Tuesday, March 5, 2024

How a Chromebook and Google Sheets can Empower Conversations with Non-English Speaking Students.

Picture this, you are in your school-age years and your family tells you that you are moving to a country where you do not even speak their language. It goes without saying how much this would change your life from adjusting to a new culture, new food, new everything. Then it hits you - I still need to go to school and learn. How will I do that? How will I communicate with anyone? My teacher probably will not understand me - how in the world do I even know how to order lunch?

Once you put yourselves in someone else's shoes, you start to think of what can be used to help students who are in a similar situation. Of course there are apps, websites, etc. that are extremely beneficial and help with communicating. Of course I have not seen every app/website out there and with AI, I am hoping communication will improve; however, one thing I have noticed through the years is that the communication is done from voice to text. 

Well, what if...
  • we could provide the student(s) with a device that already has a keyboard that they recognize and they can type sentences in their language
  • these sentences could then instantly be translated for the user (teacher or other students) in their language and the revers could be done as well!
One such way this can (pretty easily I must say) be accomplished would be to use a Chromebook and a Google Sheet with a few modifications. By modifications, I simply mean adjusting the cells height and width and using a simple formula. The formula I used in my example is 

Previously I posted about:
Those 2 posts are important as they will show you how to change the keyboard, as well as have the "new" keyboard be shown on the screen when typing. Please note I do show how to do everything in the video below; however, those posts are more specific to the task at hand.

Once, the student's online keyboard has been changed to their language and shows on-screen then you can share a Google Sheet with them. If you look below you will see an example of what the Google Sheet can do. Please note that the student's language is Ukrainian. 

Understand that you will not be able to edit this sheet; however, you can make a copy of it.

Embedded below is a 1 minute and 55 second YouTube tutorial.

Take care,

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