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Using Smartphones To Bridge the Digital Divide

The term “Digital Divide” was coined about 15 years ago to indicate the fact that low-income families were not able to afford computers and internet access and so could not make use of the benefits of technology in education.

Since that time advances in technology - especially in the development of Smart Phones - now provide a solution to this vexing problem.

I teach low-income immigrants and over the years have seen how technology has grown in importance for them in providing a multitude of methods to learn English daily.

Since March I have been a volunteer tutor at a public library in a predominantly Latino community. I teach two classes each Monday and Wednesday using a room that has 5 computers.

My course consists of hard copies of texts, CDSs, DVDs, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp  and various internet sites (see below). I provide the texts and discs, and use the Smart Phone to remind them to come to class, and I also  send “homework” - usually You Tube videos.

Almost all of the students are women from 30 to 60 years old, and many work and have children in one of the two Elementary schools nearby.

Five do not own computers so I have encouraged them to buy used computers from local second-hand stores.

I usually distribute flyers for them to hand out to friends announcing the class.

Gradually the classes have grown so that now there are more than 25 students in total. I am very pleased with the progress being made.

Recently some of them showed the flyer at parents’ meetings in their schools, and there was a good response, so I am going to talk with the principals about setting up classes in the schools’ computer labs.

My goal is to make presentations at schools and libraries in the area to generate interest in this kind of community based adult distance/blended learning approach.

 

INTERNET SITES:

pumarosa.com

Inglesconprofepablo.com

 

MY FACEBOOK GROUPS WITH LESSONS:

1. ENGLISH FOR KIDS

https://www.facebook.com/groups/611672245534627/

2. PUMAROSA https://www.facebook.com/groups/611672245534627/

3. PREGUNTA A PROFE PABLO

https://www.facebook.com/groups/604949932879022/

4. PRONUNCIACIÓN

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1435280100038703/

5. LECTURAS

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1435280100038703/

6. SONGS

https://www.facebook.com/groups/392217600909300/

 

Comments

Jacqueline Vulcano's picture

Hi Paul -

I also teach primarily Latino adult ESL students -- I have 2 other students from Myranmar. Last semester was the first semester that everyone had a smartphone, this semester is the same. I've been trying to figure out how to make technology "seamless" moving from book activities to digital activities. I share a set of 6 laptops with my co-worker (she uses them the first hour and I the 2nd hour....if I have time) and have 4 desktop computers in my room 2 of my 3 teaching nights. With so many different devices, I've tried to target in on using smartphones as most students haven't used computers before and why not use what they have access to?

I've been using Remind, Schoology, and Seesaw primarily, but also dabbling a little into Quizlet, EdPuzzle, Kahoot and Socrative. I continually run into tech issues, so it's very challenging to keep trying. We're basically a BYOD program, with open enrollment and sporadic attendance, so it's really hard to get everyone on the same page. 

How do you streamline using different apps in your classes? And do you have a way for students to check in on missed classes?

I've started a Facebook group to try and get conversations going on best practices of implementing technology into adult ESL classrooms......a work in progress: https://www.facebook.com/groups/techtools4adultells/

Paul Rogers's picture

Jackeline, to answer your questions first - I do not use Apps but rather my websites plus YouTube and other sites on Google. At the same time, I provide my texts to my students so that they have lots of homework, and they can always review a missed class at home either online or with the texts. Below is a brief description of my course that might be useful:

My course is aimed at teaching people how to pronounce, speak, understand, read, write, spell and ….sing in English. The curriculum can be seen in Pumarosa.com, Level 1 and 2.

  1. My lessons are bilingual and phonetic. Bilingual to avoid confusion and phonetic to teach pronunciation. I use a lot of humor.

  2. Everybody receives my textbooks which I print myself and also copies of my CDs and DVDs. All of this material can be found on inglesconprofepablo.com.

  3. The objective is to learn a Basic Vocabulary during the first few months.

  4. Then we proceed to verb tenses and grammar.

  5. I use songs a lot.

Class participation is important and everybody has an opportunity to read out loud and also to ask questions, which are focused on the needs of the students in practice. For example, it is very practical to know how to pronounce the alphabet and numbers.

