ELL instructors, like those in other disciplines, are discovering the benefits of iPads in the classroom. With some advance planning and appropriate training for teachers, schools can avoid an awkward or stressful deployment.
When iPads suddenly populate English language learner classrooms, teachers often face a steep adoption curve. The reason isn’t the technology itself, but rather because too many districts are “not focused on the professional development piece,” according to Jared Bloom, who serves as supervisor of assessment and technology at South Huntington Union Free School District (NY).
Bloom, who also teaches an iPad training session for ELL teachers, said that even before they begin to use iPads in their classrooms, the first step is to get the devices into the teachers’ hands and then allow a minimum half-day training session.
Bloom’s training regimen starts with an overview of the iPad’s features, then moves on to “everything they needed to know about the device and how to use it.” That encompasses the iPad’s assistive features, potential issues instructors may encounter in an iPad deployment, and a selection of general content and ELL-specific apps. “Then, we gave them time to actually go through and find some free apps that they could transfer to their area,” he said.