Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Using Technology to Foster Friendships

At Green Meadow, we often have new students enroll who just moved to the U.S. from another country. Today, I had a 30 minute conversation with a new parent using an iphone. Neither of us could speak the other's language, yet we were able to answer each other's questions and form a positive connection using an app. 'Google Translate' allows you to type or speak into a microphone, then quickly translate it into the language of your choice. The app also has a camera feature that can read and translate documents. Below is a screenshot of how the app changed a PTO flyer into Portuguese. The wording popped up in English prior to being translated. Best of all, the google app is free!

I also discovered gmail has a feature in the upper right hand corner that allows you to select "translate message" from a drop down menu on desktops. It is located next to the reply button once an email message is open.

Arriving in a new country can be very isolating, often children are not invited on playdates or to birthday parties because it is hard for parents to coordinate plans with a language barrier.  I am sharing these free resources in the hope that Green Meadow families will use them to communicate and develop friendships with newcomers. In this global age, becoming friends with classmates from other countries can be such an enriching experience!
Gmail drop down link
Free Google App