Category Archives: Education Technology

Creating a Clean and Healthy Classroom in Fall 2020

As schools across America plan to reopen their doors this fall for the coming school year, one thing is for certain- the 2020-2021 school year is going to look very different from years past. The effects of the COVID-19 crisis can still be deeply felt in virtually all aspects of our lives, and much has changed about how we do a number of things, like sending our children to school. Though we are anxious to return to the way things were before COVID-19 struck, it is critical that we take important steps to minimize the possibility of an outbreak so that kids, teachers, and school staff members can return safely to their normal routine.

Although students are slated to come back to their school classrooms this fall semester for the first time since March, there is still much concern over how to accomplish this seemingly simple goal as safely and responsibly as possible. One of the top concerns of all school administrators is providing effective equipment and supplies to help keep students, teachers, and other school staff protected against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

While schools have already decided that they will be taking measures to promote social distancing through reduced class sizes, spaced-out desks and tables, and mandatory mask-wearing for both students and staff, there are still a number of parents and teachers who are wary of beginning the fall 2020 semester with in-person class attendance. In order to ensure maximum safety for all students and staff, it is essential that all schools that plan to open their doors and welcome children back to school this fall have a large supply of essential products to help keep all common areas clean and sanitized.

Here are our recommendations for the top products each classroom needs on hand to ensure cleanliness and health in the coming school year.

Classroom and Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes

Bulk disinfecting wipes

Not all disinfectant wipes are created equal when it comes to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria that can make kids sick as they head back to school. The hospital-grade Classroom and Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes are effective for all-purpose cleaning and sanitization, killing 99.9% of all bacteria in just 15 seconds! This bulk container of 800 wipes is proven to kill flu and other coronavirus strains, H1N1, staph, MRSA, e. Coli, salmonella, HIV-1, and more. Packaged in a handy dispenser bucket, the Classroom and Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes are free from benzyl-alcohol, citrus, bleach, and phenol, making them safe on all surfaces. To ensure that your school is a safe environment for students and teachers returning to class amid COVID-19, make sure to stock a bucket of Classroom and Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes in every classroom.

Hygenx Hand Sanitizer

Available in 8 oz., 16 oz., and 1-gallon bottles, Hygenx Hand Sanitizer is effective at killing 99.99% of common germs on hands. Administered as an antiseptic spray, Hygenx Hand Sanitizer’s fragrance-free formula contains 80% ethyl alcohol and fully conforms to FDA guidelines. Teachers, students, and school staff can use this sanitizer throughout the day to optimize the level of classroom safety and help reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Supplies of Hygenx Hand Sanitizer are limited due to extraordinarily high demand, so make it a point to place your orders for the fall semester sooner rather than later. Make sure to include Hygenx Hand Sanitizer in your classroom arsenal of cleaning supplies!

Non-Contact Multimode Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Here’s a safe, contact-free way to administer mandatory temperature checks to students and staff. The Non-Contact Multimode Infrared Foreheard Thermometer accurately measures body temperature without having to touch the forehead at all! This FDA-approved thermometer delivers quick, accurate temperature readings from a safe distance using a high-accuracy infrared sensor probe and the latest in smart chip technology. A large LCD readout is backlit with a soft light for easy reading in any environment, and can be set to display results in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Reliable one-second results allow your staff members to quickly spot a high temperature that can be a symptom of COVID-19 or another contagious illness like the flu, allowing fast action and prevention of an outbreak. The Non-Contact Multimode Infrared Forehead Thermometer helps maintain a safe learning environment for everyone!

Hygenx V-Ray Mobile UV Sterilizer

Go above and beyond with your school’s sanitation efforts by investing in a Hygenx V-Ray Portable UV Sterilizer. This portable UV wand effectively eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and sterilizes virtually all surfaces, including call center headsets, computer keyboards, and porous surfaces that can not be sanitized with disinfectant wipes. Lightweight and cordless, the V-Ray allows for easy portability between classrooms and other common areas. Thanks to a patented safety sensor that automatically turns off the powerful UV-C light when the unit is tilted 30 degrees in either direction, the V-Ray ensures maximum safety and prevention against ultraviolet exposure to the skin and eyes, making it safe for everyday use. This is an excellent choice in an ultraviolet sanitizer, and an outstanding way to keep your school free from viruses, bacteria, and other potentially harmful germs.

