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Edtech Solutions
Network Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Using Coding Language to Equitably Teach Geography and Technology to Language Learners

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Monday, November 30, 1:30–2:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Dr. Karen Guerrero  
Margarita Jimenez-Silva  
Heather Moll  

Explore how coding on a giant map levels the playing field when teaching geography. Spheros are used to engage linguistically diverse learners in a hands-on experience of exploring map concepts, historical connections to local geography, and STEMSS (STEM+Social Studies) phenomenon that is happening in the world around them.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Topic: Teacher education
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, ESL
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Demonstrate cultural competency when communicating with students, parents and colleagues and interact with them as co-collaborators in student learning.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
  • Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The STEMSS Project explored in this session will
• expose participants in innovative lessons that engages teachers and students in coding while learning geography through language-rich content, and
• engage participants in a hands-on (or should I say feet-on) activity that integrates STEMSS content, academic language, and collaboration through coding on a giant map where participants can walk across a map while coding
The participants will learn about the overview of the project and will participate in one of the activities that uses coding to engage in content and language. Images, video, and actual hands-on experiences will immerse the participants in how coding can level the playing field to ensure all students, including ELs can learn content in the K-12 classroom.
The participants will then share out their experiences and brainstorm ideas on how they might implement the activity with their students to support teaching and learning that is engaging and meaningful. Finally, the participates will investigate the giant map lesson template and available lessons to determine take-aways that connect the session with their own learning and future usage. It is also hopeful that participants will share contact information for future collaboration.

Supporting research

August, D., Branum-Martin, L., Cardenas-Hagan, E., & Francis, D. J. (2009). The impact of an instructional intervention on the science and language learning of middle grade English language learner. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 2, 345-376.
Barton-Arwood, S., Morrow, L., Lane, K., & Jolivette, K. (2005). Project IMPROVE: Improving teachers' ability to address students' social needs. Education and Treatment of Children, 430-443. Stable URL:
Crevecoeur, Y., Coyne, M. D., & McCoach, D. B. (2014). English-language Learners and English-only Learners’ Response to Direct Vocabulary Instruction. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 30, 51-78. DOI:10.1080/10573569.2013.758943
Dunn, L. M., & Dunn, D. M. (2015). Peabody picture vocabulary test: PPVT 4. Pearson.
Gamoran, A., Lopez Turley, R. N., Turner, A., & Fish, R. (2012). Differences between Hispanic and Non-Hispanic families in social capital and child development: First-year findings from an experimental study. Res Soc Stratif Mobil. March; 30(1): 97–112. DOI:10.1016/j.rssm.2011.08.001
Hinde, E., Osborn Popp, S., Jimenez-Silva, M., & Dorn, R. (2011). Linking geography to reading and English language learners' achievement in US elementary and middle school classrooms. International Research in Geographical and Environmental education, 20(1), 47-63. DOI:10.1080/10382046.2011.540102
Ryoo, K. (2009). Learning science, talking science: The impact of a technology-enhanced curriculum on students' science learning in linguistically diverse mainstream classrooms (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest at (UMI No. 3364450).
Townsend, D., & Collins, P. (2009). Academic Vocabulary and Middle School English Learners: An Intervention Study. Reading & Writing, 22(9), 993-1019. DOI:10.1007/s11145-008-9141-y
Vaughn, S., Martinez, L.R., Linan-Thompson, S., Reutebuch, C. K., Carlson, C. D., & Francis, D. J. (2009). Enhancing social studies vocabulary and comprehension for seventh-grade English language learners: Findings from two experimental studies. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 2(4), 297-324. DOI:10.1080/19345740903167018
Yosso*, T. J. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race ethnicity and education, 8(1), 69-91. DOI:10.1080/1361332052000341006

More [+]


Dr. Karen Guerrero, Professor
Margarita Jimenez-Silva, University of California Davis
Heather Moll, Arizona Geographic Alliance -- ASU

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