Hi – I’m Mary Bucy. I teach educational technology courses at WOU and coordinate the MSEd Information Technology program there.I’m here today to talk with you a bit about ways you can use technology to support English Language Learners in your classroom.Then we’ll spend some time trying out some activities. We’ll see how it goes. It’s always a bit chancy to try out technology in a lab I’ve never been in – so if some things don’t work, I have some backup plans.
Digital storytelling targets all four literacy skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
Now we add to this picture – a classroom that has both ELLS and native English speakersHow do we make things work for both groups of students – for the students learning as well as those who already speak English?How do we keep the focus on content – reaching those who don’t speak well, without slowing down momentum for others?
As ESOL teachers – you are learning all sorts of ways to do this alreadyThe question we want to look at today is, can technology somehow help these students?Both in terms of their immediate understanding of contentAnd their longer-term fluency with the language
There are all sorts of technologies on the market designed to help students learn EnglishMany of these are excellent and I’ll point you toward some resources today.But you are needing to focus on History – science – math You can’t afford to turn class time over to playing language learning gamesSo – what to do? How are you going to reach your ELLs without slowing everyone else down?
In technology, we talk about the concept of Universal DesignThis means that we design things so that they are accessible to everyone – and by making them more accessible to to one group of learners, they become richer for everyone else.For example . . . . . Toilets w/iconAnd we can think about this same concept of Universal Design when we talk about teaching English Language Learners – the question we have to answer is, how can we make our content more accessible to our ELLs and at the same time, make it richer for everyone else.
So – today I want to focus on ways that we can use technology to help us use this idea of universal design when we are designing instruction.We want to make instruction accessible to our ELLs, while also enhancing learning for native English speakers.Looking at two different ideas 1. Scaffolding with technology 2. Providing authentic experiences
One way we can use technology to scaffold is by using multimedia to support your verbal presentations, assignments, etc.You are all doing this already of course. In it’s simplest form, it’s just a matter of adding visual clues to your words. But we can also support ideas with sounds, moving images, and more.All of these help to provide context that can help students make sense of what you are sayingAnd at the same time this makes the lesson richer for other students
Recently, there has been a huge change in copyright that makes much more multimedia available to us.As you probablyknow, we can’t just grab any photo or piece of music and publish it as our own. When we do a Google search, many, probably most, of the images, sounds, and videos that we find are copyrighted and not legal for us to use without written permission. Of course, as teachers, you can claim Fair Use when you are using a copyrighted picture in your classroom.BUT with technology, we run into issues, because as soon as we post something online, we are essentially “publishing it” and that means we can no longer claim Fair Use.Recently, though,there has been a new movement taking place called Creative Commons. Some people call it “copyleft.”Many artists and musicians have recognized that they want to share their work, and they don’t want to have to deal with written permissions, so they have attached Creative Commons licenses to their work that release some of their rights.You can recognize work with a Creative Commons license when you see some of the symbols here. This license says, essentially, that you can use the work without asking – under specific conditions.
There are different levels of permission – different Creative Commons licenses.Some allow you to share and remix the work but only for non-commercial purposes. Others make no requirements on how you use them.Most, however, ask for attribution and ask that you provide the same Creative Commons license on your derivative work. (called Share Alike)And now there are millions of Creative Commons pictures, music files, and videos available for us to use with our students and for our own work.One of the things that has happened as a result of this move toward sharing is that media has become easier to find. People are wanting to share, so they are organizing pictures and music and videos and more online in such a way that we can locate them easily.
Let’s look at one website that provides images specifically for the use of language learning.It differs slightly from many other collections of images because it includes only carefully selected authentic images in context CAPL – http://capl.washjeff.edu/index.php
You could illustrate a discussion of oranges with a picture of an orange – but it’s out of context. Rather than giving you examples of isolated images – like this orange, or like the animals I showed on the previous slide . . . . . . . . . CAPL instead gives you culturally authentic pictures like this one.:A picture like this places the object in context – and this allows you to use the image in many more ways.You could havestudents describe what they see (oranges, in bags, hanging, for sale . . .) – forces them to use the word in context.Allows you to do vocabulary in context: and ask questions like How many? Which? What? (Acc) Where from?Allows you to add in verbs used: to want, order. Grammar: Direct Objects, use of numbers and weight
And the pictures in CAPL are also carefully selected to represent specific cultures.So a picture like this one allows you to talk about markets, but also to make comparisons between shopping here and shopping elsewhere.
Now CAPL is one excellent resource for you, but you can also search out your own authentic images using your own expertise.One place to find them is in Flickr. If you do an Advanced search, you can set your search to bring back only Creative Commons licensed images.
Even Google allows you to search only within a subset of CC images.Simply switch to and Advanced Image search
And you’ll find a list of search options that includes Usage RightsSimply change the Not Filtered option to one of the Creative Commons options and your search will be narrowed to include only Creative Commons images.
Creative commonsisn’t limited to images. There are also collections of CC audio files that include music, speeches, and more.Here is one example: The Free Music Archive, where you can find music in a number of genres that might support a lesson you are giving.And there are many more places to look. I’ll give you some links in a little while.
