lit_lab2Technology’s impact on literacy instruction is unprecedented, and the Chanticleer Literacy Lab is responding.  During the spring of 2013, the Lab used grant monies to purchase iPads, and the Content Area Literacy course’s (EDLL 618) professor, Dr. Todd Cherner, created a method for his students to explore how they could use apps in their own teaching practices.  To do so, Dr. Cherner created an “App”etizer, which is a 30-minute block of class time where students were allowed to engage apps.  The apps were all researched, downloaded, and divided into literacy themes – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, handwriting, spelling, etc. – by the Lab’s research assistant, Ms. Anna Guilliams, previous to class.  Then, during the “App”etizer, EDLL 618 students were to investigate apps from a specific literacy theme, discuss what they liked and disliked about the apps, and assess the apps using a rubric.  This led to EDLL 618 students using apps with their PreK-12 student during tutoring sessions.  Because using teaching strategies is an essential component to learning them, the professor encouraged his students to use them as they tutored.  About their experiences using iPads in EDLL 618, one student wrote that she is, “More confident [using the iPad] than I was before starting this class.  I learned a lot about how to incorporate apps into instruction.”  Another student added, “I am very confident about using the iPad in my classroom.”  As he thinks about teaching future literacy classes, Dr. Cherner plans to continue using iPads to strengthen teachers’ digital literacy instructional skills.