Kiosk in a nutshell

  • Listening is a critical language skill.
  • In the classroom, learners have minimal control over their listening experience.
  • Outside the classroom, there is little opportunity for structured practice.
  • Too often learners focus on the teacher's "voice" and then have difficulty understanding others.

  • Provide audio files as structured listening exercises to the student to use at home.
  • This empowers the learner. Student can listen as often as needed.
  • Provide materials that use a diverse set of voices, not just that of the class's teacher.

  • The "Digital Divide": Students are not equally equipped with access to technology and understanding of its use.
  • Some students cannot afford to purchase advanced technology devices.
  • Many teachers are uncomfortable with complex technology.
  • Most programs have severe budgetary constraints.
Note: Perhaps you are fortunate enought to work with a program that does not face these barriers. If staff is technologically adept and students all have "SmartPhones", you do not need the Kiosk approach described here. Instead teachers can simply upload "podcasts" to an Internet server and students can "subscribe" and download to their phone device.
Documentation outlining the use of Podcasts is pending.
On this site you can download an ESL Podcast tool From the Kiosk download page. The tool is called the Cloud Kiosk.

  • Implemented with very low cost hardware that is simple to use.
    Minimal equipment needed:
    • Kiosk device* for teacher/classroom
    • Inexpensive MP3 players for students
  • Accessible, Affordable, and Effective
  • Open Source:
    Freely usable under "GNU - General Public License" and "Creative Commons".
  • Sample freely usable audio materials are available through the "Sandbox".
*The "Kiosk" acts as a "distribution" engine for the audio files. Its purpose is to reduce both the level of tech knowledge and repetitive tasks needed to transfer files to student devices.

  1. Teacher finds audio material appropriate for class and copies it to a USB "flash drive".
  2. Teacher plugs USB drive into Kiosk device. The Kiosk application copies the audio files to the Kiosk.
  3. In class, students take turns plugging their MP3 players into the Kiosk, which automatically copies audio files to player.

  • - Less than $150 each. (As an alternative, any existing MacBook can be used)
  • - Includes , charger, cable/adapter, earbuds: $10-$15 per student.
  • Teacher training: Kiosk operation is very simple. Any teacher who knows how to use a personal computer can perform basic Kiosk tasks after a half-hour to hour orientation.
    If program does not make audio content available to teachers, then teachers will need instruction on the process of finding and / or creating recordings.

  • The Kiosk has been under development for several years and has already been used in seven classrooms by several different teachers.
  • The system undergoes a continuous assessment and improvement process with feedback from teachers and students.

The web site has a wealth of additional information about the Kiosk system.
The buttons at the bottom of the blue panel at the top of this page are gateways to additional details.

  • "The Listening Challenge" provides further details on many of the topics touched upon in this "nutshell" guide.
  • Instructions on operational details can be found by clicking "Kiosk Documentation".
  • Current and pervious versions of the Kiosk Application can be copied to your personal computer if you click the "Kiosk Application Download" button.
  • "Background: 2012" accesses a paper presented at the 2012 CoTESOL (Colorado Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) conference.
    The paper recounts the series of steps and phases that led to the development of the Kiosk system.
  • If you would like to explore how the Kiosk system might help your program, send an email inquiry to