Reopening schools amid the COVID-19 crisis is a highly delicate situation that requires the utmost preparation and planning on the part of school faculties everywhere. While we agree that it’s important to get kids back to their classrooms and learning again, it is also crucial that we do it as safely and responsibly as possible. By taking preventative measures such as conducting mandatory temperature checks, cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces regularly, advocating frequent hand washing, and making sure that all students and staff have ample access to hand sanitizer, we can help make this transition back to a “normal” school schedule go more smoothly for everyone involved.

This year, safety is our number one priority as our students return to school. Be sure to stay stocked up on all the essential equipment listed here and you will be able to ensure that your classrooms are able to welcome kids back for a year of safe in-person learning and fun!

Post Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are always a busy time. With family visiting, kids off from school, and lots of events, it can be overwhelming. We’re here to help! We’re going to share the top gifts your students and family will love. These gifts are great for the technology lover in your life. You might even find something you can’t live without. In case you didn’t get everything on your Christmas list, we have you covered. From the hard-to-shop-for to the techie, we have something for everyone.

Cyber Acoustics AC-204 Stereo Headset:

If you’re looking for a gift for the person who is hard to shop for, look no further! This single plug and y-adapter headset is compatible with any hardware you could want to use. The adjustable over the head design fits comfortably on anyone. This is a true universal gift!

Soundnetic Deluxe Tri-Plug Multimedia Headset:

This headset is a great gift for the gamer in your life! With dual PC plugs that work with Chromebook and tablets, it also works with PC, MAC, smartphones, and media players. An inline plug control switch activates the headphone jack to be used, making it easy to swap between devices. On top of all these integrations, this headset provides excellent noise-isolation.

AVID Disposable Earbuds AE-215 Stereo Rubber Tipped Bulk Earbuds:

These earbuds are perfect for the active person on your list. An ideal choice for the gym, the silicon tips reduce ambient noise and can stay in during a workout. A 3-foot 10-inch cord provides extra length. These are a wonderfully affordable option when your gift list is long!

Edison Educational Robot Kit:

Kids from grades K-12 will love this robot kit! An educational gift that kids will actually want to play with, it instantly engages them. Designed to inspire an inventive spirit and get kids interested in STEM, each Edison robot features a host of sensors and can be programmed using a growing number of free software applications.

Thinkwrite Ultra Durable Headphones:

These sturdy headphones are perfect for the clumsy or destructive kid in your life. They are made of a special ABS plastic for maximum durability. Featuring a chew-resistant fabric cable to help prevent damage from even the most determined chewers, these headphones make a great gift for kids who put their tech through the worst.

HamiltonBuhl Primo Stereo Headphones:

Versatile enough to connect to almost any audio device, these are a great all in one gift! The headphones are rugged and feature a chew and kink-resistant cord. They also protect from unnecessary and distracting ambient noise. With washable leatherette ear cushions, these headphones will stay clean and ready to use anytime.

If these products have caught your attention, be sure to visit our website and see the rest of our gift options. You might even find something you need for yourself! We have tons of affordable and durable products. Shop our headphones, headsets, and earbud options for the special people on your gift list this holiday sea

Thankful Contest

During this time of year, we’re reminded of all the people we’re thankful for; friends, family, and favorite teachers! Educators do so much for children all year. They not only teach, they listen, support, and inspire kids every day. We want to give back to the people who dedicate their time to helping students, and celebrate everything they do!

