Keep your students connected this month! At DigitalLiteracy.gov, students can find resources to build their digital literacy in one of the following areas:
World Teachers’ Day celebrates teachers and the organizations that support them. We would like to recognize their efforts by offering a resource to make it all a little easier. Technology can be used to connect and support teachers through virtual communities of practice. If you haven't already found a place where you can connect with colleagues to exchange ideas and information, give it a try this month and see how it can benefit you. If you are already a member, consider how you can improve the way you use your community. Here are some tips from Cynthia Zafft:
Right now, I belong to several LINCS community of practice (COP) discussion groups (there are 14 in all). Here are five ways I have used the LINCS COP for my own professional growth:
To join the LINCS COP, go to http://lincs.ed.gov/ and click on "Join the Community". Create an account, select which group/s you would like to join, and you're on your way! Do you belong to other groups? Do you recommend them for others? Share them in the comments!
It’s October - and that means it’s Connected Educator Month! How will you participate?
If you’re not sure where to start, the Connected Educator Month website has you covered! Visit their Getting Started page for a great list to get you going, in particular the Starter Kit which contains 31 online activities (one for each day of October!) covering topics like social media, blogs, wikis, webinars, and much more. Get a jump start on Day #4 and receive updates about the Month by following #ce14 on Twitter (not a Twitter user? Not to worry, that’s covered in Day #3).
Don’t forget to send in your entry for our contest! In honor of Connected Educator month, we want to showcase the ways you are using technology in instruction in your classroom. Read more about the contest here. Send in your submission by October 15th for a chance to win $50.
Tech Tips for Teachers
What better way to celebrate Adult Education and Family Literacy Week than by implementing a Tech Tip and getting students involved in advocating for expanding the adult education system! This one is aimed at helping higher-level adult learners determine main ideas in text, integrate technology and College and Career Readiness Standards, and go online to advocate for change. As usual, we offer some basic lesson ideas and not a full-fledged, detailed lesson plan. For example, you will likely want to do more pre-reading and writing activities as well as review challenging vocabulary found in the reading.
Ask the class the following: “Adult education needs more funding.” True or False? Then follow up, asking students to respond why, orally.
1. Use a projector to show students the following letter to the president that was created by ValueUSA.org, an organization supporting adult basic education.
2. Ask students what the main idea is and where in the letter they found the information. (Review what a main idea is, if necessary.) Have them indicate it by coming up to the computer and highlighting those areas.
3. Ask the class what supporting details they can find in the letter, and have them show the class as above. (Review what a supporting idea is, if necessary.)
4. Then ask students what action the conclusion requests of the president.
5. Ask the class if they agree with the letter. Talk about what a petition is and the value of filling one out. Discuss with students any privacy or other concerns they may have. Help those who want to submit the petition.
This week is Welcoming Week! Welcoming Week is hosted by Welcoming America and partners to highlight the contributions of immigrants in America. In solidarity with this movement, we wanted to share a website that might be of interest to many adult learners: Immigrant Nation. Students can read and share stories as well as view short films such as the compelling Caretaker.
The Immigrant Nation site walks you through the steps of how to have students add their own stories, including how to find a photo if you don’t have one to use. The stories are set up in two parts, each of 300 characters or less. At the end of each story or video you have the opportunity to add a comment.
What is really nice about the site is that it could be used with many different levels and types of classes. But having so many options actually makes it somewhat challenging for me to suggest just one possible lesson idea. What we would really like, is to hear from different teachers on how you think it could be used. That way this post could have many different suggestions in the comment section below. Please take a moment to share your ideas. Thanks in advance.
** Reminder ** Connected Educator Month is coming up in October. Don't miss our contest! Share your best practices for technology in education for a chance to win $50. Review the submission guidelines. Deadline for submissions is October 15, 2014.
Tech Tips for Teachers
I was inspired by the current issue of The Change Agent, “All About Food,” to write up a post with a food theme. There are many different online tools and resources around diet, nutrition, and cooking that can be used to develop lessons that incorporate everyday problem-solving using math and technology.
Begin by asking your students if they cook, and if they do, if they follow a recipe. You could have students read either “Fast Food: Bad for Your Health” or “Growing Up With Not Enough".* Then list some benefits of cooking your own food that are identified in the articles. Another fun discussion-starter on this topic is this short YouTube video by Michael Pollan “How Cooking Can Change Your Life” (2:29).
*We’re happy to be able to share these Change Agent articles with you here for free. The rest of the magazine, audio articles, and extras, are available by subscription.
Depending on your time, have the students work in pairs at a computer to go through all or some of the scenarios below. For my examples, I’m using this recipe for chocolate chip cookies, but you could pick any recipe you want from http://allrecipes.com/ or a similar site or have students pick out their own recipes.
1. Missing Ingredients
You are missing two of the ingredients for your recipe. Use this chart to find out what you could use instead.
Example: I am missing 1 teaspoon of baking powder. I could substitute 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda plus 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
2. Changing Recipe Sizes
You have guests coming and need to double the recipe. How about triple the recipe? Use this conversion tool to simplify your measurements. For example, instead of six teaspoons of vanilla you could put two tablespoons. If you are using allrecipes.com you can “cheat” by clicking on “change servings” in the recipe. Try doing it on your own first, then use the recipe adjuster to check your work.
