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Teaching Children Technology Skills

Technology and Authentic Learning
You have just completed a beginning-of-the-school-year open house for parents. Following your presentation, several parents ask whether you will focus on helping their children develop 21st century technology skills. They ask you to describe several learning experiences you have designed and plan to implement this year.
What are two authentic examples of learning with technology that you could share with parents?
Provide a rationale for each that describes how the activities will meet educational technology standards and characteristics of meaningful learning with technology.
I am the assistant dean of the Beijing Information Science and Technology University College of International Education (BISTU-CIE). I teach IELTS and TOEFL workshops for Chinese ELLs and basic/general English and business English classes for our international ELLs. Most of our international students come from South Korea and the former Soviet Union nation-states.
Most of my international ELLs are majoring in international trade. Therefore, I have my business English students do a business plan proposal and presentation. In small groups, students use the Internet to research opportunities and possibilities for starting their own business. They also have to create a business plan indicating their product or service, cost structure, and projected profits or losses for the first, second, third, and fifth years, among other things. They then organize this information into a PowerPoint presentation and present their proposals to the class. Students then vote for the proposal that is the most realistic and plausible and has the best chance of success.
I believe this integrates technology with an authentic learning activity that is relevant to their major. This meets the 2016 ISTE standard no. 3, Knowledge Constructor which states, “Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others” (ISTE, 2016, p.1) and no. 6, Creative Communicator, since the students must use the Internet for research, organize their research using office productivity software such as word processing and spreadsheets, and finally create a digital presentation to be displayed and shared with others. It also fits Newman and Wehlage’s (1993) definition of authentic learning, “which requires students to construct meaning and produce knowledge, inquire to construct meaning, reflect and discuss information, and create or perform tasks that have values of meaning beyond success in school” (cited in Cydis, 2015, p. 69) for the same reasons.
In my IELTS and TOEFL workshops, students are given speaking prompts taken from actual past tests. Students are given the rubrics the testers use to evaluate their speaking. Students then record their responses on their phones. Then, in pairs or as a class, we listen to the recordings and students evaluate and critique themselves and others according to the rubrics and match their performances to the approximate proficiency band.
This activity is authentic because it simulates the speaking portions of the TOEFL and IELTS exams and requires students to put themselves in the shoes of an evaluator and evaluate their speaking skills with a critical ear. It also meets the ISTE (2016) standard 1c, “Students will use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice.” By listening to recordings of themselves and comparing what they hear against the proficiency band rubrics, students are able to identify strengths and weakness in their own pronunciation, fluency, vocabulary, or grammar, and target the weak spots. This gives them control over and ownership of their own learning.
References
Cydis, S. (2015). Authentic instruction and technology literacy. Journal of Learning Design, 8(1), 68-78.
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) (2016). ISTE Standards for Students (2016). Arlington, VA: Author.

Bilingual Child Support in the Classroom

Information about your project
Proposed project title
Exploring the way bilingual children are supported in the classroom.
Proposed research question(s)
5. 1.What challenges do bilingual children face?
22 2. What strategies are used?
33 3. How effective are these?
22
Proposed setting(s)/sample/case for research (e.g. teachers in a local secondary school, fellow students at university, etc).
Students at Primary Schools.
Section B
Answer the questions below in as much detail as possible within the 1500 word limit (Max). You should use research literature, where relevant, to support your answers and include a reference list.
Why is your chosen ‘area’ worthy of research? Explain the rationale for your topic.
As the aim of my research topic is to understand the factors affecting bilingual children learning experiences in the classroom, phenomenology was the suitable approach to put myself in the shoe of these students and comprehend their perspective on my research topic. This encouraged me to look into how bilingual students get supported in the school now. Being bilingual can have tremendous advantages not only in terms of language competencies, but also in terms of cognitive and social development” (Lambert, 1990, p.210). There are numerous of researches that illustrate benefits of bilingualism, and these researches have taken into consideration that being bilingual not necessary mean speaking more than one language. However, the advantage of being bilingual is to be able to understand the cultural and language and use them more effectively. Cummins argues that if the child learns both languages balance between first and second language could be beneficial. (Baker 2001 p.165 and Cummins 2000, p.57)
What is your chosen research design? Why do you think this is the best way to achieve the project’s aims?
The research design that I have chose is a mixed method approach such as qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative method is more suitable for my research, as Silver stated that ‘qualitative research concentrates on the study of social life natural settings’ (2011, p. 194). Qualitative research is a way to understand people’s experiences and their lives, which is why I believe qualitative research is appropriate for my project as I also want to uncover the experiences of teachers and bilingual students.
Qualitative data are normally gathered by monitoring, focus groups, interviews and classroom observation. However it may also be gathered from case studies and written documents. The research is focused on the experiences that bilingual children have in the school and how the school takes into consideration their cultural and linguistic backgrounds into teaching style. These questions require descriptive answers and understanding rather than measurements and statistical results associated with the quantitative approach. Qualitative research provides details by allowing to taking it in depth through interviews and the observation in the classroom to observe if the activities that bilingual children are taking part in are relevant to pupils’ own experiences and reflect on their cultural heritage. This research greatest used to respond why and how question.
The strength of qualitative method is to attain more sensible feel of the world that cannot be practised in the numerical data and statistical analysis used in quantitative research; and also Ability to interact with the research subjects in their own language and on their own terms (Kirk

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