In a computer lab, in a mixed level class,  students study lessons at their levels.

Then, we all practice pronunciation and fluency.

The class is open enrollment, and I send  lessons from my websites and YouTube via the smart phone.

“Lifelong Learning”  is a good term to describe the process adults go through to learn English. My students work and have families, many of them are single mothers, so there is no need to attend every class. They do need to become an independent learners, though - eventually. Using technology helps them to do so.

 

Jacqueline Vulcano's picture

Thanks for the reminder about Pumarosa. I have one student who is really struggling with reading and pronunciation. This would be perfect for him. 

Jacqueline Vulcano
@techtools4adultesl
www.facebook.com/groups/techtools4adultells/
 

Paul Rogers's picture

Jacueline - Does your student repeat out loud while studying with pumarosa? Also - level 2 focuses on verb tenses.

 

Paul Rogers's picture

Here are most of the lessons for pumarosa.com. When you enter just click on the icon of an ear to hear my voice.

PUMAROSA URLS

NIVEL 1 PRINCIPIANTE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/index/beginner/load.htm?f

 

Lesson 1 The Alphabet

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/alphabet/index/load.htm?f

 

Spell out loud

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/alphabet/spellout/load.htm?f

 

Lesson 2 The Numbers

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/numbers/index/load.htm?f

 

Numbers - Pronunciation

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/numbers/pron_num/load.htm?f

 

Practice - What time is it?

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/numbers/time/load.htm?f

 

Practice - Comercio/How much does it cost?

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/numbers/commerce/load.htm?

 

Practice - How much is ….Exercise/ejercicio

How Much | Cuánto

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/numbers/howmuch/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 3 GREETINGS SALUDOS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/greetings/index/load.htm?f

 

DIALOGUE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/greetings/dialog/load.htm?f

 

TRANSLATION EXERCISE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/greetings/trans_greet/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 4 COGNATES COGNADOS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/cognates/index/load.htm?f

 

TRANSLATION EXERCISE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/cognates/trans_cog/load.htm?f

 

PRONUNCIATION

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/cognates/pron_cog/load.htm?f

 

VERBS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/cognates/verbs/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 5 - SUSTANTIVOS / NOUNS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/nouns_adj/index/load.htm?f

 

ADJECTIVES / ADJETIVOS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/nouns_adj/adjective/load.htm?f

 

COLORS, SHAPES, SIZES – COLORES, FORMAS TAMANOS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/nouns_adj/colors_shapes/load.htm?f

 

TRANSLATION EXERCISE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/nouns_adj/trans_na/load.htm?f

 

COMPARATIVE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/nouns_adj/comparative/load.htm?f

 

TRANSLATION EXERCISE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/nouns_adj/ex_comparative/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 6 ARTICLES

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/articles/index/load.htm?f

 

EXERCISE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/articles/ex_art/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 7 – PRONOUNS / PRONOMBRES

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/pronouns/index/load.htm?f

 

EXERCISE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/pronouns/ex_prono/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 8 – TO BE/SER Y ESTAR

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/tobe/index/load.htm?f

 

TRANSLATION EXERCISE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/tobe/trans_tobe/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 9- FOOD

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/food/index/load.htm?f

 

AT THE RESTAURANT

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/food/food_restaurant/load.htm?f

 

DIALOGO – CASA AZUL

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/food/food_dialog/load.htm?f

 

AT THE MARKET

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/food/food_market/load.htm?f

 

DIALOGO

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/food/food_dialogmarket/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 10 – QUESTION WORDS / PALABRAS QUE FORMAN PREGUNTAS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/wquestions/index/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 11 – DIRECTIONS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/directions/index/load.htm?f

 

DIALOGO –

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/directions/directions_dialog/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 12

THE HOUSE / LA CASA

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/house/index/load.htm?f

 

CLOTHES

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/house/house_clothes/load.htm?f

 

THE FAMILY

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/house/family/load.htm?f

 

THE SCHOOL

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/house/school/load.htm?f

 

PARTS OF THE BODY

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/house/body_parts/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 13 – CONFUSING WORDS / PALABRAS QUE CONFUNDEN

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/confusing_words/index/load.htm?f

 

PAST TENSE

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/confusing_words/past_tense/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 14 – HOW DO YOU SAY…? COMO SE DICE…?

