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Supporting English-Language Learners With Technology

Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, 2–3 p.m. ET
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 Supporting English-Language Learners With Technology(09/14/2012) 
11:10
Bryan Toporek: 
Good morning, folks, and welcome to today's live chat, Supporting English-Language Learners With Technology, sponsored by Rosetta Stone. I've just opened the chat for questions, so please feel free to start submitting yours below.
Friday September 14, 2012 11:10 Bryan Toporek
11:10
Bryan Toporek: 
We'll be back at 2 p.m. ET today with Lori Langer de Ramirez and Karen Nemeth. Hope you can join us!
Friday September 14, 2012 11:10 Bryan Toporek
1:55
Bryan Toporek: 

Good afternoon, folks. We should be getting underway with today's chat in just a few minutes. In the meantime, please continue submitting your questions below.

Friday September 14, 2012 1:55 Bryan Toporek
2:00
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks for joining us for today's chat, Supporting English-Language Learners With Technology, sponsored by Rosetta Stone. If you have any technical questions or troubles, please let me know in the chat box below.

Otherwise, I'm now handing the chat off to Katie Ash, our moderator for the day.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:00 Bryan Toporek
2:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Thanks Bryan!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Hello everyone, and welcome to today's chat about technology and English-language learners!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
We have two fabulous guests here with us today to talk about this topic.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:01
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Lori and Karen - would you like to introduce yourselves?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:01 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:03
Karen Nemeth: 
Good afternoon!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:03 Karen Nemeth
2:03
Karen Nemeth: 
I am an author and early childhood first and second language development expert.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:03 Karen Nemeth
2:04
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great, welcome Karen.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:04 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:04
Karen Nemeth: 
I share many resources on using technology to support early learning for ELLs on my website at www.languagecastle.com
Friday September 14, 2012 2:04 Karen Nemeth
2:04
Karen Nemeth: 
We see so many classrooms with MORE than two languages - technology can really save the day with that level of diversity!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:04 Karen Nemeth
2:04
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Hi everyone! I am thrilled to be here with you all today – albeit virtually!

Let me introduce myself…I began my career as a teacher of Spanish, French and ESL. I hold a Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. I currently serve as the Director of World and Classical Languages & Global Language Initiatives at the Dalton School in New York City.

