I thought readers might find it interesting to see what student technology projects I’ll be working on this upcoming school year.
Of course, we’ll be continuing the International Sister Classes Project (this time with teachers of Intermediate English classes from ten different countries).
We’ll also be continuing our Family Literacy Project, where forty-three immigrant families are provided home computers and Internet access to further their English skills. As I’ve described, our assessments have shown that students with these home computers have a two-to-three times greater improvement in their English-reading skills than those in our control group.
It also looks like we might be expanding our after-school ESL Lab to even more students this year, where English Language Learner students use my website for an hour each day.
In addition to continuing these three projects, I’ll be starting two others:
* I’ll be teaching two separate U.S. History classes to English Language Learners. One will be in the computer lab most of the time. I’ll be using my usual engaging (at least, in my mind!) non-tech strategies in the other class. There will be a number of assessments for both — measuring higher-order thinking and factual recall, along with self-evaluations. It will be interesting to see how the two compare.
* My mainstream ninth-grade English class will be regularly doing some technology projects related to our class. Only they’ll be doing them in their computer applications class, whose teacher has agreed to give them at least fifteen minutes a day to work on them — the equivalent of a class-period-and-a-half each week. I’ll be comparing their cloze and reading fluency assessments with those of another class not doing these online projects. Of course, it won’t be a fair assessment since there is no telling what the control group scores would be if the had a period-and-a-half of extra English class time doing something else, even just reading a book of their choice. But it will be an intriguing comparison, nevertheless.
There may be one more project I pursue:
Many of our Special Ed students are using my website more and more in class. If I have the energy and time, I might explore with some of their teachers doing some kind of assessments to compare with a control group that does not use the website.
I’m very open to hearing from readers about their ideas how to make these projects more successful.