By Toshitko Maurizio
Administrator for Multilingual Programs in the Beaverton School District in Beaverton, OR
As the administrator for multilingual programs at Beaverton Public Schools in Beaverton, OR, I oversee 5,000 English language learners (ELLs) speaking more than 95 different languages. We are the third-largest district in the state, with 46,000 students at 51 schools. While many of our ELLs speak Spanish as a second language, Arabic and Japanese round out the top three.
As a Future Ready district, we use technology to engage students in every lesson, while providing resources to bridge the gap between their native language and English.
We encourage our educators to be innovative, and to weave technology elements into their daily lessons. For example, we do not believe that asking students to do research or type a report is innovative or engaging. Our educators assign writing prompts where students are able to provide feedback to their classmates digitally.
Teachers monitor student interaction and are able to collect data and formatively assess each student’s understanding.
A Curriculum Specialist’s Tech Essentials
When I first started as an ELL teacher, we would use tapes to record students, listen to their passages, and assess progress. The tech essentials I mentioned are just a few elements that have streamlined instruction, making the time our teachers spend with students more efficient and productive. These tools of the modern classroom free us to provide the human element that our students need to succeed in the 21st century.