Sunday, June 28, 2009

Taking a "cue" from CuePrompter

I was watching a TV program not too long ago that was featuring President Obama's use of the teleprompter during his speeches. Students may wonder if the president and other TV personalities memorize everything they say.

Now I've just recently come across an interesting (and fun!) free site called CuePrompter: the Online Teleprompter that was recommended from TeachersFirst Featured Sites. This tool would help students understand how people are able to give speeches and newscasts without the appearance of notecards.

This tool is free, requires no user/password registration or membership, and is very easy to use. However, it can only be used with Windows software and it does not save your text for future use. The site recommends that you have your text printed in another file or program that you can easily access to copy/paste the needed text into the CuePrompter.

How or why would you use this in the classroom? If you were to project the text onto a white board or a SmartBoard, it could be used in whole class situations. The site mentions its use in foreign language or ESL/ELL classes. Since the text is scrolling, it would require students to be automatic in recognizing and pronouncing the words being displayed. You are able to set the speed of the scrolling as well as some other settings, such as text size and a black or a white background.

Another projected use for a whole class would be to read text to build fluency. Fluency seems to be the most assessed component of reading in my district. The CuePrompter could build reading fluency as students read the text aloud. Each time the text is read, the speed could be increased. I can remember using a speed reading machine when I was in 6th grade (and that's been a long time ago!). After we read the selection, we answered a worksheet to assess our comprehension. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure that comprehension is assessed with fluency these days.

The CuePrompter could also be used in public speaking classes or in cases where students make oral presentations. Students need to learn eye contact skills when addressing an audience. Although notecards or some type of written speech form would be expected prior to the actual oral presentation, the text could be shown on a laptop or computer that only the presenter would view. The use of the CuePrompter would require them to look up to face the audience rather than looking down at their notecards.

Lastly, the site mentions that speech teachers could use this tool to build articulation skills.

What are some other uses for this tech-tool? I'm sure both students and teachers will come up with more applications after it is used a few times in a classroom.

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