Technology helps students with reading
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Walk into Chris Bomba’s classroom, and you will find the usual teaching tools: books, pencils, worksheets. But if you stay for more than a few seconds, you will see an additional world opened up to the Rifle Middle School teacher’s reading intervention class. In Bomba’s class, students work in a world that speaks to digital natives, and immerses them in technology.
Last year, as part of the American Recovery Act, schools had the opportunity to request money for their special education departments. Bomba and his team focused their request on technology tools for to support their classroom instruction.
“We were lucky. We got everything that we asked for,” said Bomba. “It’s an amazing piece of the puzzle to have. A lot of those kids have different ways of learning and the tech piece is a good way to help them learn.”
Ipods, MOBI’s, interactive white boards, and student response clicker systems are the new tools that Bomba and the RMS special education instructors use to help students become better readers, writers and mathematicians. After reading in small groups both aloud and silently, students grab an Ipod equipped with a small microphone and read passages that the Ipod then records. Then the students and their peers listen to the recordings and find the things that they do well, and that may be challenging them. Bomba explained that the Ipods help the students listen for their reading fluency.
“We’re using our Ipods to read,” said Jessica Sines of the new technology. “It helps us because when we’re reading if we don’t know that we did something wrong then when we listen to the Ipods we can hear what we did wrong,”
In class assessments are conducted using student response clicker systems. This engages the students, and gives Bomba instantaneous feedback about what students know and what they are still struggling with. The MOBIs work with the interactive white board and acts as an interactive chalkboard. The portable tablets allow students and teachers to interact and contribute to information on the whiteboard at the same time.
Students are just learning how to use the MOBI and the interactive white boards, but so far, they are enjoying the novelty of utilizing the technology in class. Bomba says that is a large part of the battle.
“Technology is in every aspect of these kids lives. They love it and love using it,” he explained. “Once you put technology in front of them, they get engaged. If they aren’t engaged, they aren’t going to learn.”
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