Jan 17 | #EarlyLang

“The Use of Technology in Early Language Classrooms”
from January 17, 2018

On January 17, language teachers from grades K-8, and beyond, met for the bi-weekly #EarlyLang chat. Participants discussed availability and use of technology, determining what technology to use, and introducing tech to young learners within the context of the language classroom.  Finally, participants shared their favorite tech tools and shared action steps.

Q1: Q1: What is your school’s tech culture, for teachers and students? 

Most teachers have technology at their disposal, along with a tech support team to help implement tech into instruction. Participants mentioned teacher computers, SMART boards, tech labs, and course management software.  For students, some schools have 1:1 programs with Chromebooks or iPads, this includes those as young as PreK and Kinder. Many of the younger learners also have tech classes.  @doriecp and @Sra_Kennedy both mentioned colleagues who do not use available technology, leading to frustration by fellow teachers and taxpayers.  Overall, most teachers look forward to using technology and utilize professional development opportunities.

Q2: What criteria do you use to decide whether to use technology?

Several participants mentioned the need for technology to fit communicative goals.  In the language classroom, this is essential. @nathanlutz also mention,” I also think it’s our job to show that WL is just as much 21st century as math or science.” Other participants mentioned having students work in pairs so they still engage in interpersonal communication and the need to explain in the TL so students are still gaining language proficiency. Technology can also be used as a collaborative tool for older students.  To assess the use of technology within the classroom and school, one participant recommended the SAMR model https://t.co/MzW040bCo6. One caveat: when planning the use of technology, it is useful to have a low-tech backup plan in case of wi-fi malfunction or other problems.

Q3: How do you introduce new tech to young learners without losing valuable TL time? 

Participants agreed that any tech has to fit within the framework of TL work.  One participant mentioned the desire that students learn tech words in English first.  As that would (probably) only happen in a perfect world, teachers must instead frontload tech vocabulary, use technology students are already familiar with, or allow students to acquire proficiency in tech use before adding new tech.  Finally, several participants suggested modeling with the whole group before allowing independent work.

Q4: How do you keep your class acquisition-friendly in your use of technology?

Once again, modeling is important; also important is showing students what is meant by whatever projection tool is available.  Leading students through the steps of using new technology can help their acquisition of both TL and technology.  One participant mentioned using technology primarily for output, so students can show what they know, but also as a means of comprehensible input. Brainstorming words and phrases were also suggested, followed by students working in pairs to complete learning tasks. Tech can also be used as an incentive to use the TL, @windycitysenora said, “The rule during Quizlet is that if the SS aren’t using the TL to talk to each other/cheer each other on/ask questions… Game over.”

Q5: Tech smackdown! Share your favorite tech tools for the language class.

So many to choose from. @rrrrrrrrrrrrosa mentioned several that others also mentioned:

Reflaction (reflection + action)

Only a few actions step were mentioned.  One was to review suggested tools and determine which would be the fastest and easiest to integrate.  Another was to examine curation tools, such as Spotify (https://www.spotify.com/us/), to create lists of music and other online media.  The final reflaction was to ensure that each lesson’s objective helps drive the use of technology.

Thank you to all who participated in this #EarlyLang chat! Thank you to our lead moderator, Julie, (@mundodepepita)‏ for leading the chat and to our co-moderator, Dorie, (@doriecp) for helping guide the conversation. Thanks also to EMC School (@EMCSCHOOL) for sponsoring tonight’s chat.The next chat is February 7, 2018 at 8 pm EST.  Hope to see you there.

Want to vote for our upcoming #Earlylang topics? https://t.co/l1VbHqzLU1

This week’s chat is

sponsored by:

EMC School

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