Saturday, December 8, 2012

Deutsch Interaktiv: Einführung updates

As of December 7th, Deutsch Interaktiv: Einführung (Sheehan, Tkotzyk) has been downloaded over 920 times. We receive email weekly asking when will release the next installment, so we know we are growing a fan base. More iBooks are under review and on the way!
The reviews and ratings also demonstrate how much our readers like our product:
  • great book - highly recommend it von France-Man (from Germany's iTunes)
    • This interactive textbook is great! German has never been easy to me but since I live and work in Germany I need to learn this language. This textbook was really helpful. I enjoyed working through it. The exercises are engaging and very realistic. Although the story is more for students I like the characters. My wife and I had a lot of fun doing the partner exercises. These are common situations you need to know how to answer. I also appreciate the audio. It makes cds unneccessary. All in all, a great textbook I would highly recommend. Thank you for making it. And I am looking forward to more chapters. Hope they'll come soon!
  • Excellent resource by Jejohn1 (from USA iTunes)  
    • I took German in college many years ago and have been looking for ways to refresh my German skills. Deutsch Interactiv provided a great start! The lessons are clear and concise, and the interactive features are a great way to reinforce the information being taught. The book's listening exercises are excellent and render separate language CDs unnecessary. Deutsch Interaktiv is an excellent resource for beginning students and those returning to the language years later. I wish that I had a resource like this when I originally learned German, and I am looking forward to future offerings from the authors.
  • awesome learning tool by IsabellaMo1 (from USA iTunes)  
    • I love this iBook! It is really great. The explanations used are clear and very well written. The structure is very well organized. It's better than previous textbooks I have bought.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Recent Publications

TAMPA REVIEW (co-trans. with Will Wright of Trakl's “Abendlied” (“Evening Song”); “Die Schwermut” (“Sadness”); “Melancholie des Abends” (“The Evening’s Melancholy”); Verfall.” (“Decay”) ; and “Zu Abend Mein Herz” (“My Heart at Evening”))

THE ANTIOCH REVIEW (co-trans. with Will Wright of Ernst Stadler's "Dämmerung in der Stadt" ("Twilight in the City"))

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Co-curricular Ausflug

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Winter Landscape in Moonlight, 1919.
After analyzing two Expressionist poems in our Intro to German Lit seminar, one student mentioned that the Frist Center in Nashville was hosting a special exhibition of German Expressionist art. In the past, the German Klub here at Tennessee Tech had helped finance tickets to the Nashville Opera, so I suggested the Klub would certainly support a trip to a museum, especially when it could be so closely tied to a course. It was not long before the club President sent around an email and a doodle poll to gauge interest. Students in various German courses replied, and in the end six were able to make the trip to Nashville--even one 1010 student came along.
I enjoyed Kirchner's winterscape most of all and felt that it resonated most with our course (we had analyzed Trakl's "Im Winter" in class). My students found other, unexpected but nevertheless insightful connections to the works on display. One Intro to German Lit student  connected a still life with burnt candles and rotten fruit to the themes of Gryphius' "Es ist alles eitel". Whatever the connections made, I was glad that my students enjoyed this co-curricular excursion.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

iBook arrives in iTunes

After a summer of sweat, I am pleased to announce that the introductory chapter to Deutsch Interaktiv is now available on iTunes for your iPad.

From the preface:
"We are pleased to present the first edition of Deutsch Interaktiv, an interactive program that introduces learners to German language and culture through a student-centered, communication-oriented approach. The program’s features, including numerous interactive images, picture galleries, and assessment tools, are designed to encourage learners to employ the German language actively and effectively." 

I encourage everyone to download this free iBook and start learning. This is the first in what will become a long series of interactive German-language textbooks for the iPad. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why learn German?

John LeCarre explains what drew him to Germany and the German spirit.é_thinks_German

What made you want to learn German?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bloomin' Apps--Apps to Promote Higher Order Thinking Skills

Ever since I received an iPad through a TTU instructional technology grant, I have been searching for apps that I can use in the classroom. This past spring, my GERM 3020 students used my garageband app to record and produce radio Werbespots for major German cities. We listened to a variety of authentic Werbespots before we analyzed what they all believe an effective Werbespot required. I envisioned this project as a pure creation exercise to fulfill my presentational mode requirements, and garageband certainly helped us in that regard. Still, I wanted to discover apps that could help my students on all levels of thinking skills...and today I just found a great resource. I plan to download all of these apps for the upcoming semester. I only wish there were some sort of guide about best practices with these apps, but some of them seem clearly analogous to the taxonomy.

Which have you used? Which do you find the most helpful?