Auditory Processing and Technology

mypc-128x128In my class I am seeing more and more auditory processing disorders.  According to the National Institute on Deaf and Communication Disorders auditory processing is ” a term used to describe what happens when your brain recognizes and interprets the sounds around you”.  When a student has an auditory processing disorder that students may not hear what I say as a teacher correctly and may not then understand what I have said.  This disorder has a huge impact on academic performance.  As a teacher that loves to use technology I know there may be an answer to this problem using technology.

I read an article this morning by Robert Marzano that discusses the use of interactive white boards in the classroom and how academic performance is improving by the use of these boards.  I think that article could also be expanded and we would see that technology use in general, if applicable to student learning, will increase test scores as well – especially in students with auditory processing disorders.  Most teachers only teach to auditory learners, but we know through research that most students ARE NOT Speaker-256x256

auditory learners.  The reason test scores are improving with the use of the whiteboard is because we are finally reaching all of the other learners in our classroom – especially the visual and the kinesthetic learners!

When my student’s create a wordle they are interacting with words and visualizing patterns with words which is so much more powerful than me saying vocabulary words over and over.  When I use voicethread to help my students with vocabulary words, they are seeing a picture of a word and hearing the word, so I am helping visual learners again!  By giving all of our students opportunities for success our academic performance can only rise.

Technology enhances learning and allows students to visualize what they are seeing, not just hear the words.  It is important for educators to promote the use of technology for those students who need the extra visualization in class.

Using Wordle

One of my new favorite technologies to use in the classroom is wordle!  I struggled for awhile to come up with a good idea for how to use wordle in the classroom and then I came up with a really good way to teach Green and Latin roots using wordle.  I didn’t want to just tell the students what the roots mean so I broke my lesson plan down into 4 days of instruction/exploration of each root.  I don’t have much time each day to teach roots so I try to fit it in about 10 to 15 minutes each day.  The first day I teach the lesson I have tell the students the root and have them come up with a list with as many words in it containing that root.  The next day we discuss the words the students find and I have them look up the definitions to the word.  The third day I have the students put the root, the word that contains the root, and the definition into wordle.  Then using wordle, the meaning of the root usually comes up as the biggest or the second biggest word on the page.  I have put an example wordle below using this method.  For the root “tract” the students would brainstorm words using “tract”.  Some examples might be: digestive tract, traction, tractor, extract, contract, retract, and attract.  The students would then look up the words and find the definition.  Then they would put all of that in Wordle.  It is important that the root be put in each time a word and a definition is put into the wordle.  I learned through experimentation that the most repeated words are the largest words in a wordle.  So, it makes sense that the word repeated in each definition will be the meaning of the Greek or Latin root.  The students love finding the meaning of the roots this way and it is so much more engaging than me standing up in front of the class and telling them!