When I started teaching at our local community college in 2007, we only had four desktop computers to share between two ESL classes. Back then, we had Rosetta Stone and textbook CD-ROMs to share among the students. Remember those? Needless to say, we've come a long way with in-person and online learning in the past decade and a half.
I've taught primarily beginner English Language Learners in my 18 years of teaching and have a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages with an emphasis in Digital Technologies for Teaching and Learning. It takes a lot of patience, empathy, and preparation to work with students with limited language skills and digital literacy skills. Adding to that, working with a limited budget (if any) and a Bring Your Own Device policy only adds to the complexity of our challenges. Not to mention being the only staff person that speaks Spanish in order to translate between my student and IT department to solve login issues. But it was all worth it when I saw the expressions of success in my students' faces.
I have a thirst for knowledge and a strong interest in EdTech, productivity, and financial literacy. Whenever there was a free webinar on a tech tool that I used in class or something new, I'd jump on the occasion to attend. But I knew that if it wasn't on my calendar to attend live, there was no chance I'd find the time to watch the replay.
I'm on a mission to support instructors of English Language Learners in implementing EdTech and digital literacy skills into their classes so that they can avoid the struggles I've dealt with over the years and help their students gain the skills they need to be successful in today's society.
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