Earlier this school year Sharlene Scott, an Alternative Language Arts teacher in Gardena, California, brought two brand-new tablets into class for her students to explore. She was able to purchase them on the First Book Marketplace thanks to a partnership with Blackboard, Inc.
Sharlene loaded the tablets with several apps and learning games that her students can use when struggling with phonics. From the tablet, students could access a website integrates with their reading program, focusing on reading comprehension.
The results have been wonderful.
“The kids feel more confident when using apps that teach sight words and reading skills,” says Sharlene. “The apps allow them to work at their own pace. They get really engaged in what they are reading or working on.”
For her students with learning disabilities, having access to tablets gives them extra help by providing dictionary website to quickly look up words, alleviating the frustration they can feel from having to look through the pages of typical dictionaries. They are more confident and their ability to complete their work has improved.
Most of her students do not have tablets or computers at home. Those that do have no internet access or tell her the computers are very outdated. She’s finding that some of her students are discovering new talents after accessing new technology.
“I have one student who has a really negative disposition towards school and learning. He gets frustrated easily,” explains Sharlene. “However, he loves to work with tablets. He has a real aptitude for them and has intuitively figured out how to use them, even with his limited reading skills. It’s made a big difference.”