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/how_say/index/load.htm?f

 

LESSON 15 -  PRONUNCIATION OF VOWELS, CONSONANTS AND COMBINATIONS

 

VOWELS -http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/pronunciation/index/load.htm?f

 

COMBINATION OF VOWELS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/pronunciation/vowels_comb/load.htm?f

 

CONSONANTS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/pronunciation/consonants/play.htm?f

 

COMBINATION OF CONSONANTS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/pronunciation/consonants_comb/load.htm?f

 

VOWELS AND CONSONANTS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/pronunciation/vow_cons_comb/load.htm?f

 

TONGUES TWISTERS – TRABALENGUAS

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/pronunciation/tongue_twisters/load.htm?f

 

PRACTICE LEVEL 1

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/index/beginner_excercises/load.htm?f

 

Nivel 2 - Level 2 / Intermedio - Intermediate

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/index/intermediate/load.htm?f

 

Nivel 3 / Level 3

 

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/index/civics/load.htm?f

 

Nivel 4 / Level 4

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/index/ushistory/load.htm?f

 

Nivel 5 / Level 5

http://www.pumarosa.com/ingles/index/100questions/load.htm?f

 

 

Susan Giuliano's picture

Hi Jacqueline,

I have an ongoing Google Slide presentation for the month - an outline of sorts of each day - students have the link to the slideshow and can check in when they miss class (or want to review the day's work). On the slide, I can add links to websites, videos, even scanned handouts.  I have also used attachments on Remind to send out readings, links or just interesting tidbits.

I look forward to hearing what other teachers are doing!  

Thanks!

Susan G.

Jacqueline Vulcano's picture

Hi Susan -

That's an interesting way of using HyperDocs that I haven't heard of. How do your students tend to access the link? Do they use the Google Drive app or do you send the link out through Remind from time to time?

Jacqueline Vulcano
@techtools4adultesl
www.facebook.com/groups/techtools4adultells/

Susan Giuliano's picture

 

Hi,

The students access the link in a variety of ways:  I have a QR code posted in the classroom that they scan as needed, I have a website that they log into and I have the link there, and at times I send the link via Remind.  

Susan

Jacqueline Vulcano's picture

Hi Susan - 

For scanning QR codes, did your students download a QR reader on their personal devices or do you have school devices that staff downloaded the QR reader onto? Since we only meet for 6hrs a week, I'm always hesitant to have students download "another app". I'm trying to streamline what I want students to download next semester.

Jacqueline Vulcano

Paul Rogers's picture

Can you explain a little please for those of us who are not familiar with QR Readers, etc?
Thank you.

Susan Giuliano's picture

QR Codes are "quick response" codes - they are similar to bar codes- but square.  Students use their phone or other device to scan the code to get to websites, text, videos. Here is a link to a short introductory presentation.  I hope this helps  http://bit.ly/2j52j8H  

Paul Rogers's picture

Thank you Susan, I will add this to the list of things I need to learn!!!!

Dorothy Taylor's picture

 

Jacquline and all,

I give my students the option of downloading a qr reader onto their mobile devices, and most of them want to. Here’s a link to my blog entry in which I explain qr scanners and how to use them. After reading the blog, most of my students ask me to help them find and download free qr scanners onto their phones. After they’ve downloaded the app, I help them scan the qr code for my ESL Links page and add it to their home screen, so they can easily access the programs we use in class on their phones. This is all completely voluntary, but almost every student wants to, and they tell me how useful they find it.

https://intermediateesl.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/wednesday-september-13/

 Dorothy Taylor

Susan Giuliano's picture

Hi Jacqueline,

If the students have an updated iPhone the camera now works as a QR reader.  For other students, they downloaded a simple reader.  I demonstrated how to scan and then the students helped each other with scanning the code for the files.  

Sue Barnett's picture

I think the use of smart phones is an awesome way of using modern technology.  I myself use my Iphone and Ipad for most everything at home and my laptop is becoming obsolete.

Almost everyone has access to a phone but as you said not everyone has a computer.