These individuals are wonderful educators and becoming very adept at adapting to the multitude of technologies that we at the TWIN Design Team throw at them. Online webinars. Data collection statistical software. Apps for iPads. Taking photos of QR codes. Making posts via social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook. For some, these technology applications are daunting, but all members of our conference made honest attempts at using them. Many think these technologies might truly benefit their schools and students.
One teacher patiently worked with a new device, which was a new type of tablet, given to her relatively recently. She kept trying the touchscreen, began using a new email account, and participated in all the technical activities. The real victory came when at the end of the day, she stopped by to tell me that she had solved a technical problem on her own, a problem she and I had actually reached out to others about that day. She was proud of herself, as she should be, and I was too. She pushed herself and succeeded.
Perhaps this doesn't strike you as inspiring or unusual. Teachers are learning and using new technologies on a regular basis.
Think about her students. These are students who will soon be learning in two languages...simultaneously. All of these students will be challenged to perform with proficiency in a language they don't know very well, if at all. And perform at a level on par with their peers, or face being considered 'behind' or 'delayed' or worse 'incapable' because they aren't given the chance to master the languages before being assessed. And I don't mean just testing assessments. Society at large assesses such students, kids who are not native speakers of English, but are expected to be able to speak just like their monolingual peers.
We do the same to our teachers. We expect every child to have an iPad in hand, lessons on a SmartBoard, and frequent communication with parents through emails and websites. Society at large expects teachers to be able to master these technologies in a very short time span, not unlike their bilingual students. We know this isn't fair, but we justify it with rationalizations. We reason that tech is increasingly important so students should learn it in school and who else should teach them tech skills than their teachers? We expect this with limited professional development, and in some cases, even limited access to the technology itself.
We do the same to our dual language learners.
So yes, I am still very pleased with this accomplishment.
It's a victory in my book. I know her students would agree.