I have authored several books, including Empower English Language Learners with Tools from the Web and Take Action: Lesson Plans for the Multicultural Classroom and Voices of Diversity, as well as several Spanish-language books and texts. I’ve contributed to many textbooks and written numerous articles about second language pedagogy and methodology and presented workshops at local, regional and national conferences and in schools throughout the U.S. and around the world.. My website (www.miscositas.com) offers virtual picturebooks, videos, thematic units and other curricular materials for teaching Chinese, English, French, and, Spanish. I invite you all to visit the site and participate in my blog, wiki or other social media.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:04 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:05
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Welcome, Lori!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:05 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:05
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Lori is actually teaching a class right now, so she will be in and out at the beginning of the chat and will join us fully later.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:05 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:05
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
In the meantime, Karen has lots to share with us, so let's get started.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:05 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:06
[Comment From wmwoodardwmwoodard: ] 
What are some of the best tech resources for Kindergarten and other beginning ELL's?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:06 wmwoodard
2:06
Karen Nemeth: 
Lori and I have not yet met, but I hope we'll cross paths at NABE or TESOL where I'll be presenting in 2013!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:06 Karen Nemeth
2:06
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Since Karen's expertise is working with younger ELLs, we can start there and get more into secondary ELL education when Lori joins us later.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:06 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:09
Karen Nemeth: 
OH - what a great question about K ELLs
Friday September 14, 2012 2:09 Karen Nemeth
2:09
Karen Nemeth: 
I strongly recommend bilingual storybook apps and websites
Friday September 14, 2012 2:09 Karen Nemeth
2:09
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I know a lot of folks have asked questions about apps.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:09 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:09
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Are there any specifically that you would recommend? Or do you have suggestions of how they might be found?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:09 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:09
Karen Nemeth: 
Examples: www.analomba.com or Tumblebooks or www.mamalisa.com
Friday September 14, 2012 2:09 Karen Nemeth
2:10
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:10 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:10
Karen Nemeth: 
Also - music in the languages of the children in your class will always help them learn your language and help you learn their language
Friday September 14, 2012 2:10 Karen Nemeth
2:11
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Interesting. Heres another question about early ed. and ELLs:
Friday September 14, 2012 2:11 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:11
Karen Nemeth: 
Another option is apps that don't rely on spoken or written language - nonverbal apps help young children learn concepts while they are still working on the language
Friday September 14, 2012 2:11 Karen Nemeth
2:11
[Comment From Cynthia PengCynthia Peng: ] 
I am wondering how online learning would be feasible for young (K-2) ELLs? Or is there a certain age you think online learning would be most effective?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:11 Cynthia Peng
2:11
Karen Nemeth: 
like the Toca Boca apps - full of imaginative play for any language
Friday September 14, 2012 2:11 Karen Nemeth
2:12
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Have you worked with ELL students through online learning before, Karen? Or is it mostly in a technology-enhanced environment ?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:12 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:12
Karen Nemeth: 
I consider Kindergarten the most critical time for active play and hands on learning - so software and apps have to support that
Friday September 14, 2012 2:12 Karen Nemeth
2:12
Karen Nemeth: 
whereas grades 1 - 2 could do a bit more academic work on the computer
Friday September 14, 2012 2:12 Karen Nemeth
2:12
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Good point.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:12 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:12
Karen Nemeth: 
Mostly - technology as a tool in a classroom - not technology to replace the classroom
Friday September 14, 2012 2:12 Karen Nemeth
2:13
[Comment From Silvaana UdzSilvaana Udz: ] 
I so absolutely agree with Karen Nemeth's strong recomendation of bilingual apps and websites for early ELLs. Thanks for the examples
Friday September 14, 2012 2:13 Silvaana Udz
2:13
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question from Sarah:
Friday September 14, 2012 2:13 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:13
[Comment From SarahSarah: ] 
What reception have you seen from teachers and administrators in embracing technology in preschool classrooms? Is the transition from paper or traditional resources to digital resources more difficult for some?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:13 Sarah
2:13
Karen Nemeth: 
In early childhood, we know that human to human interaction in meaningful context is critical for language learning and brain development. Technology can not replace that - but can be used to support
Friday September 14, 2012 2:13 Karen Nemeth
2:13
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Have you seen pushback against using technology with young children in schools, Karen?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:13 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:14
Karen Nemeth: 
Tech is loved by some and hated by others in early ed! I like a moderate approach!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:14 Karen Nemeth
2:14
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
I'm sure it varies from place to place, school culture to school culture, too.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:14 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:14
Karen Nemeth: 
Many preschools have interactive whiteboards, internet access, iPads, mp3 players and digital cameras
Friday September 14, 2012 2:14 Karen Nemeth
2:15
Karen Nemeth: 
Those who use the tech effectively are getting great results. Many who fear the tech have just not had enough chance to try it yet
Friday September 14, 2012 2:15 Karen Nemeth
2:15
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
That leads to another great question...
Friday September 14, 2012 2:15 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:15
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What are the three most important steps administrators need to take to ensure teachers have the resources they need to support DLLs and their families?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:15 Guest
2:15
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
I agree, Karen. There is definitely a learning curve with new webtools, but it is almost always well worth the patience...!

