Monday, February 15, 2016

Get ready for the first #ELLEdTech Chat!

I'm so excited that Susan over at The ESL Nexus has agreed to co-host this chat with me. I think that using technology to enhance learning and support language growth for our ELLs is such an important topic! So, we're going to be hosting these chats once a month, on the third Sunday of each month. Our first chat is scheduled for Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 7pm EST. Each chat will last about 45 minutes, so I hope you'll mark your calendar and join us! It's sure to be enlightening and inspiring!

This month's topic is Bridging the Tech Gap for ELLs. I work in a district with over 20K ELLs, and a large percentage of our district also receives Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS). Often, these students do not have the same access to technology- particularly computers- at home that other students do. This can be detrimental to students as they move to higher grades, especially now that many state tests are moving online. Research shows though, that technology use can enhance learning, particularly language learning. With that in mind, we wanted to offer the opportunity to discuss how we can "bridge the tech gap" for our ELLs to enhance and extend learning.

Questions and Timeline
7:00 = Tell us your name, location, level and subject taught #EllEdTech
7:05 = Q1 = What technology do you have available at school or in your classroom? #EllEdTech
7:13 = Q2 = How many of your ELLs have technology at home? What kind? #EllEdTech
7:21 = Q3 = Do you feel ELL students have enough exposure to technology? Why? #EllEdTech
7:29 = Q4 = How often do your ELLs get to use technology? #EllEdTech
7:37 = Q5 = What advice do you have for teachers of ELLs when it comes to technology and ELLs? #EllEdTech

Directions for Joining the Chat:
1. Log into Twitter on Sunday; the chat runs from 7:00 - 7:45pm Eastern.
2. Search for tweets with the hashtag #ELLEdTech in the search bar.  Make sure to click “All tweets.”
3. The first five minutes will be spent introducing ourselves.
4. Starting at 7:05, @ESOL_Odyssey or @The_ESL_Nexus will post questions every 8 minutes using Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. to identify the questions and the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
5.  Answer the questions by prefacing them with A1, A2, A3, etc. and use the hashtag #ELLEdTech.
6.  Follow any teachers who respond and are also using #ELLEdTech.
7.  Like (click the heart icon) and post responses to other teachers' tweets.

You can schedule your answers to the questions in advance by using an online scheduler such as TweetDeck or HootSuite (and remember to use A1, A2, etc. and #ELLEdTech).  Links are encouraged, but use tinyurl, bitly, or to shorten your link so it can be included in your tweet.  Just click one of those links, paste the longer link in the app's box to shorten it for Twitter, then paste the shortened link into your tweet . If you have relevant images, we encourage you to post them, too.

Is this your first Twitter chat? Here are our rules:
1. Please stay on topic.
2. Please do not post about paid products unless explicitly asked. 
3. If you arrive after the chat has started, please try to read the previous tweets before joining in.
4. Feel free to just read, like, and/or retweet if you prefer -- we know the first time can be a little overwhelming!
5. Always use the hashtag #ELLEdTech when tweeting.
6. When responding to someone, please be sure to "mention" them by including their Twitter handle.
7. Make sure your twitter feed is set to "public." (And do remember that Twitter is completely public; that means anyone--students, parents, teachers, school staff, administrators--may see what you tweet.) 

You are welcome to let any of your teacher friends who might be interested in joining us know about this Twitter chat. We can't wait to chat with you on Sunday evening!

Can't make it to the chat? Check out the archives to see what you missed!

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