My students grew up in Oakland California where most families live well below the poverty line. Oakland Unified School District and our school in particular started blazing the way towards getting electronics to as many students as possible when we ran up against a financial wall. The last Superintendent overspent all the money in the district and so we cannot get anymore new technology.
Meanwhile, I am in the middle of receiving a master's degree in Educational Technology and have been making sure that my students, despite poverty, have the opportunities to be competitive in their futures and in the future of this great community by being extremely competent in the use of electronic technology.
Starting our own classroom technology library allows students to access the world. Language Learning is very important in the Inner City especially using laptops to virtually travel to French Speaking countries to practice what they are learning and to access what they have been learning in class.
Students make videos of themselves speaking French as well as having online French class friends.
Reaching out to students in other countries requires more than just cell phones. Laptops add more depth of activities including virtual books.
My students have made videos of our school, used language dictionary apps, collaborated on presentations and essays, done book reports and written emails to students in French Speaking countries but since we have to share laptops at this school, we can't be consistent. Having our own classroom cart and laptops will create continuity and ownership of their own educational technology.
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