We’re asking for your nominations of anyone in education who has had a positive impact on you or someone you know. This could be a teacher, administrator, librarian, etc., who has been especially helpful or inspiring. Just comment on our posts through Christmas, tagging your favorite educator, and tell us why you’re thankful for them. Maybe they provided extra tutoring, or helped with SAT prep. Share your story! We will be giving headphones away to three winners, and we may have a few surprises as well!

And if you’re a school administrator looking for a way to use some of your end-of-year budget on your teachers, we have lots of the top brands they’ll appreciate. Let’s break down the top headphones your staff will love!

Gumdrop DropTech B1 Headphones:

These are designed for student testing and assessments. They are tough enough for the everyday classroom environment. With a twistable, break-resistant headband, durable earpads, and a 3mm braided chew-proof cord, these are top of the line. Your teachers and students will love using these in the classroom.

ThinkWrite Ultra Durable Headset 3.5mm TRRS Plug:

ThinkWrite headsets are designed specifically for the demands of students in the classroom. These are great for speech to text, and recording voice-overs at schools on iPad and Chromebook. On top of everything mentioned, this headset has noise reduction and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Soundnetic Budget Classroom Headphones, case of 12:

When looking for an affordable option for your classroom, these are a step above most budget headphones. They are less expensive, but with all the features you need in the classroom; great sound quality for the price, volume control, Chromebook compatibility, and they come with a 90-day warranty. These are ideal for common core testing and more!

HamiltonBuhl MS-2LV Education Headphone Leatherette Ear Cushion & Volume:

If you’re looking for the perfect companion for classroom technology and testing, look no further! These robust headphones offer high-quality sound with lightweight, on-ear design. They have a 6-foot, chew-resistant, braided nylon cord, and come in a heavy-duty, reclosable bag.

AVID Education AE-35 Classroom pack of 12:

The AE-35 is derived from our most popular headset model and was designed with the school environment in mind. These headsets feature a 6-foot braided nylon cord for extra resistance to chewing damage. The longer cord length allows children to comfortably move about their desks.

Hamilton HA-2V Schoolmate Personal Stereo Headphone with Volume Control:

These robust headphones offer many great features including in-line volume control. They put out high-quality sound, are lightweight, and have a comfortable on-ear design with foam ear cushions that are replaceable. These are the perfect companion to today’s classroom technology.

We have something for every classroom need! If you’re looking to support a favorite teacher, and help them stock up their classroom, we have everything on their list. We’re also giving away 3 headphones for our Thankful Contest. If you have a favorite educator in your life, nominate them to win by tagging them on our social media posts and let them know why you’re thankful for them. We will have some surprises over the next few weeks for our loyal fans! Be sure to check us out here.

Fight Flu Season with Encore Data Products

Flu season is here and we’re here to help you with some tips and tricks to keep your classroom flu-free! We have many products that can help keep germs at bay. Disinfectant wipes for classroom supplies and surfaces, along with easy to clean and disposable options, all help to slow down the spread of illness in the classroom.

Disinfectant wipes:

Encore Data Products has disinfectant wipes that fit your classroom needs. If you want bulk disinfectant wipes that won’t dry out, and are safe for all surfaces, consider the Classroom & Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes or Gym & Spa Performance Disinfectant Wipes. They come in a set of 800 with a dispenser bucket that will make them last longer. In addition to killing the flu virus and other germs, these wipes will kill 99.9% of bacteria in 15 seconds! Disinfecting your most used classroom items can help keep your students safe from the flu.

HamiltonBuhl Sack-O-Phones:

If you’re looking for classroom headphones that are packaged to stay clean, get the Sack-O-Phones. The storage bag is heavy-duty, moisture-resistant, and anti-lice. When the headphones are sealed in the bag, lice are killed in 24-48 hours without the use of chemicals. You can also disinfect these headphones with our Classroom & Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes before sealing to keep them extra clean.

