Chillicothe ISD adds portable translators for teachers and students

Chillicothe ISD adds portable translators for teachers and students

CHILLICOTHE, Texas (TNN) - Chillicothe ISD is leading the way with new technology for students.

WT2 earpieces the district purchased this year helps teachers and students communicate, when they don’t speak the same language.

“It’s helped me as a teacher feel like I actually have a connection to the students that only speak Spanish," Chillicothe elementary English teacher Carrie Palowski said.

The earpieces listen to what the teacher or student says and translates it directly into the other’s ear.

“I don’t have to stop, I can teach them when I’m teaching everybody else and they can get it translated into their own language,” Chillicothe junior high teacher Kathy Tabor said.

“The majority of the time when we speak we’re using body language, teachers use their hands and if you’re using a phone you’re cutting that out,” high school principal Tony Martinez said.

The earpieces were designed for tourists but Martinez had other ideas for it, even drawing attention from the company’s owner.

“He drove out here and interviewed me, and said ‘you’ve found a different avenue for these devices can I come out there and see how you are using it?’” he said.

The device gives students more ways to learn in and outside of the classroom like when Tabor read “The Tell-Tale Heart” into the device to translate it for a student.

“I can go back to the history and print it and he’ll have every bit of the story to look at if he needs it,” she said.

The students aren’t meant to rely on it through all their schooling though.

“Although we want them to learn English quickly, we needed some way so they’re not missing the learning,” elementary principal Brenda Dunlap said.

It helps more than just the teachers and students too.

helping parents learn what their students are doing.

“It’s not just communicating with the students but as parents are coming in for parent-teacher conferences we’re able to draw them in as well,” Palowski said.

A Region 9 official told News Channel 6 that their English second language program staff have seen the devices but want to look into them further before they pursue them.

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