Friday September 14, 2012 2:15 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:15
Karen Nemeth: 
I think technology helps achieve a critical goal in early ed: responsiveness! You never know when a new language is going to appear in your classroom and you want to be ready to teach that child from the first day he or she arrives!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:15 Karen Nemeth
2:16
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Lori and Karen, do you have recommendations on how ELL teachers and students can be supported by administrators?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:16 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:16
Karen Nemeth: 
Administrators are THE most important linchpin in tech adoption!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:16 Karen Nemeth
2:17
Karen Nemeth: 
3 steps:
1. Admins must themselves learn about the tech and model confident/appropriate use
Friday September 14, 2012 2:17 Karen Nemeth
2:17
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Also, webtools allow teachers to share student work so easily and in a very dynamic format. Administrators can use student work on websites to share with parents, other administrators and teachers - it is a great way to showcase work and a wonderful program!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:17 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:17
Karen Nemeth: 
2. admins MUST arrange sufficient professional development for staff. Tech with no support becomes just another plant stand ;)
Friday September 14, 2012 2:17 Karen Nemeth
2:17
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Good point, Karen. Professional development is critical to teachers being successful in the classroom.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:17 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:17
Karen Nemeth: 
3. Admins MUST provide sufficient resources. Expensive devices but no money for software or apps = waste of time.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:17 Karen Nemeth
2:18
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Administrators must also develop a protocol for appropriate use of web tools. This includes issues like privacy (i.e., should students' first and last names be used? photos? etc.) and appropriate use.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:18 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:18
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Another good point, Lori. Student safety is a huge factor when it comes to technology.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:18 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:18
Karen Nemeth: 
I always say you can buy the most expensive industrial stove for your new kitchen, but if you only have money left to cook hotdogs every night, then you are still a person who is only eating hotdogs. Tech budgets must include professional development and good quality software!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:18 Karen Nemeth
2:19
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
A lot of questions have come in about whether online learning really is the best option for English language learners.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:19 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:19
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
In a fully virtual environment (not hybrid), how can educators help ELLs with oral proficiency? Do virtual collaboration tools (e.g. Elluminate) suffice or should efforts be made to use videoconferencing technology so that communication is more similar to F2F?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:19 Guest
2:19
Karen Nemeth: 
Lori is right! We needed FOUR steps! planning/policy very important
Friday September 14, 2012 2:19 Karen Nemeth
2:19
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
It is important to decide these things as an entire school community so that students are protected, but also so that their work can reach the widest audience possible. It's a balance and it is very specific to each school context. What is right for some schools is not for others!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:19 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:20
Karen Nemeth: 
Some online learning can approximate face to face. For example - young children can have skype conversation with a favorite children's book author! Can't do that without tech!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:20 Karen Nemeth
2:20
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
I think both virtual collaboration is important as well as things like videoconferencing. With webtools, it is rarely a question of either/or, but rather: what tool works for this particular topic/lesson?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:20 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:20
Karen Nemeth: 
Or allowing students to skype with relatives from home country to learn and share about their language and culture - very real interactions
Friday September 14, 2012 2:20 Karen Nemeth
2:21
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Or even Skyping with other ELLs in another school in the same town!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:21 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:21
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Makes sense. So certain types of technology can help, but just like all technology, you have to be thoughtful and intentional about when and how to use it.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:21 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:22
Karen Nemeth: 
Yes - and always keeping in mind the brain craves human, responsive interaction first for good language development
Friday September 14, 2012 2:22 Karen Nemeth
2:22
[Comment From VannakVannak: ] 
What is F2F?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:22 Vannak
2:22
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
F2F = face to face
Friday September 14, 2012 2:22 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:22
Karen Nemeth: 
face to face
Friday September 14, 2012 2:22 Karen Nemeth
2:22
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
:)
Friday September 14, 2012 2:22 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:22
[Comment From SarahSarah: ] 
What is it about educational technology that appeals to children? Specifically with ELLs, how can the use of technology contribute to furthering development and ensuring that they are learning the necessary skills needed for positive interactions and later formal schooling?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:22 Sarah
2:23
Karen Nemeth: 
Some appealing aspects like beeps and flashes are not our ideal but...
Friday September 14, 2012 2:23 Karen Nemeth
2:23
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Ed tech often allows reticent learners (especially those beginning ELLs) to speak by recording herself so that she can re-record over mistakes and save face in this way.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:23 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:23
Karen Nemeth: 
the ability to pursue your interests, to solve problems through games and activities that go at your own pace, to explore and create - those aspects are also very appealing
Friday September 14, 2012 2:23 Karen Nemeth
2:24
Karen Nemeth: 
examples of apps allowing student to record own oral language:
Talking Tom and Smacktalk iPad apps,
Mystory recordable story building app
voice to text dictation software like Dragon
Friday September 14, 2012 2:24 Karen Nemeth
2:24
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
So many beginners are so worried about making mistakes that they clam up and don't speak (silent period - and THEN some!) Our students love to make avatars using Voki.com. They record their voice and choose a fun cartoon character to represent themselves. It is a great way to get them speaking!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:24 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:25
Karen Nemeth: 
I like Voki too - these are all good ways to make talking out loud fun and low-pressure.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:25 Karen Nemeth
2:25
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Glogster.com is another great tool for ELLs. Students can create posters on any topic and they can include voice, images, video... it is a super dynamic format and kids LOVE it!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:25 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:25
Karen Nemeth: 
they are so easy to use, even preK or K can do independently
Friday September 14, 2012 2:25 Karen Nemeth
2:26
[Comment From MarieMarie: ] 
I believe the integration of technology in the classroom has the potential to engage students who are shy or to try things without fear of ridicule.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:26 Marie
2:26
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Absolutely, Marie! We have found this to be the case!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:26 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:26
[Comment From TinaTina: ] 
I have students of all levels at the same time for one 40 minute period of ESL. There are 2 computers in the classroom , no white board or computer projector. New students particularly need a lot of personal attention. Do you have any suggestions how to keep more advanced students engaged and connected with technology while I am working with others?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:26 Tina
2:27
Karen Nemeth: 
I agree with Marie - also can be a great way to encourage a shy child and a good buddy to work together and collaborate, build confidence for later, bigger team work
Friday September 14, 2012 2:27 Karen Nemeth
2:27
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
How does technology help you differentiate learning for your students?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:27 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:27
Karen Nemeth: 
Tech lets you bring in any language needed by any student
Friday September 14, 2012 2:27 Karen Nemeth
2:28
Karen Nemeth: 
Tech can allow you to track what each child is doing and accomplishing such as www.pbskidsplay.org or www.yogiplay.com
Friday September 14, 2012 2:28 Karen Nemeth
2:28
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Students can collaborate asynchronously by working on the same doc at different times/ from different places. For instance, students can work together on a wiki or google doc - one can be in a computer lab, the other in the classroom, and then another can continue to work at home, or in the school library - all on the same document.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:28 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:28
Karen Nemeth: 
digital cameras, recording programs allow you to capture student work for portfolio assessment and to assist teacher in individualized planning
Friday September 14, 2012 2:28 Karen Nemeth
2:29
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question from Jen.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:29 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:29
[Comment From JennJenn: ] 
The article that was linked to this chat: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/08/24/01edtech-ell.h31.html mentions that some families of ELL students may be unfamiliar with tech as an educational tool. How can schools educate families (of both ELL and non-ELL students) so they are more comfortable/knowledgeable about how tech can support language learning?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:29 Jenn
2:29
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
What a great question, Jenn!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:29 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:29
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
This goes back to the importance of having a school/district-wide policy on appropriate use of ed tech.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:29 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:29
Karen Nemeth: 
Yes - and many immigrant families have no access to tech, or no access to tech they can read/use
Friday September 14, 2012 2:29 Karen Nemeth
2:30
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Once a policy document is created, it can/should be shared with the parents and community at large, and then there could be ed tech fairs and/or meetings to demonstrate some of the tools to parents.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:30 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:30
Karen Nemeth: 
Also - for families of younger children, I suggest a visit to the public library where they can learn to use the computers and internet even if they don't have it at home
Friday September 14, 2012 2:30 Karen Nemeth
2:30
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Good suggestions.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:30 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:30
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
It could even be a hands-on fair in which parents get to play with some of the tools so they can become more familiar with them.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:30 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:31
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
To switch gears a little bit, Fran had a question about PD..
Friday September 14, 2012 2:31 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:31
[Comment From Fran SimonFran Simon: ] 
Can you talk about professional development opportunities for teachers to prepare them to use technology with DLLs?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:31 Fran Simon
2:31
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Yes, Fran. I think this is crucial...
Friday September 14, 2012 2:31 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:31
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
What PD have you two gone through that has been helpful? What would you suggest for ELL teachers just starting out?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:31 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:31
Karen Nemeth: 
I know preK programs that invite families in to use their computers after school to learn language, look for jobs, etc - and often offer classes for the ELL parents - this is great way to encourage further involvement in the school
Friday September 14, 2012 2:31 Karen Nemeth
2:32
[Comment From JerardJerard: ] 
On Jenn's question: We as and Education Service Center try to collaborate with districts and communities to educate teachers and parents alike. We work with our Title III/Bilingual and Migrant components to reach as many people as possible.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:32 Jerard
2:32
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
I have worked with teachers all over the US and internationally on using webtools in teaching languages. The most important element of good ed tech PD is TIME!!!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:32 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:32
Karen Nemeth: 
Professional development for teachers can start with social media - learning strategies and apps and software via online twitter chats such as #edtech or #ecetechchat
Friday September 14, 2012 2:32 Karen Nemeth
2:32
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
You're pretty involved with some education Twitter chats, right Karen?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:32 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:33
Karen Nemeth: 
Lori is so right - can't just be one-shot workshop! PD must include time for practice, play and experimentation.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:33 Karen Nemeth
2:33
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Too often teachers are exposed to a one-hour presentation with no follow-up or time for exploration of webtools. It is so important for teachers to be allowed to play around with the tools, to become comfortable, and to have FUN with them before using them with students.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:33 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:33
Karen Nemeth: 
Yes - Twitter allows people from all aspects of the field AND from all over the world to share ideas and to ask questions.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:33 Karen Nemeth
2:34
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
I also recommend that teachers play with the tools for personal use before thinking about an educational use. For example, when I was learning VoiceThread.com, I create a VT with pix of my son to send to my sister in Florida. It was a lot more fun and a lot less stressful when it was something enjoyable and low-pressure. THEN I started thinking about uses for school.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:34 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:34
Karen Nemeth: 
Fran Simon and i helped to organize a Technology Playdate at the NAEYC Professional Development Institute last June - 150 people showed up for the opportunity to just play with apps and software - a hands-on event was so successful
Friday September 14, 2012 2:34 Karen Nemeth
2:35
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Since we have Lori back with us, maybe she can help weigh in on this question:
Friday September 14, 2012 2:35 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:35
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
You have given some great resources for little ones. We get a lot of high school age students from Africa and Central/South America who are either illiterate in their primary language or don't use the same alphabet. They don't like using cartoons or little kid materials because they want to be treated like adults. What resources do you have for older students?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:35 Guest
2:35
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
I LOVE the playdate idea, Karen!!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:35 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:35
Karen Nemeth: 
We are working with NAEYC's Technology Interest Forum and other national organizations to do an-all day playdate at the November converence www.naeyc.org
Friday September 14, 2012 2:35 Karen Nemeth
2:35
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Do you have suggestions of resources or apps that would be good to use with older students?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:35 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:36
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
YES! This is a huge problem in teaching languages - the visuals don't match the proficiency level...
Friday September 14, 2012 2:36 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:36
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
I think VoiceThread is an excellent tool for older students (but also good for young ones too).
Friday September 14, 2012 2:36 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:36
Karen Nemeth: 
Well - teachers need to be specific about ages/grades and topics. What's good for one might be terrible for another - but there are thousands of great apps and tools for older years, right Lori?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:36 Karen Nemeth
2:37
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
I LOVE Delicious.com and other social bookmarking tools for older students - it's a great way to get them to be more organized about their processing of web-based information. It also allows for great student-to-student collaboration.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:37 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:37
Karen Nemeth: 
Here is the information for the technology play date at November NAEYC conference http://www.ecetech.net/events/techondeck/
Friday September 14, 2012 2:37 Karen Nemeth
2:38
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Yes, Karen! It also depends on the context. What might work for MY 8th grader might not work for yours.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:38 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:38
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Definitely - you have to evaluate what's right for your students.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:38 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:38
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Here's a question from Khoi that I think is on a lot of folks' minds:
Friday September 14, 2012 2:38 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:38
[Comment From KhoiKhoi: ] 
How can technology help satisfy the upcoming Common Core State Standards in regards to English language learning/education?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:38 Khoi
2:39
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
I have TONS of materials on my Delicious site: http://www.delicious.com/miscositas. You can search using "ELL" as the tag and find lots of great sites there. Remember, friends: sharing is caring! If you find great stuff, bookmark it and share it with others!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:39 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:39
Karen Nemeth: 
Great question! One benefit is technology can help you fine tune lessons and activities to match the common core standards and allow you to build progress monitoring into the activity
Friday September 14, 2012 2:39 Karen Nemeth
2:40
Karen Nemeth: 
That's right, Lori - that's why it's called social bookmarking - because it's all about sharing!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:40 Karen Nemeth
2:41
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
YES! CCSS! I think that there is access to such amazing reading online, and ways for students to highlight virtually on the webpage (you can do this with Delicious!! also with Diigo.com) - these are the kinds of online tools that help kids with that "deep reading" of non-fiction topics that is so important in CCSS.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:41 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:41
Karen Nemeth: 
IN other words - don't just find a free math app. Instead - look for the specific skills you want to build, then look for apps that support those skills and are available in multiple languages
Friday September 14, 2012 2:41 Karen Nemeth
2:42
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Another question from Khoi...
Friday September 14, 2012 2:42 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:42
[Comment From KhoiKhoi: ] 
Some teachers are looking towards games as tools to teach. What are your thoughts about online educational games for ELLs?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:42 Khoi
2:42
Karen Nemeth: 
A great source of tech tools and learning strategies for young children is the new www.yourele.org from the Fred Rogers Center
Friday September 14, 2012 2:42 Karen Nemeth
2:42
Karen Nemeth: 
Wow - I am very cautious about "games"
Friday September 14, 2012 2:42 Karen Nemeth
2:43
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
LOVE online games and especially virtual worlds. There was a lot of interest in SecondLife for ELLs when it came out. For many reasons, there are concerns about safety in this sort of online environment... BUT...
Friday September 14, 2012 2:43 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:43
Karen Nemeth: 
My friend, Judie Haynes, is national expert, speaker and author on ESL for elementary- high school talks about this alot. Vocabulary MUST be learned in meaningful context. glorified flashcards, memory or bingo games are of little value
Friday September 14, 2012 2:43 Karen Nemeth
2:44
Karen Nemeth: 
But there are many games - like virtual worlds - that can be rich, engaging, and connected to the content that the student needs to learn and communicate in school
Friday September 14, 2012 2:44 Karen Nemeth
2:44
[Comment From KhoiKhoi: ] 
Going back to games, you might have a look at www.word-raider.com, it's a vocabulary adventure game that allows students to play and learn at their own pace.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:44 Khoi
2:44
[Comment From Judie HaynesJudie Haynes: ] 
Karen and I host #ELLCHAT on Twitter every Monday night at 9PM EDT.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:44 Judie Haynes
2:44
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
There are safer "worlds" - I love Panwapa.com for younger students. It comes from the good folks at Sesame Workshop and it is a wonderful place to start learning vocabulary in a fun/safe environment. It also comes in Chinese, Spanish, Arabic and Japanese!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:44 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:45
[Comment From Zulma VelascoZulma Velasco: ] 
Discovery Education (if available)is a great resource for specific Common Core Satandard content media for all levels of ELLs
Friday September 14, 2012 2:45 Zulma Velasco
2:45
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Grammar Ninja is also fun!
http://www.kwarp.com/portfolio/grammarninja.html
Friday September 14, 2012 2:45 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:46
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Back to online learning, here's a question from Judie
Friday September 14, 2012 2:46 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:46
[Comment From Judie HaynesJudie Haynes: ] 
This part of the article concerns me: "ELLs would seem poised to benefit greatly from the prospect of self-paced study, direct teacher correspondence without other students observing, and an adaptive curriculum." It is not referring to using web resources during a lessons but online courses for ELLs. How do you feel about that?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:46 Judie Haynes
2:46
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Have either of you had any experience teaching fully ELLs in a cyber school environment? What do you think about the idea?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:46 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:46
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Good question, Judie. I think a blend is good, though I would worry about ELLs doing a completely online course of study.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:46 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:47
Karen Nemeth: 
I also like apps like Cookie Doodle, Agnitus, Dim Sum Warriors, and the iLearnwith apps
Friday September 14, 2012 2:47 Karen Nemeth
2:47
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
