It’s almost impossible to explain my absence during course 4, except that it started with this back in October:
And ended yesterday celebrating my 32 years of life. Yes, it’s been a month hiatus that I will try to make up for in 1 week. I do, in fact, have a lot to say and reflect upon in Course 4. So let’s go, ha-tee-ho!
As many of you COETAILers out there know, my school Shekou International School, as a whole has been moving up the SAMR model ladder. Just our hashtag #SISRocks has trended (in fact, it’s the most trended international school hashtag in the Asia South-Pacific region) since mid-2012, and has redefined our professional sharing practices, both among our staff and with other schools/colleagues/classrooms in the international school community. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in our practice. Everywhere you turn on our campuses, learning is being redefined.
When asked to reflect on my practice and how the English language learner support is also being transformed at SIS, I don’t know where to start! So much has changed as language barriers and the students’ exposure to, and the opportunities to develop language (both academic and social) are now endless due to global connectivity. So here are some examples about what this transformation looks like, and how it continues to evolve and climb that ladder step by step:
- Augmentation – Using A+Pro or other flashcard apps to make individualized word banks that include images, audio, links to web and a daily practice reminder.
- Modification – Using the CONFER app to combine WIDA Can-Do descriptors and the TCRWP teaching points, to assess ELLs.
- Redefinition – Using Padlet to create a ‘wall of walls’ to collaborate on vocabulary learning and learning.
The tricky part about me reflecting upon this as ‘my practice’ is that it’s doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to them, the students. I may guide them into using the tool, but it is them who redefine their learning through the use of the tool. For the Padlet, for instance, I may think of the endless ways it can be used for students to develop their vocabulary. I may also suggest to them what they can do and how to take it further. But it is really in their application of the tool that will show me its capacity (and/or limitations). It is the exploration of the strategy through the tool and how each learner uses/applies it that will truly be the real redefinition.
Again, just the tip of the iceberg in what truly is to be a 21st century learner as well as a 21st century educator. So I climb this SAMR ladder with my learners every day. I see them climb it as well, sometimes without even realizing it, they enhance and transform their learning.