Reading, Vocabulary, Glogster, Funding, ESL Teachers, VoiceThread

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Cutting to the Common Core: The Positive Side of the Digital Divide by J. Zorfass and T. Gray in Language Magazine: The authors make the case for using digital texts to support the reading process for all learners.

Computer games give boost to English. The University of Gothenburg in Science Daily Success in the world of computer games and a good English vocabulary go hand in hand. A recent study has shown that players who are good at computer games increase their English vocabulary. The study also showed a difference between the genders. Boys spend about twice as much time a week playing computer games as girls. However, girls spend about twice as much time a week on Facebook and other language-related activities.

Tools for achieving oral fluency by Marsha Appling-Nunez in Language Magazine: The author makes suggestions for helping English language learners with their speaking and presentation skills. Glogster is a graphical blog that students can use when doing oral books reports, or other presentations. She also recommends PechaKucha Prezi, which is a method of presenting information using pictures only which requires the speaker to focus on good pronunciation, filler reduction, and vocabulary.

For Public Schools, the Long and Bumpy Road to Going Digital by Kathy Baron in Mindshift: Equipment, software licensing, training. Funding – or lack of it – is the number one issue facing school districts as they convert to the digital learning world.

Preparing Teacher Candidates to Work with English Language Learners in an Online Course Environment by Stephanie Dewing in TEIS News: The author reports on a study she did on the efficacy of an online course for ESL teachers. She found minimal evidence of transformative learning experiences. She proposes several changes in course design to try to produce a context more conducive for transformational learning.

Using Web 2.0 Tools, Such as Voicethread™, to Enhance ELL Instructor and Student Learning by Kelly Torres In TEIS News: Torres advocates using tools such as VoiceThread™, a multimedia tool that can provide a slide show with pictures, documents, and videos to engage students in online course materials by allowing them to see and hear their peers.

2 Responses

  1. Lynn, re the Zorfass & Gray article: As an English teacher, my sense is that college students today are better readers and writers because of digital text. They’re also becoming better thinkers. I don’t have any proof. It’s just a gut feeling based on years of working with student writers. The best part is, the quality of writing/thinking among the top third has really shot up. My guess is that they’re exposed to good writing and thinking from a wide range of sources on an equally wide range of topics day in and day out so it’s rubbing off naturally. And they’re also writing a lot more via social media. Also, writing papers and self-publishing has become extremely easy. They can do it on their smartphones, iPads, notebooks, etc. It’s no longer a tedious task. When they review classmates’ drafts, they routinely suggest using spell check built into word processors and even email and social media. Thus, spelling has drastically diminished as a problem. Unintended consequence? LOL!

  2. […] Cutting to the Common Core: The Positive Side of the Digital Divide by J. Zorfass and T. Gray in Language Magazine: The authors make the case for using digital texts to support the reading process …  […]

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