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Texas ISD School Guide
Texas ISD School Guide

Technology for ESL

Teaching 21st Century Technology Skills
By:Jennifer Zimmerman

Develop Excellent Keyboard Skills
Many students may be great texters already, but they also need keyboard skills. Before even worrying about research and writing on the computer, have students practice good old-fashioned keyboard skills. Not only basic typing (though that will make their lives easier), but also the functions of all the keys on a typical computer keyboard.

Use Digital Technology
Students need to be able to use digital technology like laptops, cellphones, media players and GPS navigators. After going over basic functions, allow students to explore the technology. Then discuss things they have discovered.

Teach more challenging functions through games. Have the students go on a scavenger hunt to find out various things about the technology.

Research, Communicate, Organize and Evaluate Information
Brainstorm a list of real-world uses for technology. Develop projects based on the list and on student interests.

Research a topic together as a class. Discuss reputable sources versus Joe Schmo's blog. Next have them research independently, making sure they record information and sources. Create a list of ways to tell if a site is reputable and post it in the classroom.

Organize the class research in Excel. Have the class help you choose categories. Have students do the same with their own research.

Allow them to communicate information through class emails, blogs and vlogs. Have them choose their three favorite facts from their independent research and ask them to share those facts in the various communication forms.

Give them a list of questions to answer through Internet research. Have the class share answers and evaluate their usefulness. Discuss which sites were the most helpful, and create a class list as a resource.

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