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Learning to Love Your Students Smartphones: How Mobile Apps Can Breathe New Life into Your Reading Class

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Explore how apps can make an EAP reading class more fun for you and your students.

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Learning to Love Your Students Smartphones: How Mobile Apps Can Breathe New Life into Your Reading Class

  1. 1. LEARNING TO LOVE YOUR STUDENTS’ SMARTPHONES How Mobile Apps Can Breathe New Life into Your Reading Class
  2. 2. SELF-IDENTIFIED TECH-SAVVY TEACHERS RAISE YOUR HANDS AND STAND UP! FIND ONE OR TWO TEACHERS WHO NEED YOUR EXPERTISE AND SIT WITH THEM. SAY HELLO TO YOUR NEW FRIENDS!
  3. 3. TWO MINUTE DISCUSSION DO YOU USE YOUR STUDENTS’ SMARTPHONES IN YOUR CLASSROOM TO SUPPORT YOUR TEACHING? IF SO, HOW?
  4. 4. WHY YOU MIGHT CONSIDER USING APPS IN YOUR CLASSROOM ➤ Students enjoy it and demonstrate higher levels of engagement. ➤ Smartphones are a teaching technology that we don’t have to write a grant for. ➤ Prevent sneaky phone use when we have clear phones out/ phones away distinctions within a class period. ➤ We can give them a powerful study tool (and they never leave home without it). ➤ Navigating an app builds technical language skills. ➤ Tech-literacy often falls on us.
  5. 5. APP USE IN THE CLASSROOM IS NOT JUST FUN. IT’S ALSO PRACTICAL AND SUPPORTED BY RESEARCH. References available in your handout
  6. 6. “ “Students [who worked in computer and mobile assisted learning centers] were motivated, on task, and attentive when working on their literacy tasks . . . The learning technology allowed students to develop independent work habits and to build both their skills and confidence about literacy and about using technology.” (Yunus, Nordin, Salehi, Sun, & Embi, 2013, p.121)
  7. 7. VOCABULARY Boost and Supplement
  8. 8. “ “Vocabulary knowledge would seem to be the most clearly identifiable subcomponent of the ability to read.” (Nation & Coady, 1988, p. 98)
  9. 9. APPS FOR VOCABULARY How to Use Special Features Cost for Students Cost for Teachers Quizlet You add words, let students define, practice at home, then play games in class Support for images, flashcards, multiple games Free $24.99/year Flashcards Assign an existing word list or create your own and ask students to practice at home Flashcards with word lists from Common Core, Latin Roots, TOEFL prep, and more, or create your own Free Free Wordflex Use it to look up difficult words in class, encourage independent use Gorgeous visuals, shows relationships between words Free Free
  10. 10. QUIZLET ➤ iOS, Android, Web ➤ Easy to use, both for independent studying and for in-class practice ➤ When adding words, the app suggests community definitions for that word (some of which are incorrect/unrelated) ➤ Print off flashcards or practice quizzes ➤ Multiple formats for flashcards (word first, definition first) and for games (space race, speller, scatter) ➤ NEW in-class game that lets students use their phones to compete
  11. 11. FLASHCARDS ➤ iOS, Android ➤ Best for at-home practice ➤ When adding words, the app auto fills with the dictionary.com definition ➤ Multiple formats for flashcards (word first, definition first), detailed settings, and a quiz option ➤ Will pronounce the word with a native-sounding non-robotic voice ➤ Share lists via email, Twitter, or Facebook
  12. 12. WORDFLEX ➤ iPad only ➤ Fewer clear applications ➤ Great for curious and independent students who want to explore language, not for those who resist learning ➤ Makes a good learning station with classroom iPad(s) ➤ A beautiful way to explore word definitions, word forms, and synonyms as a class
  13. 13. READING COMPREHENSION AND FLUENCY Read Read Read Assess Read
  14. 14. APPS FOR READING COMPREHENSION AND FLUENCY How to Use Special Features Cost for Students Cost for Teachers Nearpod Use existing reading units or build your own, embedding assessment and reflection questions with leveled texts Can be used either as an in-class or at-home assessment tool, and can allow for some student choice in which Nearpods they complete Free $12/month (optional) QR Reader + MReader Using your school’s leveled reader library, attach QR code links to the inside of book covers, letting students take the quizzes they choose Allows students to select the books they prefer and take the quizzes in their own time, and teachers can keep track of student progress through MReader Free Free Plickers Do a quick, 3-5 question quiz to see if students understood the key concepts in a reading Students love using Plickers cards and they rarely think of it as assessment Free Free
  15. 15. NEARPOD ➤ iOS, Android, Web ➤ Can embed .pdfs, videos, even other websites to be read by students ➤ Multiple assessment options (quizzes, polls, drawings, matching, writing prompts) ➤ Tons of existing Nearpods with quality content for free (and others for $$) ➤ Awesome for interactive in- class practice OR take-home assessment
  16. 16. QR CODE READER + MREADER ➤ iOS, Android, Web ➤ A great way to embed assessment into an extensive reading program ➤ Quizzes are already written by the Extensive Reading Foundation ➤ Teachers just add QR codes to the inside covers of graded readers linking students to that book’s quiz which they can then take on their phone ➤ Provides teachers with reports and students with visual of their progress ➤ Teachers can control the level at which students can take quizzes ➤ Account creation is arduous and requires a teacher-administrator who distributes access codes to the other teachers in her/his district/university
  17. 17. “ “We found no differences in reading attitudes of students who took weekly ER quizzes compared to students who did not . . . For teachers who feel their students need more external motivation for extensive reading than mere encouragement or supplementary classroom activities, the use of extensive reading quizzes is appropriate.” (Stoeckel, Reagan, & Hann, 2012, p.194)
  18. 18. PLICKERS ➤ Only the teacher needs the app (iOS or Android) ➤ Great for all levels and classes that are tech-resistant ➤ Only A, B, C, D and True False options ➤ Extremely playful and low- stakes, but still gradable and useful for gathering data on student understanding ➤ Can laminate, print on card stock, or paste into their textbooks
  19. 19. WEBSITES TO SUPPORT APP USE IN THE CLASSROOM Readings and Resources
  20. 20. WEBSITES TO SUPPORT THE APPS YOU USE ➤ Read Write Think ➤ Intended for K-12, but many of the lessons translate well to EAP ➤ Lessons on specific grammar, reading, and writing topics with interactive games and apps as well as worksheets and lesson plans ➤ Read Works ➤ Incredible bank of short readings with lexile measures as well as comprehension questions ➤ Lesson plans to accompany a variety of leveled novels ➤ Skill-based lessons for every grade level ➤ Vocabulary activity to accompany most lessons
  21. 21. WEBSITES TO SUPPORT THE APPS YOU USE ➤ Lit2Go ➤ A collection of short classic readings including fairy tales, short stories, and poems ➤ All have audio files ➤ Most have comprehension questions to pair with the passages ➤ Extensive Reading Foundation/MReader ➤ Hundreds of graded reader quizzes ➤ Incredible resource for those who want to encourage students to read graded readers ➤ Amazing depth of information on the benefits of extensive reading and how to set up a program in your school
  22. 22. USE THE QR CODES ON YOUR HANDOUT TO EXPLORE! WHAT ADDITIONAL READING ACTIVITIES CAN YOU ENVISION WITH THESE APPS?
  23. 23. THANK YOU! courtneyelizabethking.com king2ce@cmich.edu

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