Teach Beyond the Classroom!
The use of electronic media as teaching tools has revolutionized
the academic world. Students learn from computer screens as
well as from the printed page. The ease of sending, receiving,
downloading, and storing electronic files allows teachers and students
alike to keep materials for use whenever desired; a single
PDF file can contain the curriculum—and much more—for an
entire academic year.
Going electronic need not be total, but consider the advantages
of taking a step in that direction; PDF files can remain safely in
the possession of the school indefinitely. Unlike printed materials,
they require no shelf space, and they are easily updated. Newly
revised files can be distributed as e-mail attachments at no cost,
year after year. Students can keep the lessons on hand as long as
desired; and unlike lost books, lost files can be replaced instantly
and cost-free. ESL and foreign students may share the files with
friends and relatives abroad, multiplying the learning experience
beyond our shores.
These and other advantages of going electronic are obvious, but
not every student owns a computer. So, if preferred, the lessons
may be printed from the file by the teacher and used in the traditional
manner. Even then, waste and cost are minimized since the
number of lessons printed can be tailored to the exact size of the
class; and updated electronic files leave no outdated printed versions
Fortunately, the first step into the electronic world has already
been taken by some schools with the creation of a website. Many
schools also have teachers—or friends—who alone or in collaboration
can write curricula into PDF (or other electronic) files. So,
why not take an additional step and add a library to the website,
a repository of lessons, assignments, and instructions—an indestructible
resource available to students indefinitely, even after
their enrollment at school ends? Those same lessons, offered online
(and free of charge), become a gift that benefits students and
instructors across the world.
A personal note: During the past two years, I have been privileged
to teach an adult class of ESL students at the Aberg Center for
Literacy. While teaching, I also wrote thirty lessons—as stories
with worksheets—which I combined into a single PDF file to use
as a supplement to the standard curriculum. As the first academic
year ended, I realized that by creating a website, I could reach
beyond the single classroom with my lessons; and knowing
that many ESL schools and students must minimize expenses,
I decided to offer the file TenPlusTwenty.pdf as a gift—free of
charge—to all schools, classes, instructors, and students.
That PDF file containing all thirty lessons and worksheets can be
read and/or downloaded cost-free at the following website: www.tenplustwenty.com
During the first ten months of its existence, this website has been
visited by people of more than fifty nations across the world—a
testimony to the fact that English has become the lingua franca
of our time. The lessons first read in a small Dallas classroom
reached students of many nations.
So, why not join me and take a step toward every teacher's
dream? Teach beyond the classroom!
About the Author:
Lon Rogers is a volunteer teacher of ESL students at the Aberg Center for Literacy in Dallas, Texas.
Visit the website of the Aberg Center for Literacy at: www.abergcenter.
SAVE THE DATE for the 2012 TALAE Conference!
Texas Association for Literacy & Adult Education
will hold its 2012 Conference.
February 2-4, 2012
at the Crowne Plaza Riverwalk,
111 E. Pecan Street in San Antonio.
The Texas LEARNS Winter Business
Meeting will be a
pre-conference on February 1.
For more information, visit the Conference page of TALAE's website.