Navigating a Literacy Rich World: Untethering English Language Learners From the Classroom

Presented by Kate E. O’Hara

This paper addresses the findings from a one year grant funded project in which English Language Learners and their teachers were provided Netbooks; small, mobile laptops with built in Wifi for accessing the Internet both in and outside of the traditional academic day. The Netbooks served not only as a teaching tool, but as an instructional tool for students enrolled in a program of intense, individualized literacy instruction. The program was designed to help students with the most deficient literacy skills to develop and practice language skills “anywhere, anytime” by providing them with access to technology and academic support both at school and at home.  With the use of these mobile devices, students were able to access and complete assignments, submit assignments and to receive timely, individualized feedback online.  Furthermore, teachers were provided with instructional technology support to create Web based activities that aided students in developing language skills, digital literacies, and effective learning strategies.

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