I had an opportunity last week to utilize the digital mp3 recorders as a section of my 7th grade girls first Gemara test. Throughout the first two months of school, the girls were given the assignment about every 3 weeks to record themselves reading about 15 lines of Gemara. The girls asked me if they could prepare a script for this assignment, and while I did not originally anticipate them doing that, I was fine with them putting in that extra effort. The byproduct, I found, was that, as a class, they were far more comfortable with the terminology of the Gemara and it allowed our class to be conducted primarily in Ivrit. For the test, I told them that they could choose one of the three sections of Gemara that they had previously recorded with a script, and would now be given 5 minutes of the test to record that section again without a script. As for the written section of the test, being that I would now have invaluable information regarding their understanding of the content that they recorded, I allowed the students to skip those questions that corresponded to the section of the Gemara that they had just recorded. Overall, the test environment went well, with 21 students simultaneously speaking into their headsets the Gemara, it made for quite a beautiful sound!
One thing I learned...I cannot have the students dump the recorders and headsets in a box afterwards, I just spent 25 minutes untangling all the wires, live and learn!