Finally, there are all sorts of videos available to help http://www.savevid.com/.You’re already aware of YouTube, but sometimes that can be blocked. Teacher Tube is another option you may be aware of. And there are lots of collections of videos online. Here is one, The Internet Movie Archive, which includes many historical videos that might be useful for you.Again, I’ll give you links to more collections.The point I’m trying to make is, there are all sorts of pictures, sounds, and video online to help provide context for your lessons. And adding context makes it easier for ELLs to understand and the same time that it makes your lessons richer for everyone,
In education, we talk a lot about giving our students the opportunity to engage in “authentic experiences” – to give them experiences that apply in the “real world”What does this mean when we are talking about English Language learning? It means:Designing learning activities that havebuilt in opportunities for practice with reading, writing, listening, and speakingAuthentic activities benefit everyone because it puts learning into context.
How can technology help us with this?Let’s look at reading. One option we have is to select books that are available as eBooks.We have them reading real books that are commonly read in our culture – but the free Kindle app, that has built-in translation tools
You can download the Kindle App from Amazon at no cost and it can run on any PC or Mac.
When students read the book on the Kindle app, anytime they highlight a word, a definition pops up.And readers can set their dictionaries to provide definitions in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian. It might be the same book you have in your classroom collection, but now reading can be faster for ELLs with a dictionary at their fingertips.
Here’s an idea tohelp with listening and understanding. TED talks have hundreds of presentations by experts that are highly engaging and support many topics you might be teaching. They also have and Educational channel that has video lessons to support your teaching.How can TED help your students with listening?
On the Education channel, all of the TED Talks provide the option to turn on captions so that your students can read along while listening.
And all of the regular TED Talks have interactive transcripts
Turning on the transcript lets it scroll along as you listen and watch the video. Get lost? Click anywhere in the transcript and the video will restart at that point.
And while we are talking about listening, playing music on the Pandora website provides you with lyrics to follow along with the songs. You can use this tool in class, and it’s likely your students will enjoy this and begin doing so at home, giving them lots of practice with their listening skills.This is something we talk about in Universal Design a lot -- it is meant to help people who are deaf or blind, but you can see here how it also helps those who are just learning a language:The rule: If it's audio, make it visual; if it's visual, make it audio. -- so adding written words to a song makes it easier to understand. Adding pictures to words makes the words easier to understand.
We can also give our students activities with built in, authentic reading, writing, and speaking opportunitiesVoicethread is one tool that allows this. -- http://voicethread.com/?#q.b119840.i618868This provides all sorts of opportunities:--students can practice writing their responses--you can showcase their writing for others to see (as in this poem)--they can read their responses aloud--they can read the responses others have written--they can videotape themselves speaking to an audience--they can play back their own responses and listen to themselves
One of the most powerful things about the internet is that it provides us with an authentic audience. When our students publish their work online, others can see and hear it. And students who know that they have a real audience put more effort into perfecting their work.We can give our students opportunities to speak to an authentic audience using a number of free and simple tools.One tool is Audioboo, which allows us to Record from in iPhone or a Droid, or from a web browser. Publish to Audioboo, embed in website, or feed it to a podcast.And here is a trick that works well any time you want to encourage your students to practice their speaking. Put an exact time limit on their recordings. Telling students it must be exactly 30 seconds means that they will have to practice it over an over to get it just right. It turns practice into an authentic task with a real-life purpose outside of practicing.How could you use podcasts?—students could create multi-cultural radio programs---they could read stories for other students in the school---they could create audio presentations to post on your class website
Other tools allow you add video or images to your podcasts and create episodes.Yodio is one. Call 1-877-MY-YODIO (699-6346) andthenfollowthedirectionstomakeyour vodcast.The finished video—pictures plus narration can be embedded on your website and shared with parents and others.(Erin’s owl Yodio)
We also know that students who write for an audience put more work into revising and perfecting their writing.There are a number of blogging tools that are easy to use with your students. Asking students to write blogs makes their writing public. Students can give their parents and friends links to your blog.
There are also a variety of wiki tools that we can use to write collaboratively. This allows students to edit one another’s work.We’ll try an activity with this in a bit.
And finally, there are tools that allow us to Publish books – view online for free; download for a fee; order hardcover book.Now—I’m not expecting that you’ll remember all of these websites and tools after a short presentation like this. But I’m hoping what you’ll take away from this is that there are all sorts of tools that we can use for scaffolding instruction for ELLS and for providing authentic opportunities to speak, listen, read, and write.In fact, there are so many tools that in general, whatever you need, you’ll be able to find it online. I’ll provide you with some ways to find those tools today.
Technology in the ESOL classroom
Western Oregon University
• Are there tools I can give my students that will help them
• Is there a way that multimedia (pictures, sounds, video) will
help students understand the content?
• Are there electronic alternatives to our class materials that
will make the information more accessible to ELLs?
• Is there a way that I can use technology to make this an
authentic (real-life) activity?
Questions to ask yourself: