Breaking language and digital barriers in bilingual education

This bilingual school is using technology to integrate students

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Taking a foreign language class can help when ordering a French crepe or finding the nearest bathroom, but it can only get a student so far in a globalized world.

As the internet connects people across the world and as the United States continues to diversify, it is becoming more necessary to know multiple languages well.

To do this, many are not only turning to foreign language classes, but they also are finding opportunities for immersion. Perhaps this is why there are more than 6 million bilingual learners now in public schools.

“Parents are now recognizing the importance of exposing their children to global realities,” said Santiago Wood, Ph.D., executive director of the National Association for Bilingual Education. “It’s amazing the amount of dual language programs that are skyrocketing across the country.”

Bilingual education models attempt to address the language barrier between English Language Learners (ELL) and native English-speaking students. One school has found that technology can help bridge that gap.

(Next page: Closing the linguistic gap)

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Five Strategies for BYOD Success

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With the growing use of mobile technology in the modern classroom and an increasing number of schools are introducing BYOD schemes, platform flexibility is key for today’s classroom management software solutions.  This paper provides the five best practices to help your school get the most out of your BYOD initiative.

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How do teachers, parents approach online safety?

The importance of online safety education can’t be ignored

online-safetyToday, children in elementary school often have just as much, if not more, technology know-how than adults. But as children’s tech use increases, and as they spend more time online, digital citizenship and safety issues become even more important.

Parents look to teachers to pass knowledge to students, and teachers look to parents to help with the home-school connection and reinforce what students learn in the classroom.

In a survey by AVG Technologies, 82 percent of teachers said they think parents rely too much on schools when it comes to educating students about online safety, and 38 percent of teachers also said that their students’ parents don’t know enough about online safety.

(Next page: Students’ online practices)

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Six great ed-tech resources on YouTube

These YouTube resources can help educators improve learning and deliver instruction more effectively, and enhance the student experience

ed-tech-youtube-resourcesEducators and students are using social media to improve learning and deliver instruction more effectively.

This learning dynamic can occur by creating educational websites, communicating about assignments and classroom discussion on Twitter, and engaging with multimedia by posting Vine videos.

Embracing mobile technology and social media in the proper, academic setting can prove productive for learning and growth.

Videos are some of the best teaching tools available to teachers and students, and YouTube offers a seemingly infinite number of educational channels on varying topics.

Take a look at the following six YouTube resources on technology and innovation in education. If you feel that we are missing some terrific resources, please share your views and opinions with us in the comments section below and by joining the conversation on Twitter @eschoolnews.

(Next page: Six YouTube resources for students and teachers)

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Top software that will make every teacher’s life easier

These five online software tools can really help teachers deliver instruction more effectively and enhance the student experience

software-teacher-educationIf you ask any teacher, most of them will tell you that much of their time and effort goes towards planning lessons, arranging tests and creating effective and engaging educational materials. More time and effort is spent on these areas than the actual teaching of the lessons in the majority of cases.

With so many online resources now available on the internet to ease the workload for teachers, this no longer need be the case. While it can be a little daunting for educators move from the traditional “pen and paper” tools to more contemporary online tools, it is a lot easier than you think.

You don’t need to be a computer whiz to reap the benefits of online teaching tools to make your teaching lives a lot easier. Here are some of the top online tools available for teachers.

1. Lesson planners

Think of lesson plans as road maps where you have a general idea of the direction you want the lesson to take, but be prepared for an interesting diversion that could happen along the way. Having a lesson plan helps you maintain focus and ensure you cover all the relevant aspects of your topic.

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App of the Week: Follow that shark!

Global system lets shark enthusiasts track sharks’ movement

shark-trackerName: Global Shark Tracker

What is it? An app for tracking and observing navigational patterns of sharks

Best for: Students and teachers

Price: Free

Requirements: iOS 5.1 or later; Android 2.2 and up

Features: OCEARCH’s Global Shark Tracker lets you observe the navigational pattern of sharks that have been tagged with satellite tracking technology all for the purpose of shark conservation. OCEARCH facilitates unprecedented research by supporting leading researchers and institutions seeking to attain groundbreaking data on the biology and health of sharks, in conjunction with basic research on shark life history and migration.

Link:

iTunes

Android

 

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5 emerging trends in today’s libraries

Libraries are growing digital hubs, offering varied services

ALA-librariesTechnology and digital resources are expanding rapidly in U.S. libraries, and important tech tools that serve entire communities are available at nearly all libraries across the nation.

The American Library Association’s 2014 Digital Inclusion Survey makes note of the large role libraries play in education, individual engagement, as well as new programs they are developing, such as maker programming and 3D printing.

Though digital resources are growing throughout libraries, the survey also found that this growth is uneven. For instance, fewer than half of rural libraries said they increased bandwidth speeds in the last 24 months, compared with 64 percent of urban libraries and 56 percent of suburban libraries.

(Next page: Top findings about libraries’ digital offerings)

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How apps are surpassing the traditional tutor

Will traditional tutors become obsolete with rising app popularity?

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Deciding if you want to use a tutor, or if you’d just rather download an app to help you, is becoming more difficult these days. Technology has and will continue to amaze us with its new inventions, but when people question if professions are necessary, should we become concerned?

A tutor has historically been an instructor who meets a student at their home or a library to help with assignments or a specific subject–but with apps, students often have more on-demand academic help.

Learning from an app can be ideal for the new generation because it offers flexibility and little or no cost.

“Mobile and web applications offer personalized, low cost learning 24/7,” says Kristen Winkler, an education blogger and founder of EDUKWEST. “No need to deal with scheduling lessons in advance, cancellations or other annoying stuff.”

When it comes to a private tutor, prices can range from $10 to $15 per hour if hiring a high school student, and up to $75 per hour for a certified teacher with experience, according to care.com.

Solution: Instead of paying for someone to come in, why not just sign up for free or nearly free program students can access at any time?

(Next page: Saving money and convenience)

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Two benefits of eBooks for early readers

eBooks help build reading confidence, serve as a teaching aid and provide an opportunity for a brighter future for students

ebooks-learners-studentsThe future of eBooks opens up opportunities for teachers and students alike. eBooks provide fluent readings and other engaging tools that help early readers achieve academic success.

And, with the help of modern technology, they expand possibilities far outside what traditional books provide. If utilized correctly, eBooks can position students for early reading success. Two key benefits eBooks include:

“Flip the classroom”

For the first time, early readers can truly “flip the classroom.” Students can access books at home, and access assistance where needed. If a student gets stuck on a word, they can click said word, and the eBook will read the word for them. The words will highlight as the narrator reads them, which is fantastic for helping early readers with decoding.

In addition, the teacher can view which words a student clicked on and determine whether they retained the words they had trouble with. These features allow teachers to have a more holistic view of their student’s progress, and allows student to continue learning outside of the classroom.

Progress tracking

The eBooks of today allow you to connect to a school or the eBook publisher’s Learning Management System (LMS). This connection allows teachers to track a student’s progress, how much they’ve been reading and even what they like to read. By reviewing LMS data teachers will not only be able to help students find and read books they will enjoy, but also will help select and assign books that are on a students’ reading level.

With access to the internet and any internet compatible device, teachers and students have more opportunities to achieve reading success than ever before. eBooks enable students to learn at their own pace on their own time by use of “flip the classroom.” And, for teachers, eBook’s linking with LMS provides an accurate and more streamlined way to track progress of early readers.

In the future, eBooks will provide even more opportunity by engaging the built-in, forward facing camera to track a child’s eye movement as they read which aids in the earlier diagnosis of dyslexia. eBooks for early readers help build reading confidence, serve as a successful teaching aid and provide an opportunity for a brighter future for students at all reading levels.

John Cheary is the founder of K8e, the world’s first scalable production and distribution platform for the Interactive eBook market and CEO of John Marshall Media.

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Is U.S. innovation lacking?

International innovation analysis reveals top countries’ practices

US-innovationMeasuring innovation is critical to effecting change and improvement in education–and in fact, knowing how practices impact education on an international scale could improve education across the globe, according to a new report that seeks to measure educational innovation.

The OECD report, Measuring Innovation in Education, compares educational innovation to innovation in other sectors, pinpoints specific examples of educational innovation, and also examines how changes in educational outcomes are related to educational innovation.

Why measure innovation? Part of it has to do with a recent push for what the report called the “innovation imperative” that is spreading through the public sector and public services in an attempt to boost economic performance and prosperity.

(Next page: Key findings, and why innovation matters)

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