• Josh Arnold

Tech Tools to Use In Reading and Writing

A few years ago I had the good fortune to be given enough laptops to become a one to one classroom. At first I jumped into using tech for everything but soon realized I had really just put everything I had on paper onto the computer. I've since learned to step back from that unfortunate leap and now use technology as a tool.

In addition I've always held the idea that every teacher is a reading and writing teacher. So when I get the chance to use technology in the classroom that specifically benefits reading and writing I'm most satisfied. Here are four websites that can easily be used to support reading or writing in the classroom. Website to make an easy backchannel to use when students are watching a video, small group work, asking questions during a presentation. A backchannel is any tool the teacher uses to help facilitate the discussion in the classroom. This is a great way to increase engagement and participation. Free to use in the classroom. Change the way you use video in your class by making your own lesson with any YouTube video or thousands of engaging videos already made by TedEd. Video is not often thought of as text but it can be. Using video instead of text in a lesson can help all students access learning. TedEd is not for profit and is funded with donations. Website with many different applications. The easiest of which is to enter any text you plan to use with students and the website will breakdown difficult words into easier ones. Doing this will allow you to assess important stats on the text such as word count, Lexile Density, and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. Print the reworded text to offer differentiated lessons. Go deeper with the website by making reading and writing activities such as Cloze, matching, and quizzes. This could be an excellent add on tool for a small group of struggling readers in your classroom. This website is totally free. Using the designing tools on this website allows anyone to make a poster, website, or video in less time than most publishing tech tools. Is the five paragraph essay dead yet? Maybe not, but your students might think so. Why not have them change the medium they produce analytical work for you by making video or a website? Adobe Spark is quick and easy to use. The free version gives you access to just about everything. A paid version removes the watermark from any video content you create.

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