Sanitary Headphone Covers:

These are a great way to improve classroom cleanliness, and we have lots to choose from! There are large and small size options for on-ear headphones and over-ear headphones, and they come in a variety of colors. You can buy bulk disposable headphone covers or get them in 50 pair sets. We have tons of the top brands for sanitation like HamiltonBuhl, HygenX, and our own line of Encore Data Products covers. Put a fresh pair over your on-ear classroom headphones and they’re ready for your next class. Simply dispose of them when done. If your students share headphones, these are a perfect solution for keeping your classroom equipment clean!

ENC-313P Stereo Disposable Headphones:

These disposable headphones come individually sealed in a plastic bag. The leatherette ear pads are easy to clean and can be put right back in the resealable storage bags. Their low price makes it easy to replace them as needed. They’re affordable, easy to clean, and provide great sound quality for the price.

HygenX Vray Portable UV Sterilizer:

When you need to clean a variety of classroom items quickly, this lightweight, cordless UV-C sanitizer works great! It safely sterilizes and decontaminates any object or surface using a UV-C light, killing 99.9% of bacteria. This sterilizer features a rechargeable battery and is capable of hands-free and portable operation. It also has a patented safety sensor to automatically turn off when tilted to 30 degrees in either direction to prevent exposure to skin and eyes.

You can’t be too careful. Using these items, along with basic sanitation, will help keep your classroom cleaner and ready to take on flu season! Involve your students to help get the job done. Giving them a few easy responsibilities can save you time. Have them wipe down their own set of headphones after use, or make sure they throw away any used headphones covers when they’re done. Whatever approach you take this flu season, we at Encore Data Products wish you a healthy school year!

Indestructible Earbuds and Headphones

If you’ve wondered whether or not there is such a thing as indestructible school supplies, the short answer is, unfortunately, “no.” However, some products are more affordable, and more durable than others, and we’re here to help you find them! Students can be hard on your classroom supplies and your classroom budget. Headphones and earbuds, which often get dropped, stepped on—and even chewed on—are likely to get broken. If you want to find the best quality earbuds and headphones for your classroom, we can help. We’ll point out the best features in price and durability to fit your needs. We have headphones made to last!

ENC-08100 Bulk Premium Disposable Stereo Headphones 100 pack:

With this 6 ft. cord, your students can have some wiggle room in the computer lab or library, but the real value of these headphones is how inexpensive they are! They’re made to be disposable, and their low price reflects that. Even though they’re not designed for long-term, heavy-duty use, they will hold up well if cared for. These are ideal for testing situations or limited use.

Hamiltonbuhl Flex-Phones:

Their flexibility is key to their durability! These headphones are flexible and durable enough for the toughest students. The bendable headpiece can be twisted without getting damaged. The headphones provide high-quality sound and will never exceed 85 decibels, perfect for young developing ears. On top of the durability features, these headphones also come with a 1-year warranty. Your students may be rough on these, but they are nearly indestructible with proper care! The Flex-Phones are available in two sizes; the XL version fits teens and beyond.

AVID Education AE-42 Stereo Headset:

If your students chew on things, we have the best option for you! These headphones have a braided nylon cord to protect both the cord and its inline mic from breakage. The headband is adjustable and tough. These are designed to be one of the most durable headphones on the market. No cord is completely chew-proof, but these cables will definitely help.

Bucket of Bulk Earbuds 100 Pieces:

These affordable stereo earbuds are a great choice for “extras” in your classroom. The rubber tips block noise and stay in place better than foam covered earbuds. The adapters work with all your best classroom electronics such as computers, tablets, Chromebooks and iPads. These are the perfect classroom testing accessory. Earbuds are not recommended for very young students.

Hamiltonbuhl Sack-O-Phones:

This 5 pack of headphones is great for your small clubs or computer lab rotation. They have noise-reducing ear cups that are also made of high quality and dependable materials. In addition, they feature Dura-Cord™ which is kink and chew resistant! Each headphone comes in a heavy-duty bag that works well for younger aged students. The bag is anti-lice, moisture resistant, and resealable.