3. Dietary Restrictions
You have guests who cannot eat certain foods. Will your recipe be something they can all eat? Will you need to substitute ingredients or even look up a different recipe? If you don’t know what the words mean, go to the Google search bar and try finding the definition by typing “define:” and then the word.
4. Counting Calories
You’re on a diet! You want to eat only a certain number of calories. Use this calculator to estimate the number of calories in your dish.
Example: I only can eat 200 calories of cookies. Each cookie has about 138 calories, so I can only eat one!
Discuss which of these online tools students think that they'd be most likely to use and why. What other situations might come up while preparing food that online tools might be able to help with?
Download a Word version of the scenarios that you can edit to use in your classroom.
What other lessons related to food have you tried in your classroom? Share with us in the comments!
In honor of Connected Educator Month, Tech Tips for Teachers invites adult education programs to share their best practices for technology in education for a chance to win $50 and have their entry posted here on our blog. Effective use of technology can help students accelerate learning in and beyond the classroom. How has your program used technology to benefit your students? Browse past blog posts for ideas to help you get started.
Send us an example of something that you've tried that demonstrates effective use of technology in adult education.
Submissions can be created by teachers or students, or by an entire program working together.
Submissions can be in any format. Be creative! We suggest:
By submitting this entry to the Tech Tips for Teachers Connected Educator Month Contest, I am granting World Education permission to post my submission on their blog and website. I acknowledge that all participants featured in this project have granted their permission for it to be posted.
Winning submissions will be notified by the end of October. If you have any trouble sending us your submission, or have questions about the contest, please contact Leah Peterson at email@example.com or 617-482-9485.
Here's another guest post from Sharon Hennessy (read her previous post about TodaysMeet here.)
For reading comprehension and fluency Spreeder is an interesting web-based application. Paste any text into the reader and set the speed, font size, and begin reading. I do this in class using a classroom computer and projector, but Spreeder can be used by individuals on tablets and phones too.
According to some studies, fluent college readers read at 350 words per minute with good comprehension while average non native English speakers often read at 150 words per minute.(1) Because texts read in Spreeder support phrase reading and help students develop fluent reading, I’ve found it helpful to introduce my non-native English speaking students to this tool. They can use it to judge, control, and develop their reading speed.
In class, I put passages we had previously read in Spreeder, and ran them at different speeds so students could understand the target needed for college level reading. I asked them to find a level that was comfortable for them. Then students read unfamiliar texts at a comfortable speed and answered comprehension questions. I encouraged students to practice and set speed goals using their own texts and devices. We used Spreeder as a class about once a week and monitored changes in reading comprehension scores.
Sharon has been teaching ESOL for 26 years and EL Civics for 10. She currently teaches at Portland Community College, Southeast Campus in an 8-level intensive academic program where she is a technology early adopter. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts with TESOL Certificate from Portland State University and an MAEd in Adult Education from Oregon State University.
Attend free upcoming EdWeb webinars below!
Google Drive and OneDrive
TODAY! Tuesday, July 29th - 5PM Eastern Time
Using Smartphones in the Classroom - Part 2
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 5PM Eastern Time
Watch the recording of Part 1 first.
Listen to recordings:
See the whole list of EdWeb's recorded webinars.
Looking for other topics? Free recorded webinars can also be found on the New England Literacy Resource Center’s website and on the National College Transition Network website.
Do you have some upcoming webinars on your list? How about some favorite recordings? Share them in the comments!
Tech Tips for Teachers
Today's post comes to us from Sharon Hennessy. Sharon has been teaching ESOL for 26 years and EL Civics for 10. She currently teaches at Portland Community College, Southeast Campus in an 8-level intensive academic program where she is a technology early adopter. She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts with TESOL Certificate from Portland State University and an MAEd in Adult Education from Oregon State University.
I use many of the technology applications found in the Tech Tips for Teachers blog. We have access to ten classroom ipads in addition to individual student smart phones and tablets, so I don’t hesitate to use text apps such as Socrative, Poll Everywhere (see previous post), and TodaysMeet to get student input up front where we can work with their ideas. I like TodaysMeet because it is so easy to set up and it accepts long strings of text.
TodaysMeet is an easy to use app. A chat room can be set up instantly. Students just need the web address of the "room" and a task to get going. Recently, I used TodaysMeet to get students thinking about sentence fragments as presented in our textbook. I asked questions students could find the answer to in their reading and then waited for pairs to come up with answers.
Students often race to input their answers so they can see them in front of the class. Sometimes I will specify which student pair should answer a particular question and other times I let everyone input their answers and we compare them.
To review homework, I ask each pair to write an answer to one of the exercise questions. That puts all exercise answers up front so we can discuss misunderstandings or elements of each exercise one question at a time.
TodaysMeet can be used to gather and share student ideas when brainstorming. The transcript of the meeting room can be captured and shared. I’m sure there are many creative ways this tool can be used for writing. I’d love to hear what other teachers can think up.