I just received an email letting me know that my project on Donorschoose.org has been fully funded thanks to US Cellular!! That means that 4 iPod Touches will soon be making their way to my classroom and I cannot be more thrilled!!!!
I attended a session at ISTE10 about the use of iPod Touches with English Language Learners (ELL). There was an incredible success rate with their use. As much as 50% of the students in two second grade classrooms were able to test out of ELL. That is simply unheard of! While I certainly hope that I can help my students improve their reading fluency and comprehension with the use of the Touches, I don’t know if I’ll push for them to exit the entire ELL program.
I was involved with an #ELLCHAT on Twitter a couple weeks back about the use of technology with ELLs. I consider that group of educators very well versed in ELL instruction and am, happy to be a part of the conversation. There were some hesitations regarding the use of so much technology with ELLs because it can become too much of a crutch and/or something to stick the newcomers in front of so actual ELL instruction doesn’t have to take place. It was interesting to hear that some didn’t feel tools like iPod Touches were developmentally appropriate for second graders either. This was a great discussion that gave me some insight on things to do and not to do. It also allowed me to reflect on how I would utilize certain technologies in my classroom given that 13 of my students are English Language Learners. Now that my project has been funded and the iPod Touches are on their way, I’m once again thinking about just how exactly I plan on incorporating their use with my students.
I’m sure I will seek advice from others who are using them in their classrooms for sure. I’m also sure that I will scour blogs and sites to discovers which apps are the best and most developmentally appropriate. If you have ideas, you’re more than welcome to leave them here so I can collect information from everywhere.
With the many ideas, concerns, anxieties, hopes, and aspirations swirling in my brain right now, I’m certain that the iPod Touches will ultimately be used in an appropriate manner and learning will take place regardless. So I’ll continue to ponder things and celebrate the fact that I just got four brand new iPod Touches that will most certainly motivate my students and provide them with a tool that their life outside of school could probably never support.