When it comes to indestructible, Encore Data Products has lots of choices that come pretty close. These are just a few of the many headphone options that are affordable and will hold up in your classroom. Stick to your budget and get the best in educational headphones!

BOGO AVID Sale

With our huge BOGO sale going on, there is no better time to shop AVID headphones! Our educational and bulk headphones are perfect for your classroom, computer lab, and school testing, so if your school district is looking to buy affordable headphones, now is the best time to stock up.  We have many price points to fit your yearly budget and our products can be ordered in bulk. Want to know all the best benefits of Encore Data Products? Check out our list below of best classroom uses for our top AVID headphones. Don’t forget to use code TT-3 Free at checkout to get your bonus earbud with purchase.

AVID Education AE-35 Classroom Computer Stereo Headphone:

These are one of the most affordable sets of headphones from AVID. If your school district has a small budget to work with these are a great option. Whether you’re looking to stock your teachers’ computer labs or libraries or provide classroom headphones for your top teachers, the AVID Education AE-35 is an exceptional option.

AVID Education AE-36 Classroom Computer Stereo Headset:

The headset option is great for state testing, and for your AV club and journalism students. If your students are taking the READ 180 or TELPAS tests, these headphones will be an important support for them. They’re also excellent for recording a new podcast and keeping your students ready to share the daily news.  

AVID AE-55 Headphone with Microphone 3.5 mm TRRS Plug:

This headphone with microphone combo is an upgrade to the AE-36. Your teachers will love the quality and functionality of these headsets. They have many of the same functionalities of the AE-36 but with a few upgrades. You can use them for state testing and TELPAS, in your libraries, and for your after school clubs. They are made for quality performance and comfort! With the unidirectional noise-canceling microphone you can seamlessly record news segments and voice overs for your school journalism team.

AVID Education AE-42 Stereo Headset with Inline MIC:

The inline mic feature sets these headsets apart from many of our other products. Not only are they unique, but they are also designed to be the most durable headphones/headsets on the market. If your teachers go through supplies quickly, consider these an affordable, quality investment. The headband piece can withstand the toughest mechanical abuse, and the woven cord makes it perfect for younger students who may chew on it. The soft-touch surface prevents scratches and damage. These are ideal for your elementary-aged students.

During our BOGO sale, you can shop any of our AVID headphones and headsets over $5 each and mention “TT3-Free” at checkout and get One pair of AVID TT-3 earbuds free with each purchased item! Your staff will always find a good use for these, and their students will thank you! Stock up your library, classroom, or computer lab with AVID. Use code TT3 Free at checkout! Shop soon to take advantage of this great deal.

Back-To-School Roundup

With new students, lesson plans, &, of course, school supplies, back-to-school means a fresh start to your classroom. Making your classroom checklist can feel overwhelming at first but with the right plan, you can get everything ready to go for your 1st day of school. From making sure your classroom décor is ready to go, to having extra pencils on hand we have you covered with all the best back to school planning. Check out our list of top Back-To-School supplies.

Personalized Pencils: From funny quotes to motivational words of wisdom, there are pencils for everyone. If your students are always taking your pencils, maybe you can have them personalized with your name? That is one way to make sure you always have pencils for you, students!

Bento Boxes: If you’re looking for a way to plan healthy meals that are never boring, look into bento boxes. You can find tons of fun ideas for snack options on Pinterest as well. These are great for kids who have food allergies or are picky eaters. With lots of storage spaces and little dip spots, your kids will feel like they are getting lots of extra snacks.

Fun Bookmarks: Student rewards can be more than candy. Consider fun bookmarks as a reward. These Nessie bookmarks are a unique alternative to turning down a page to mark your spot. They are under $10 so they won’t break the bank.

Pastel Highlighters: Sometimes highlighters in those bright neon colors can give students a headache. These pastel highlighters do the same as regular highlighters without eye distraction.

Stationery Set: Whatever your students are into, there’s probably a notebook or pencil set for that. This Harry Potter stationery set has tons of school essentials. It’s packed with sticky notes, pens, notebooks, and sticky bookmarks.

