My students need 2 Galaxy Tablet computers and 2 memory cards.
I teach English Language Learners (ELL) who have a strong desire to excel in school, but language is their barrier. Having a readily available "digital world" at their hands would help the language acquisition process move at a faster rate, preparing them for class and state tests in English.
My students are motivated, value education, and want to excel; however, all are new to the U.S.
and must overcome the language barrier in order to meet their goals. My county has a technology initiative that heavily promotes electronic devices in the classroom. In an ELL classroom, getting exposure to readily available technology is not always accomplished, as many times we compete with general education classes. Getting my students on computers, laptops, or tablets and watching doors open for them is one of my main goals, because that is authentic student engagement and learning. Putting the world they come from at their fingertips and being able to share their world (thousands of miles away) with their classmates allows them to apply language across the content and increases their desire to engage in activities. Using technology is paramount in creating a 21st Century classroom and 21st Century students who will become 21st century citizens! It is their world and I want to give it to them.
Because students usually have technology in school and at home, my students are often "left behind" at home and often at school. Many of students do not have access to technology at home due to many factors (money, moving, etc). A common misconception is ELL students "do not need" technology because they are simply learning a language. Not true!!! Core content classes now have digital ebooks and websites for student use. Not having the same availability or priority when scheduling labs or devices puts my students further behind. As such, having a classroom set of tablets and memory cards will allow us to work in small groups and whole class situations where access to ebooks or websites is not an issue.
I use interactive websites (quizlet, socrative, etc) to engage my students, which helps to expedite the language process. They become engaged and a bit competitive and many times, even the shyest student is 100% involved. Using technology to "show what you know" allows all learning styles to excel.
Giving a student the tools he or she needs to succeed all the time can and does make a difference in current student achievement, as well as future success.
I want to level the playing field for my students by setting them up for success at the same level and exposure as their peers in general education classrooms. Knowing we have specifically designated tablets for just that purpose will let my students have an equal opportunity at academic success.
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