Associated with Blossoms Education Centre, HK, I am presenting a parent and children’s workshop entitled,
Tips to help Primary students learn English through free apps
I will be discussing the potential of mobile technology as a valuable partner in a well-rounded approach to education.
The following is the essence of the talk portion of the workshop, followed by various apps and their value to parents, children, and educators. Please forward this workshop to anyone you feel would benefit from attending. They need to register here.
Technology-assisted language learning for efficiency
People are interacting more frequently with their mobile device while going about their daily routines. This highlights the level of engagement these devices bring, connecting people to their interests, and providing a powerful platform of diverse apps that allow for ‘on the go’ creating. The most common use for mobile devices includes texting, gaming, photography, phone calls, mapping, and Internet searches. However, these devices are capable of providing experiences that are active, engaging, and individualised for each user.
Technology-assisted language learning promotes the enjoyment, ease and mobility of their device coupled with a myriad of carefully selected apps that boost a variety of educational outcomes. Typically, it begins with helping participants ‘open their eyes’ to the potential of their device in aiding learning in a personal and dynamic manner.
The ‘On-the-go’ concept is driven by these key goals,
the ability to work and learn from anywhere and anytime (Internet/Wi-Fi connection required with some apps)
the ease of transference of files and continuation of work on a variety of devices for flexibility and convenience
sharing of work, learning, and results
availability of apps for almost all curriculum and interest areas
Technology-assisted language learning involves a blend of traditional and 21st century digital skills aimed at offering a broad and balanced set of learning engagements. Mobile technology can:
build skills in a playful, gaming environment catering to the individual
promote reading and writing in a variety of authentic context reinforcing skills of the future
translate spoken text into numerous languages for further development in written and oral form
instant feedback on the success of the participant
provide competitive-style activities which increase in difficulty and highlights errors for reinforcement
allow for meaningful interaction for collaboration beyond the classroom walls
promotes interactive problem solving skills that drive inquiry
encourages creating and multiple ways to share
provide constantly updated information which builds research strategies
motivate student-driven ownership over their learning
Carefully chosen apps that have a proven longevity and serve a variety of purposes are recommended. Students become familiar using them in many subject areas, and can access them online, as well as on their computer, e.g., Cloud technology with Microsoft Word and Apple Pages. A translation app will provide the ability for students to dictate words and sentences for easy development later from their device or computer. Multimedia apps can allow for adding dialogue to photos for presentation purposes, e.g., Shadow Puppet. Note taking apps aid in students making notes, diagrams, and scribing their collaborations with others on a variety of documents types, e.g., Penultimate and Skitch.
Students can benefit with a partnership with a mobile technology-minded mentor. This association guides their interaction making the best use of the device and apps, and helping them to harass the full potential of their mobile device. Preparing for the future involves training with the people who are helping to create the future.