Technological Academic Language

The students in my Technology Information Literacy class are an interesting mix of high school freshmen and sophomores. This combination of learning levels creates a challenge especially since this is a technology class. In this class, students are given an in-depth look at computers and how to utilize important software programs. The programs that are covered in one semester are Office Word, Publisher, Excel, Powerpoint, and Adobe Photoshop. These programs use a lot of technical skills and are encompassed by a great deal of academic language. Often, the technical details create classroom obstacles because of the students’ different learning styles and grade levels.

Concerning academic language development, the students come into class with general language that they use with pieces of technology that they are familiar with through the social media, internet, and computers. This results in students knowing how to operate technology, but do not know proper names and basic truths. It was interesting to discover that many students understand how to use a flash drive but they do not know what it is called. With this in mind, I not only teach students how to use the software applications, but students also learn key terms in this area. The students are able understand the technical academic language once I teach them the meaning and usage of terms. New terms are constantly introduced in the curriculum’s objectives and most students follow along with ease as long as I give them adequate time to practice using the academic language. I have seen every student in my class comprehend technical language, but it does take certain students more time to do so. In order to assess this, I use formative assessment to track their growth. These students come from various backgrounds and are all developing at their own individual speed. They have been raised in a technical world and have learned how to communicate through social media. Thus, it is important for each student to engage in academic growth alongside personal growth so that they can reach their full potential as a student in my class.

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