That face-to-face component is so crucial for ELLs...
Friday September 14, 2012 2:47 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:47
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
This is the article Judie is referring to, by the way: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/08/24/01edtech-ell.h31.html
Friday September 14, 2012 2:47 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:48
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
In the article, it talks about how ELLs are one of the slowest growing populations of students in online learning, probably for some of the reasons we've already addressed.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:48 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:48
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
A few more resources to check out, from Judie:
Friday September 14, 2012 2:48 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:48
[Comment From Judie HaynesJudie Haynes: ] 
• New York Science Teacher http://newyorkscienceteacher.com/sci/pages/esl/index.php. New York Science Teacher provides lists of key vocabulary in different science disciplines and in 7 languages. Grades 7-12. • Simple English Wiktionary http://simple.wiktionary.org/wiki/Main_Page Wiktionary is an online dictionary. Simple English Wiktionary provides definitions for ELs in simple language. It also provides a definition of vocabulary in English in a variety of languages. Grades 5-12. • WatchKnowLearn http://www.watchknowlearn.org/ WatchKnowLearn provides free education videos on content area information. Some of the information is provided with captions in English that help to support our work with ELs. K-12.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:48 Judie Haynes
2:48
[Comment From Glorianne RusateGlorianne Rusate: ] 
What's the best way to find out about great websites for ELLs besides just putting it in Search?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:48 Glorianne Rusate
2:49
Karen Nemeth: 
We know some school districts let language teachers go and replaced with language teaching software. This is not advisable. There is some value in using language teaching software for older students as part of their learning experience, but teacher interaction is necessary.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:49 Karen Nemeth
2:49
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
How do you find out about new tools and resources? Are there list servs to join, or social networks to check out to stay in the know?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:49 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:50
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
YES, Katie! I follow great friends/colleagues... and strangers! on Delicious, Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest. I find new things EVERY day! Again, the sharing is so important... and fun!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:50 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:50
Karen Nemeth: 
Best ways to find new resources:
1. Join the twitter chats we mentioned.
2. establish your own professional learning network to share - perhaps using diigo or delicious groups
Friday September 14, 2012 2:50 Karen Nemeth
2:51
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
There are also excellent tools shared by teachers on professional ListServs... and then in professional journals and at conferences.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:51 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:51
Karen Nemeth: 
Also - some GREAT Linked In groups on these topics - such as Early Childhood Technology Network, Technology Integration in Education, ISTE, TESOL and so on
Friday September 14, 2012 2:51 Karen Nemeth
2:51
Karen Nemeth: 
Plus - now you can learn from a conference you can't attend by following the twitter feed and asking questions of the people who do attend
Friday September 14, 2012 2:51 Karen Nemeth
2:51
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great. Many questions have come in around the issue of poverty and access to technology, like this one from Jeremy:
Friday September 14, 2012 2:51 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:51
[Comment From Jeremy AldrichJeremy Aldrich: ] 
For me, some of the biggest benefits of technology for language learners are access to free and high quality input, increasing time on task, and immediate feedback. But access to technology is an issue for many of our students in poverty, including most of our ELLs. What are some of the best practices you see for extending access to technology within and beyond the school day?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:51 Jeremy Aldrich
2:52
Karen Nemeth: 
Yes. We call it the digital divide or the app gap
Friday September 14, 2012 2:52 Karen Nemeth
2:52
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
App gap - first time I've heard that!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:52 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:52
Karen Nemeth: 
We do know more people from low income households have smart phones than computers - so think of ways to reach them that way
Friday September 14, 2012 2:52 Karen Nemeth
2:52
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Such a good point, Jeremy... For some of our students who do not have access, we try to provide options that leverage the popularity of webtools without having to go online.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:52 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:53
Karen Nemeth: 
even sending home mp3 players loaded with specific songs or podcasts to enhance home school connection and extend learning
Friday September 14, 2012 2:53 Karen Nemeth
2:54
Karen Nemeth: 
And don't forget to help those families get in to the public library to access tech there too
Friday September 14, 2012 2:54 Karen Nemeth
2:54
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
It sounds like this may not fall within your expertise, Karen and Lori, but do you have some suggestions for where Toni might be able to find more info:
Friday September 14, 2012 2:54 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:54
[Comment From Toni A.Toni A.: ] 
In my cyber school, there are some students that have barriers that keep them from traditional schools (dangerous settings, serious illnesses, etc). The are showing up at a steady pace at our cyber school. I was hoping that there might be some suggestions that would address schools in cyber settings. Tools, games, and apps. are nice but I need more insight into ESL online instruction.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:54 Toni A.
2:54
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
