Tuesday, May 03, 2011

iPad Immersion and ELL Learners

Wow!  My head is spinning as I use my Macbook Pro, and immerse myself in the iPad to best meet the needs of two new non-English speaking students in my class.  These tech tools provide limitless avenues to help our new students feel comfortable and learn English.  The challenge is choosing the best, developmentally-appropriate, engaging tools for learning, and deciding which tools are best at which times.    I am continually reminded of the National Educational Technology Plan 2010's  attention to ELL learners with regards to technological innovation.

I will continue to blog as I travel this new, educational path of discovery and learning.  It's amazing how our work to meet every new challenge in education ends up profiting all students.  For example, when we first began to employ inclusion techniques, we realized that the strategies for optimal inclusion were strategies that benefitted all learners.  Now, as I employ strategies to meet the needs of our new ELL students, I am realizing that the strategies we are employing meet the needs of all the students in the class with respect to our ever-changing global community. 

Students are learning to use tools that help them learn new languages and cultures.  Students are learning how to communicate kindly and successfully with students from other countries.  The children are also learning how to contribute to, and gain from, a broad, diverse learning community while everyone pitches in to teach the new girls.

I welcome your thoughts and suggestions as our class navigates this new learning challenge.  I know that teachers throughout the world are facing similar teaching challenges, and that innovators are rising to meet those challenges mainly through the use of optimal tech tools.  Stay tuned.