The U.S. Department of Education (ED) today announced the release of the
National Study on English Learners and Digital Resources. The study provides the first national look at how districts and educators use educational technology to instruct English learner students—the fastest-growing student population in the country.
Today’s students are entering classrooms that have seen rapid adoption of digital technologies in instruction. With these new technologies, teachers of English learner (EL) students, whether they are general education teachers or specialists in EL student instruction, have exciting new tools to support learning.
This toolkit brings suggestions and resources for educators who want to utilize new technology-based resources to help their EL students gain proficiency in English and meet academic goals. The toolkit offers five guiding principles for educators to apply in exploring new ways of working with and supporting EL students through technology. In addition, the toolkit has a companion—The Developer Toolkit which provides guidance for developers on the needs of English learner students and their teachers, tips on supports to include with their products that may be especially useful for English learners and ways they can communicate about their products with districts and educators of English learner students to facilitate adoption.
“This toolkit provides important resources for educators and educational technology developers alike who are eager to serve the unique needs of our nation’s EL students,” said Jose A. Viana, assistant deputy secretary and director of the Office of English Language Acquisition, which commissioned the study. “And since many districts now require that supports for English learner students be available in any educational technology they purchase, this study and the information it provides is very timely.”