For example, we do some projects with students around developing a FB profile for someone famous - a historical figure, a musician, etc. They design a profile with friends, groups, wall posts, etc. This is all done by way of a pen-and-paper template that is a mock-up of a FB page. No need for online access, and kids love the fact that they are "doing Facebook" in school!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:54 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:54
Karen Nemeth: 
Many community organizations are responding to this lack of tech for high - need populations. You may find a local church or group that is offering computer time and you can partner with them to be sure the families of students get what they need
Friday September 14, 2012 2:54 Karen Nemeth
2:55
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
The BBC has wonderful online materials for ELLs that might help, Toni: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/
Friday September 14, 2012 2:55 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:56
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Also the British Council: http://premierskills.britishcouncil.org/teachers
Friday September 14, 2012 2:56 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:56
Karen Nemeth: 
Oh, Toni. We need more than an hour for your question! I would say of course it depends on the age - but virtual world apps can help. Look for apps/activities that can lead to interactions - such as skype buddies, or activities - like cookiedoodle app which allows children to play with quantities and shapes and you can then back the actual cookies in your kitchen. That's just a start
Friday September 14, 2012 2:56 Karen Nemeth
2:57
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Great, well, we have just a few minutes left. Let's try to tackle one more question.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:57 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:57
[Comment From JerardJerard: ] 
Software and apps are definitely great. Are there actual devices that you two would suggest for the different age groups? Tablets vs. computers vs. smartphones?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:57 Jerard
2:57
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
I also think that resources like Khan academy and videos on YouTube can be a huge help for cyberschools!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:57 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:57
Karen Nemeth: 
UK is doing so much with tech for education. My daughter is a teacher in London - they always have whiteboards and such
Friday September 14, 2012 2:57 Karen Nemeth
2:57
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Hardware - what are you using, Karen and Lori?
Friday September 14, 2012 2:57 Moderator: Katie Ash
2:58
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Tablets are definitely a huge help... students love them and there are TONS of apps out there for teaching ELLs.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:58 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:58
Karen Nemeth: 
For the youngest, I like iPads or other tablets best. iPhones are very small, hard to share. Whiteboards are so big they are too often used for large group activities which are not best for differentiating instruction with little kids.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:58 Karen Nemeth
2:59
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
For a great list of iPad apps for ELLs, try: http://esltechies.com.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:59 Lori Langer de Ramirez
2:59
Karen Nemeth: 
But boy, oh boy, do i love the capabilities of Smart Tables for 8 sets of hands to collaborate on projects and record each of their activities and use different languages and record their conversations! just a question of money!
Friday September 14, 2012 2:59 Karen Nemeth
2:59
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Definitely.
Friday September 14, 2012 2:59 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
Thank you both so much for joining us for today's chat, Karen and Lori. We blew threw quite a few questions, and I know there are still some we didn't get to... There's obviously a lot of interest in this topic.
Friday September 14, 2012 3:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:00
Karen Nemeth: 
Really - one best thing is digital camera!!! allows teacher AND students to actually create technology based tools that are most relevant, most meaningful and most connected to context of classroom and neighborhood
Friday September 14, 2012 3:00 Karen Nemeth
3:00
Moderator: Katie Ash: 
And thanks to all of you who submitted questions!
Friday September 14, 2012 3:00 Moderator: Katie Ash
3:00
Lori Langer de Ramirez: 
Thanks, everyone! Happy tech explorations!!
Friday September 14, 2012 3:00 Lori Langer de Ramirez
3:00
[Comment From GaryGary: ] 
Thank you for conducting this chat!
Friday September 14, 2012 3:00 Gary
3:01
[Comment From KhoiKhoi: ] 
Thank you so much.
Friday September 14, 2012 3:01 Khoi
3:01
Karen Nemeth: 
Thanks to everyone! What a fun and interesting chat! So many ideas!
Friday September 14, 2012 3:01 Karen Nemeth
3:01
Bryan Toporek: 
Thanks again, folks, for joining us for today's chat, Supporting English-Language Learners With Technology, sponsored by Rosetta Stone. We hope you enjoyed your time with us today.

A special thanks to our two great guests, Lori and Karen, and our moderator, Katie, for all their work today. 

We'll have a transcript of today's chat posted within the hour at this same link. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Friday September 14, 2012 3:01 Bryan Toporek
3:01
 

 
 
 

Supporting English-Language Learners With Technology

Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, 2–3 p.m. ET

Although online learning is exploding in popularity, the English-language learner, or ELL, population is one of the most underrepresented in virtual education. Our guests for this chat discussed why ELLs have shied away from virtual education, what that means for educators, and how to open up more online learning opportunities for this population of students. Our guests also talked about technology tools designed to support English-language learners in school and how they are being used. Resources for teachers as well as examples of technology-infused ELL instruction are provided in this online chat.

Guests:
Lori Langer de Ramirez, director, World and Classical Languages & Global Language Initiatives, The Dalton School
Karen Nemeth, founder and lead consultant, Language Castle

Katie Ash, staff writer, Education Week, moderated this chat.

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