Measure E Updates Language Lab


Simone Britto, Staff Writer

Miramonte updated the language lab over the summer to enhance language students’ learning experience. The lab now has internet access and each cubicle has a laptop.

With internet in the lab, students have access to more video, reading and listening activities than were available in previous years. The laptops also have a new video chat feature that allows students to conference with each other.

The lab was upgraded using money from the Measure E fund. Voters passed Measure E in 2008 to save money specifically for advancing technology in schools within the Acalanes Union High School District.

Not only Spanish and French students will be using the new lab; this year Latin and Mandarin students will have a chance to use it as well.

“I used the language lab for French last year. I’m excited to use it for Latin because I think it will really improve our learning experience,” sophomore Madeline Becker said.

Teachers only had one day of training to learn about the new software and will have two more later this month. Some have had difficulty adjusting to the changes.

Spanish teacher Megan Flores is working closely with the technology department to test the new program. “I like the new lab, but we have some quirks to work out with the company that updated it,” Flores said. “The company has a newer computer system than ours, so there have been some problems with the software. We’ve been using students to test it out, and they have been really patient with me.”

One major problem is the voice delay in the headsets. This is caused because the internet connection cannot carry sound instantly. Teachers are working with the company to fix this and other minor problems.

Most language teachers support the improvements to the language lab.

“I think the new lab is wonderful. Students have access to improved reading and listening activities and they seem to be really enjoying it,” Spanish teacher Cindy Ghazarossian said.

Language students have differing opinions on the changes.

Spanish student junior Daniel Estopinal does not think the update was necessary.

“I don’t understand why we need to video chat with people in the same room as us. It seems like a waste of money,” Estopinal said.

French student junior Anna Finnell loves the new lab. “I think having access to internet activities will definitely help our language learning, and I love the new video chat feature,” Finnell said.