In March 2020, most adult English language programs had to stop teaching classes in person. Fortunately, the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School was prepared and shifted its classes to a virtual learning program. Its students were determined to continue learning English, but teachers soon realized that accessing the many different technology tools was challenging for learners. To increase student and teacher effectiveness during virtual learning, the Crimsonbridge Foundation partnered with Carlos Rosario to support the development of instructional content focused on technology skills. Teachers and staff at Carlos Rosario conducted focus groups with students to inform the development of a comprehensive tech onboarding curriculum, which the school piloted in 2021 as a course for beginning-level learners. The course, which Carlos Rosario offered in English, Spanish, and Amharic, included 16 total hours of instruction. In the semester following the pilot, Carlos Rosario had a higher retention rate in its beginning-level courses. Teachers believe this can be at least partially attributed to the increased technology proficiency of the students. They also found that students were more successful in subject-matter courses because teachers did not have to spend time on technology troubleshooting. They found that students were eager to use tools they had learned during the tech onboarding course and were more capable of troubleshooting themselves.
Moving forward, Carlos Rosario would like to offer this course for students before starting each semester. Distance learning is here to stay, and Carlos Rosario will incorporate digital content into most of its courses moving forward. “Through this partnership, the Carlos Rosario School developed the core components of a tech curriculum, trained teachers in common tools, and piloted tech onboarding courses in several native languages. This work provides a strong foundation of technology literacy which our professional development team can continue to build upon,” says Christyann Helm, Professional Development Specialist/Instructional Coach at the Carlos Rosario School.
This content was sourced from information submitted in a final report to the Foundation. Carlos Rosario is part of the Crimsonbridge Foundation’s English Language Initiatives program, which provides strategic support for organizations seeking to expand successful models, seed innovation, and/or implement new technology.