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Sunday, October 28, 2018

English Learners and EdTech

In my school, in my computer lab, over 65% of the students are English Language Learners. I struggle with ways to help them. The best results are when I can literally take a knee, point to their computer screens so that they are doing the clicking, and help them one-on-one. That can't always happen, since there are so many more of them in any of my 8 sections every 9 weeks than there are of me. 

One of my classrooms working on computer programming concepts
But help is on the way: An esteemed colleague at McMurray MS shared this information last week with all our teachers. I highly suggest allotting some planning time to explore this wealth of information about EdTech and ELL. If English Learners are in your classes, and they sure are in mine, it will be a help to you! Copying and pasting his email (from Mr. Jason Smith at McMurray Middle School:
FYI: “This toolkit brings suggestions and resources for educators who want to utilize new technology-based resources to help their EL students gain proficiency in English and meet academic goals. The toolkit offers five guiding principles for educators to apply in exploring new ways of working with and supporting EL students through technology. In addition, the toolkit has a companion—The Developer Toolkit which provides guidance for developers on the needs of English learner students and their teachers, tips on supports to include with their products that may be especially useful for English learners and ways they can communicate about their products with districts and educators of English learner students to facilitate adoption.”

https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-releases-study-and-accompanying-toolkit-ed-tech-english-learners

https://tech.ed.gov/edtech-english-learner-toolkits/
Enjoy, and comment here if you implement an idea that helps in this prominent area!

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