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Fostering Language Acquisition in a Blended Learning Environment

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Listen and learn : Ed talk

Meaghan Martin  
In this interactive make and take session, we'll explore digital tools to empower learners in a blended learning classroom. Collaborate with fellow educators to create differentiated activities for English language learners. Teachers will design activities for students to creatively demonstrate their learning through multiple language domains.

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Padlet, FlipGrid, Book Creator
Topic: Creativity & curation tools
Grade level: PK-5
Subject area: ELL, Language arts
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
Related exhibitors:
Book Creator
, Instructure
, Microsoft Corporation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Digital tools offer teachers the opportunity to use one online platform to integrate all of the 5 Cs, including critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication, and citizenship. First, Teachers can promote critical thinking by asking students to explain their reasoning when solving a world problem in math or documenting the engineering design process in science. Second, With the teams function, students can work collaboratively with their peers to create projects. Third, when students create presentations, fliers, posters they can communicate in a digital format with their school community and beyond. Fourth, student friendly tools allow learners to creatively express themselves and demonstrate their learning in multiple formats from adding text to images, drawing a picture and even incorporating audio or video. Fifth, students practice digital citizenship skills as they cite their sources, use professional language, and create meaningful digital portfolio.

Teachers can support language development and differentiate assignments while integrating the 5 C’s . Digital tools can be used with all WIDA levels of English Language Learners (ELLs) as well as deaf and hard of hearing students. By creating templates, teachers can include scaffolds for students to demonstrate their knowledge by using multiple language domains in an assignment from recording their voice to making a video of themselves signing or cueing. Students can read their writing aloud to their teacher for language arts or explain their thinking of how to solve a word problem in math. Teachers can create the same assignment in multiple formats to allow for various levels of language acquisition.


5 mins: Introduction and student video example
25 mins: Demonstration of and participation in the Canvas, Flipgrid, Wixie, Padlet platform and explore types of learning activities. Participants will participate in a brainstorm.
10 mins: Demonstration of and participation in differentiated activities.
5 mins: Final questions and sharing of online resources.

Supporting research

Adventures in Authentic Learning 21 Step By Step Projects From an Edtech Coach by Kristin Harrington

UDL and Blended Learning: Thriving in Flexible Learning Landscapes by Katie Novak and Catlin R Tucker

Blending Learning in Grades 4-12 by Catlin R Tucker

Learning First Technology Second The Educators Guide to Designing Authentic Lessons by Liz Kolb

Daly, Carolyn (2019): A Call to Communicate: Creative Educator:

Kolk, Melinda (2013): Four Ways to Engage Digital Learners
Creative Educator:

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollcak, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works. Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement. Alexandria: ASCD.

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Meaghan Martin, Coles ES / Prince William County

Meaghan is currently an Instructional Technology Coach (ITC) in Prince William County Public Schools.

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