English Language Learners and Connected Learning

Piedmont used research findings in Instructional Technology plan and in planning for the Connected Learning pilot.

When Piedmont began considering how to most effectively use mobile technology it leaned on the research done by the Project Red group.  The group had studied a 1000 schools implementing one-student-to-one-device initiatives and found that education success linked strongly to nine key factors.  The most predictive factor to educational success was integrating technology into every intervention class.

Project RED found that technology-transformed interventions in ELL, Title I, special education, and reading intervention are the top-model predictor of improved high-stakes test scores, dropout rate reduction, course completion, and improved discipline. No other independent variable is the top-model predictor for more than one education success measure.

Based on those conclusions, Piedmont supplied special education and English Language Learner classes at PMS, MHS, and PHS with chromebooks for use every period last year. Rosie Reid teaches the ELL classes at the secondary level and describes the learning with the Chromebooks as “Highly effective!” This year, the district expanded secondary ELL student access to technology.  Instead of having access only in ELL class, these students joined the 6th, 9th and 11th graders in the Connected Learning pilot.  Now Rosie’s students can use the device to support their learning in other classes, and can access other supports too.  She explains,

Many of my ELs generally have several tabs open at a time, such as google images, google translate, and dictionary.com, which are great resource for them

in all of their academic work. The chromebooks provide connection to valuable online content, such as the on-line personalized vocabulary service Membean. “They are all at such different levels,” and the online service meets them each at his/her level and moves them along.

Each elementary English Language Learner specialist was issued a Chromebook this fall also. Technology is supporting a wide range of student learning, including the needs of English Language Learners!

Project Red Key Implementation Factors

(Rank Order of Predictive Strength)

  1. Intervention classes: Technology is integrated into every intervention class period.
  2. Change management leadership by principal: Leaders provide time for teacher professional learning and collaboration at least monthly.
  3. Online collaboration: Students use technology daily for online collaboration.
  4. Core subjects: Technology is integrated into core curriculum weekly or more frequently.
  5. Online formative assessments: Assessments are done at least weekly.
  6. Student-computer ratio: Lower ratios improve outcomes.
  7. Virtual field trips: With more frequent use, virtual trips are more powerful. The best schools do these at least monthly.
  8. Search engines: Students use daily.
  9. Principal training: Principals are trained in teacher buy-in, best practices, and technology-transformed learning.

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