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Public Information


Garrett County Co-Teachers Enhance Reading Instruction with Technology

Last Updated on Apr 8, 2019 at 1:20pm | Public Information Office

The Maryland Society for Educational Technology (MSET) is proud to announce its March 2019 Digital Learning Showcase Recipients: Amy Rowan and Lisa Teets from Northern Middle School.

The co-teaching duo is changing the face of literacy in their quest to support struggling readers who have reading deficiencies of being two grade levels behind or more. Tackling the challenge head on, the co-teachers resorted to harnessing the power of technology to engage their students; bringing in tools that are often high interest to students.
Rowan and Teets were led to purchasing GoFormative, an app that allows teachers to give live assignments to students, as well as the flexibility of having teachers give instant teaching adjustments to meet student needs. To take it one-step further, Rowan put forth the effort to record all the texts, fiction and nonfiction, by paragraph and inserted videos to build a child's background knowledge using the Read Aloud extension on Google Chrome. The unique component of Read Aloud is it allows students to highlight anything on a website and it will play it back.

The app smash combination of GoFormative and Read Aloud has been critical in students developing their own independence in reading and writing too.

"We challenge students to highlight their sentences and have it read to them," Rowan shared as students are listening intently to their work.." This allows them to hear some of their mistakes and challenges them to go back and fix it. We have been very satisfied in students responding to the challenge of wanting to self-improve upon some their failures."

Prior to the implementation of the technology tools, students were struggling to read independently. This approach allowed them to read grade-level passages at their own pace without an adult constantly beside them as a human reader.

"Ms. Rowan and Mrs. Teets are exemplars of team teaching that benefits students in their ELA classroom," Northern Middle Principal David Yoder indicated about the co-teachers. "[Both ladies] share the common goal of supplying their students with as many assistive technology tools as possible to foster student independence. Students who once struggled to complete work independently, have now gained self-sufficiency that allows them to complete class work with less teacher support."

Northern Middle, a 1-to-1 school, has seen significant improvements across all content levels since implementation of this instructional approach.

"Students are not raising their hands as much and wanting to know how to spell words. Instead, they are becoming more independent and self-sufficient," Rowan indicated as the gaps are being filled quickly for Northern Middle students. "We are eliminating learned helplessness in our classroom; it is making a huge difference in their work and attitude."
?About Digital Learning Showcase
MSET is taking the opportunity to highlight best practices in classroom teaching, leading, and learning with educational technology from around the state of Maryland. The goal is to spotlight innovations of members and nonmembers throughout different public and private school settings. Each month teachers, school leaders, and community members are asked to nominate individuals who support innovation and educational technology in a school setting.

MSET is non-profit organization with the purpose of promoting the improvement of the teaching-learning process through effective technology integration into all curricular areas as well as fostering and promoting excellence technology in education. MSET is an affiliate of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), a leading international network for technology professionals.
Source: Maryland Society for Educational Technology - .
Amy Rowan, teacher at Northern Middle School
Amy Rowan, teacher at Northern Middle School.
Lisa Teets, teacher at Northern Middle School
Lisa Teets, teacher at Northern Middle School.
Northern Middle School students working with digital technology.
Northern Middle students are engaged in digital technology tools daily in their classrooms.
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