Cute Pens: If your students like superheroes or dinosaurs, there are fun pen sets for everyone. We recommend these cat ones. Maybe you’re a crazy cat mom or you want pens right meow for your students. Check out these and many more on Amazon.

Encore Data Products: Our educational headphones, headsets, & earbuds are all perfect for your students. Whether you’re working with STEM students or students who have trouble concentrating, we have headphones for them. Our many options are both durable & affordable. They are always more budget-friendly when you buy in bulk.

Be sure to enter our giveaway and you could win a set of educational headphones for your entire classroom!

Document Camera

In a perfect world, your students would be in class every day and every student would be at the same stages of your lesson plans. But life happens. Sometimes students can be out for athletic activities, sick days, or suspension. Keeping track of where every student is in your lesson plan can be tough, making it difficult to know which students may need to take home assignments. They may have missed out on key information that even make up work cannot help. The Boardshare High Definition Document Camera can help!

With the Boardshare High Definition Document Camera, you can record videos, turn captured images into video, and use a time-lapse feature that allows you to digitally annotate. These features can be useful in the classroom in multiple ways:

  1. Record Videos- Sometimes students need extra help they can’t get at school. You can use your Boardshare High Definition Document Camera to record lesson plans or live classroom days. Students who are absent will be able to watch these and feel like they were in class while catching up. They will enjoy the benefits of seeing first hand what the conversation was around and can pause or stop while doing assignments. You can also share with other teachers, staff, or parents. With the help of parents and your videos, they will be up to date.
  2. Captured Image to Video- Some students are visual learners while others are verbal learners. Turning your PDF assignments into a video with side notes and voiceover narration can bring a full picture for both types of learners.
  3. Time-lapse- Some students need to see someone else work out a problem to know how to solve the one they are working on. If you’re working through something on paper, you can use the time-lapse feature to make a video working out an equation or creating a drawing. This would help students see fast-paced versions of what they are working on.

As you can see, the Boardshare High Definition Document Camera can be used in the classroom in various ways. With the USB feature, it can hook into your computer, laptop, or projector making it run throughout your entire lesson. And this high-resolution camera is incredibly affordable compared to other makes and models.

On top of all the ways this can incorporate into the classroom the Boardshare High Definition Document Camera is also great for business settings. It can be used for business presentations, webinars, lectures and more!

For more information or to order your own Boardshare High Definition Document Camera, the fine staff at Encore Data Products, Inc. will be happy to help!

How To Add Color To Your Classroom

Picking the right color

When thinking about sprucing up your classroom décor you should start by setting the right mood for your classroom needs. If you’re looking to inspire, motivate, or relax your students there is a color that can help you keep your classroom on track.

Studies show that certain colors in the classroom can maximize information retention and stimulate participation. Primary colors are all good options for your classroom: red, yellow, green, blue.

You can bring in these colors as accent walls, bookcases, or motivational signs and boards, or even plants. Consider adding pops of these colors with classroom supplies like our colorful headphone sets.

Red brings in high energy and creativity. Yellow help facilitate collaboration. Green helps to relax and calm great for a reading nook or class library. Blue helps with calming and inspiring.

Décor and More

Use your walls to display unique themes and showcase your students work. You can find tons of great inspiration and sometimes free downloadables for classroom wall displays on Pinterest. Here are some fun free printables that you can use to customize your classroom…

Classroom Theme

Think about changing up your classroom theme: Changing out classroom décor can keep your students engaged and excited to learn. There are tons for fun themes on Pinterest to bring color and inspiration to your students. From Dr. Seuss to Woodsy garden you can transform your classroom and take your students learning to the next level. You can match your theme to your classroom reading list or something your students are interested in like a popular book. Depending on the grade you teach you can add lots of colors to make a space your students will love. For inspiration check out this list of unique classroom themes.

