In my AR project I am going to deal with the isolation that EL students feel when they come to school. This is a very scary and lonely time for these children. Even when they have siblings, there is a sense of tremendous isolation. Through the use of technology I hope to alleviate these feelings, help them acquire English, and feel part of the community of their school.
While doing my research I came across Sketchcast. It is a web-based program where you can draw pictures, but it is not just that. You can draw, type, add voice-overs, publish to the web, and invite others to view your work. Some of the examples are used for math, history, science, and language arts. I feel for language acquisition this will be a great tool. I plan on having the students create vocabulary cards to practice with using a translator on the web. Then invite a fellow EL student to listen, read, and watch their classmates’ creations. I also think that if I link this site to my collaboration tool, we can work together and play Pictionary!
What excites me about this tool is that most of the children I teach have never been in a classroom. So doing rote memory of letters and numbers adds to the stress they already feel. Using a drawing tool will make learning the language fun (they may not even realize they are learning!) and they will not be alone. They will do this with other students that are in the same situation. I can not wait to utilize this tool in my classroom!