Technology is integral to the modern learning experience. Indeed, with tablets replacing textbooks and students being so partial to their smartphones, it seems that digital tools are no longer optional for a modern teacher.
A few years ago when I was a language student, I came across dozens of my notebooks full of new words and translations. Sadly, I realized all my efforts had been in vain, as the majority of the words seemed unknown to me. Obviously, I should have tried harder by flipping through the pages once in a while. But then I wondered if there was a better way to learn new words.
As teachers in the modern classroom, we have the most advanced means of instruction through technology the world has ever seen. The options available to us are constantly evolving, which makes them both increasingly useful and difficult to master. Luckily, with a strong community of adventurous teachers willing to put in the effort, the ESL classroom is benefitting from the incorporation of new technologies and insightful course design. Students report increased engagement through classes that incorporate technology in holistic ways. Technology prepares students to be successful and independent learners outside the classroom.
Teachers probably all agree that students need to be taught to think critically. The increasing use of technology in classrooms makes it difficult to be sure that students are actually thinking for themselves, rather than using Google to find answers and to simply copy/paste information. Whether or not all answers can be found on the internet is a moot point.
Schools and colleges are increasingly investing in educational technologies to improve institutional efficiency, enhance learning and better prepare learners for the demands of the 21st Century, with substantial growth in technology-supported learning over the past two decades and a myriad of new technologies released every year.
Fact: Nearly one third of fourth- and eighth-grade students are reading at or above proficiency levels—putting the majority of students in the category of “struggling reader.”
Fact: The more students read, the better they get.
Fact: There are a variety of tools available to teachers that motivate students to read more at home, where they spend a vast majority of their time.
Whether or not your students have books, reading confidence, or parental support to encourage reading at home, you can still help them spend more time reading with these tools.
Non-fiction reading can hook struggling readers—so long as they find something they enjoy reading about. When they do find a subject they like, the…