Change display time — Currently: Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (Event time)

Edtech for English Learners — Strategies and Tools That Maximize Learning

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 113C

Listen and learn: Ed talk
Streaming Session
Recorded Session
Save to My Favorites


Technology Learning Coach
Dublin City Schools
Sarah is an instructional technology coach with a diverse background in design and delivery. Through her work as an educator, curriculum writer, instructional designer and technology trainer, she is passionate about designing effective learning experiences and leveraging technology to impact teaching and learning. Sarah is a Google Certified Coach, Kami Hero and Pear Deck Coach. Originally from Pittsburgh, Sarah earned her Master of Education from The Ohio State University and Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Ohio Dominican University.

Session description

How do we teach English learners how to solve equations, identify parts of a cell or summarize historical events? Do we focus on teaching English, the content or both? Explore how to leverage technology in order to increase English learners’ content knowledge while providing opportunities for creation and critical thinking.

Purpose & objective

Many schools are experiencing an increase in the population of students who are English learners. This change prioritizes the need to focus on strategies and technology tools to integrate with teaching in order to meet the diverse language and content needs. Often, school districts do not have the time to provide adequate training or support for teachers, despite their urgent needs. When teaching a classroom with English learners, when do you focus on teaching the content, or shift the focus to teaching English? Or, do you teach both at the same time? What kind of strategies and tools can be used for all students that ensure access for English learners? In this session, participants will learn about a school’s journey in responding to this challenge.

As a result of this session, participants will learn how to focus on providing opportunities for reading, writing, speaking, and listening in their lessons. Grounded in the instructional model of workshop, participants will learn how to develop tasks that allow for a varied depth of knowledge levels. We will explore lessons that give opportunities for the 4Cs - creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. Participants will explore lesson examples and how to integrate these lessons with tools like Pear Deck, Kami, Google Slides, and more. These technology tools amplify accessibility to learning both content and English. Participants can expect to leave this session inspired with ways to modify current lessons to increase accessibility for English learners.

More [+]


Content and activities:
In this session, we will first connect to the current realities school districts are experiencing with an increase in the population of English learners. We will then explore the research and evidence-based practices supporting the reasoning to provide opportunities for speaking, writing, reading, and listening. Throughout this presentation, participants will have opportunities to reflect individually and in small groups. We will then explore real classroom lessons that developed tasks for engagement with varied depth of knowledge levels. During this time, we will learn about different technology tools that amplify access to learning. Lastly, participants will have opportunities to then modify sample lessons or their own lessons in order to apply what they have learned from this session.

- 10 minutes: Sharing data and connecting with the reality of a rise in the population of English learners.
- 10 minutes: Presenting research and evidence-based practices that are successful with English learners.
- 5 minutes: Participants will reflect on their current teaching situation and debrief with a small group.
- 5 minutes: Present background on workshop model and depths of knowledge.
- 15 minutes: Sharing of classroom examples that are grounded in workshop model, that utilize technology tools to provide opportunities for reading, writing, speaking, and writing, in order to provide access to varied depths of knowledge and opportunities for learning both content and English.
- 10 minutes: Participants will practice modifying their own lessons in order to apply what they have learned.
- 5 minutes: Share out-sample lessons and end-of-session reflection.

This presentation is designed in the workshop model structure. We will have time for connection, mini-lesson, practice, and reflection. I will be running the session with an audience engagement tool that is device based which will allows for active participant engagement. Participants will engage in think-pair-share reflection opportunities, practice applying new content, and reflect in order to connect their learning.

More [+]

Supporting research

Cohan, Audrey, et al. Team up, Speak up, Fire up!: Educators, Students, and the Community Working Together to Support ... English Learners. HAWKER BROWNLOW EDUCATION, 2020.

More [+]

Session specifications

Universal Design for Learning/differentiated learning
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices useful
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Subject area:
ISTE Standards:
For Coaches:
Change Agent
  • Facilitate equitable use of digital learning tools and content that meet the needs of each learner.
Learning Designer
  • Collaborate with educators to develop authentic, active learning experiences that foster student agency, deepen content mastery and allow students to demonstrate their competency.
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Support educators in using technology to advance learning that meets the diverse learning, cultural, and social-emotional needs of individual students.