Putting Educational Innovations into Practice.

Apps Useful for English Teachers (and their students, and folks in related fields)

The English Editorial Board has been discussing what to do about some online resources useful to our field that don't seem suited for the full MERLOT peer review process. Among the kinds of things we might discuss are those useful little apps--iPhone, iPad, Droid, whatever--that make life easier. Instead of trying to maintain a list on a web page, I thought I'd set up a discussion. Eventually we'll actually want to discuss, but initially we should probably collect some links to pages that describe or sell or support the apps in question. My current favorite is Attendance, although it probably belongs more in the pedagogical section of MERLOT than in the English section. You can read about it at

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While high-tech apps do seem to be taking over post-secondary education as a means to ensure students pay attention to assignments and messages from instructors (as well as peers) when it is too much trouble to logon to BlackBoard or other course management system his/her college is using, we need to keep in mind not all students can afford such turbo-charged telephones. Some students don't even own computers and have to squeeze time to find open labs on campus or at the local library in between classes, work schedules, and childcare responsibilities. As an English instructor, I am not eager to embrace the rapidly changing portable communications technology, and unlike the majority of traditional college students today, I only use my phone for emergencies and speaking to people -- I never text -- since it is important for me to hear the person I call, otherwise I'd send an email.


While on the subject, I wish to ask our English community for suggestions on developing writing skills for students in career and technical education  (CTE) programs, who are often limited-English proficient, and learn the technical skills they need to in order to secure employment, while their communication develops little. Thanks. 


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