Read Conmigo, a bilingual literacy initiative sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance, published results from a nation-wide survey sent out to 7,200 teachers and school administrators who participate in the Read Conmigo program. Responses show that technology is gaining importance in the classroom faster than ever.
To Be or Not to Be: The Tablet Transition
"Read Conmigo recognized early on that tablets are valuable and increasingly accessible tools for parents raising bilingual kids," said Jim Gober, CEO of Infinity Auto Insurance. "We commissioned the survey to evaluate investments in resources like Read Conmigo ebooks and learning apps."
The survey found that 20 percent of school libraries offer access to tablets, and one in five students are allowed to bring their own devices to school. Almost thirty-five percent of teachers use tablets in the classroom. Teachers use the devices for programs such as educational apps (91%), websites (75%), textbooks (46%), storage (25%), and photos/videos (51%).
Technology is Teacher-Approved
Teachers feel that technology makes lessons "more visual," "effective," "interactive," "engaging" and "hands-on." They use it to generate lesson plans customized to the individual needs of students. "Technology is a time-saver because lessons flow faster, and information is available almost instantly." [survey respondent from Miami, FL]
More than 87% of students would also like to use more technology in the classroom. In fact, technology motivates learning. Teachers report that 84% of students stay on task when completing Internet-based projects. That could be one reason why 61% of teachers ask students to use the Internet as a research tool on a regular basis.
How young is too young?
Over 83% of teachers don't believe in a minimum age limit to start introducing technology in the classroom. Many adopt a "sooner the better" policy. Educators strongly believe that students at any age can benefit from technology in the classroom, as long as proper procedures and expectations are put in place.
Read Conmigo at the Forefront
Survey results affirm Read Conmigo efforts over the last four years towards digital tools supporting bilingual literacy. Since the program's inception, Read Conmigo has distributed more than 800,000 free bilingual children's books nationwide and boasts of one of the nation's few completely bilingual online libraries, with downloadable e-books compatible with computers, tablets, and smart phones.
Read Conmigo also recently launched its newest free interactive app, Mary la Mariposa and her Friends, which allows young children to read at their own pace or follow along as the app reads to them in both English and Spanish.