Technology for ESL
When Internet, computer and other modern technologies became available to teachers and school personnel, communication with families improved many times over. Inside the school organization, teachers, administrators and other professionals have been able to streamline work processes for the benefit of students and themselves. Here are five ways that schools communicate better using some of the modern technology now available to schools.
Email communications has improved the rate at which school staff can communicate with each other. Through email, teachers and other school workers can update important information throughout the school day. For example, teachers need to know about a security risk that requires carefully monitoring the environment for everyone's safety. Teachers and administrators also use email to reach out to parents. Busy parents can follow up on emails on their own time, and this eliminates the problem of children losing written communication between home and school.
Digital projectors also make the classroom communication model more effective for teachers. With students of all ability levels and disability challenges in the classroom, the teacher can use the digital or LED projector to display information on a central screen for all students. If the system is also equipped with audio sound and Internet capabilities, the students get a rich, interactive experience. LED displays also facilitate note-taking and discussion among students even when the teacher is not engaging in direct instruction.
The Internet is another powerful communication tool for teachers and students. When students work at their own computers, they can perform research and explore Web quests and Web-based learning software. Teachers can use a centralized system to monitor student progress. When a student performs work on the computer and her progress is recorded (for example, in an online educational math game), the teacher gets qualitative and quantitative data to use in assessment and planning further instruction.
Special education is a type of education that requires intense communication and collaboration between school district professionals. Through Internet and email communications, teachers and other professionals (for example, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and school psychologists) can plan how to meet a student's needs through the Individual Education Plan (IEP). Before the parents are included in the annual IEP meeting, school district staff can compile all information electronically in order to make helpful recommendations for the student in the upcoming year.
For all public schools, there is now increased legal accountability. Federal, state and local governments provide many regulations intended to make a uniform, quality public education available to everyone. Teachers and other school professionals communicate using all available technologies to ensure students are provided education in accordance with the law. Because school districts keep electronic records of staff activities on school computers and networks, there is another layer of individual accountability on top of collective accountability. Improved ethical and legal communication is a way for schools to be accountable to parents and students and to government agencies that provide educational funding.