telling and story-building are important components of how kids learn to read, so we think the Book Creator project is an incredible hands-on collaborative way to link US high school classes learning Spanish, with Guatemalan classrooms learning to READ Spanish.
Digital books created for Guatemalan classrooms
Students in high school Spanish courses created digital books for 1st and 2nd grade GLXi classrooms.