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From chalk and overhead transparences to the latest document cameras, and teleconferencing installations, instructional technologies have long been centerpieces of modern-language instruction. All disciplines face the challenge of redesigning instruction to serve more adequately the needs of digital-age learners. It is not uncommon for a single lesson plan nowadays to require several pieces of hardware used in combination with a variety of media. Getting ready for class has evolved—within a single generation of teachers—from mimeographing handouts to creating class websites and chatrooms, and responding to email. We have long given thought to seating arrangements—now we also find ourselves planning physical spaces to better accommodate the technical resources that have entered our language classrooms.
To celebrate the first anniversary of Carleton’s new Language and Dining Center—a hi-tech facility designed with a great deal of input from language faculty and Information Technologies Services staff—the combined language departments, Information Technologies Services and The Language Center at Carleton College, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Midwest Instructional Technology Center, invite our colleagues to join us in Focusing on Change. Together, we will consider where this new generation of learners, technologies, and spaces has taken us, and we’ll discuss where we are headed in the not-so-distant future. We hope to bring together colleagues at various stages of their evolution in teaching with technology. The goals of this conference are to share our collective resources and experiences in teaching languages, designing spaces that support language teaching and learning, and in working with the technologies that support language instruction. Anyone who teaches language or supports language instruction is welcome to attend.
The organization of this gathering evolved from our desire to bring together multiple voices and experiences on a variety of topics. The conference will offer presentations, round-table discussions and poster sessions on various themes.