Sunday, March 18, 2012

Do iPads + ELL Students = Reading Comprehension?

Last week I presented a session at the Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) conference in Seattle.  The title of my session was the same as the title of this post.  I'm still not sure of the answer to the question I posed.  During formative assessments as this project proceeds, I do see quite a bit of growth for most of the students.  Recently we completed the summative assessment called the DRP (Degrees of Reading Power) which, according to the test maker, are "holistic measures of how well students understand the meaning of text. Test results are reported on the DRP Scale of Text Difficulty – the same scale that is used to measure the reading difficulty of printed material."  
The test results give us a score for each student which indicates an independent reading level and an instructional reading level.  Looking at the class's scores, 66% of the students made considerable progress on the DRP since they took it in the fall.  I think their growth has been even more exceptional since we gave the DRP in February instead of in May when the spring test really should be given.  But it is only one measure of student progress.  The students also took the new WELPA (Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment) a few weeks ago.  According to the state:
"It measures students’ growth in English language knowledge and skills. Results from this test determine which students are eligible to continue to receive ELD services."  We won't have the results from this test until May, so we shall see if any of the students were able to test out of English Language Development services.  I'm hopeful.

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