Colorful Encore Data Products

We can also help you add color to your classroom with our educational headphones and headsets. Some of our most colorful products are our HamiltonBuhl Flex-Phones Color Blast, and our Bucket of Earbuds Red, White, and Blue

Reference

How Technology is Changing English as Another Language Instruction

Long gone are the days in which students learning English simply memorize and repeat what their textbooks and teachers tell them. English learners around the world of all ages are tapping into and embracing the power of technology in countless ways to enhance and support their language-learning experience. Technology in the English language acquisition classroom is critical to helping students not only learn English but also to be able to succeed academically in main content areas.

Video

One of the most widely-used methods of teaching English using technology is the use of video. Students can watch short clips that are relevant to a particular grammatical point they’re learning, vocabulary content they’re studying, or to practice social pragmatic skills by watching a roleplay of how language is used in certain social situations, for example.

As a self-study tool, video empowers students to practice listening and to learn new vocabulary by watching YouTube videos, television shows, movies, documentaries, and more in English. With the subtitles turned on and then off, students can pick up more of what characters are saying and master more of the language on their own.

Video can also be used as a tool to demonstrate understanding of a particular topic and to practice all four domains of learning a language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students can write a script, act it out, read it on camera, and listen to themselves with school headphones as they edit and re-shoot video of they find parts of it aren’t clear. They can then share this video with their peers and instructors as a demonstration of what they’re learning.

Apps

Hundreds of apps are available for mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and PCs that focus on various aspects of learning English. For example, students can listen to podcasts with headphones on a topic that they’re interested in, such as the latest news. They might play games that encourage them to practice their grammar skills or improve their reading comprehension. The number of apps for practicing specific English skills are nearly limitless, it seems, as new apps are being created every day.

Blogs and Pen Pals

To improve writing, students can engage in a wide variety of activities that incorporate technology. For instance, students might write posts in small groups, pairs, or as individuals for the class blog. They are likely to pay more attention to their writing if they know that it’s available to the world through the Internet and that their classmates will be reading their posts and then commenting on them (another great way to practice writing).

Students can connect with other English learners or with native speakers of English in another class through websites that connect teachers and students around the world as pen pals. If a student has an e-pen pal they like to write to, they are more likely to be internally motivated to put their ideas into an email to share with their pen pal on a regular basis than if they have to write just because the teacher says to.

Another idea to improve writing is to have students share their thoughts on online articles or discussion forums. The BBC offers a site for teenage students to read short news stories and then comment on them, for example. Using online identities (and with parents’ permission for young students), commenting on news stories or in a class discussion forum can be great ways for students to utilize technology to improve their language abilities.

Computer Testing

Technology is not just present in the classroom for instructional purposes. For students who live in countries or who attend schools where academic content is presented in English, they often face difficulties in learning how to use the technology required for them to take assessments of their academic abilities, including their English language proficiency.

Teachers must do more than teach English. They must teach students how to use the platforms, click and drag, type in text boxes, for example. Students must learn vocabulary related to the instructions for the technological aspects of the test, such as “drag” or “icon.”

Students who are from low-income homes may not have access to computers and the Internet, and their schools may not have much in the way of computers, either, if they are located in low-income areas. Students may be familiar with how to use mobile phones and tablets more than computers, and this can put them at a disadvantage when they have to put on their headphones during an assessment at school and navigate the exam’s computer interface on their own.

Technology is not just for entertainment purposes. English courses for adults and children are available for free and for a cost. Private tutors and online English teaching companies teach using web conferencing software. Schools and governments test students using computers and expect them to know how to use them and the Internet to research and write papers.

Teachers are incorporating technology into the classroom to make learning more fun and engaging for students on an individual level. Technology in the English classroom is changing the way students are taught and how they learn, and it will continue to do so in new ways as technology advances.

References: https://busyteacher.org/13732-using-technology-esl-instruction-10-modern-ways.html

http://www.colorincolorado.org/blog/computer-based-common-core-testing-considerations-and-supports-ells