To network with other Language Arts teachers, please join the the ISEnet ning and share favorite websites with our group on Diigo. This wiki page is two years old and needs your help! Please edit anything and everything on this page. It is intended to be a comprehensive resource for teachers of language arts who are interested in integrating technology. Perhaps there would be a better organizational format for the page. Feel free to change it up! Please add links to your favorite L.A. websites to the listings below.
Language arts as a subject area includes several interrelated learning domains: vocabulary, reading fluency, comprehension, composition, and literary analysis. Because of the interrelation of each of the five domains, increased proficiency in one area will often yield higher proficiency in one or more of the other areas. For example, problems with reading fluency is often tied to limitations in vocabulary and therefore educational strategies that expand a student's vocabulary will help the child's fluency, comprehension, and most likely their analysis as well.
Using technology in the language arts classroom opens a new world of educational possibilities for both teachers and students. This wiki chapter hopes to expand new possibilities for language arts instruction by offering various ways that technology can be utilized for student learning in language arts.
This chapter will review national standards in both language arts and technology. It will also examine some of the issues and problems facinmiddle school language arts educators. The chapter includes several strategies for integrating technology into the language arts and also provides ten case studies of excellent uses of technology to aid language arts instruction. Finally, it will review some of the major software, hardware, and web resources associated with successfully integrating technology into a language arts classroom.
National Language Arts Standards Edit
- General Summary Of National Standards 
The national standards for language arts and reading as outlined by the National Council of Teachers of English cover twelve particular skills and competencies that are integral to a firm understanding of reading and language arts. These standards are presented in list form, but should be looked at as indistinct and inseparable since each point is interrelated and cannot be looked at without exploring related points. The national language arts standards can be found at the following link: Language Arts National Standards
- National Technology Standards 
The national standards for technology for students as outlined by the International Society for Technology in Education covers six distinct domains that have been identified as important when integrating technology into a classroom setting. While these six domains cross every curricular subject, we will apply these domains predominately to the middle school language arts classroom. The national technology standards can be found at the following link: Language Arts Technology Standards
- Overview of Synthesis Between Technology and Content Standards
While each of the twelve national language arts standards can most certainly be influenced and directed through the use of technology, five standards in particular (standards 1, 3, 5, 7, and 8) present a direct synthesis between national language arts and national technology standards.
- National language arts standard one deals with using forms of "non-print text in order to develop an understanding of the text". Through the incorporation of the internet for reading and gathering information students can use technology as a resource allowing them to be exposed to non-print media. Furthermore, tools like webquests and blogging can help student develop a greater understanding and analysis of the text by dialoging with others.
- National language arts standard three deals with drawing on "prior experience... [and] interactions with other readers and writers" in order to give meaning to literature. The incorporation of technology provides practically unlimited means for students to expand their prior and outside knowledge on a topic being studied. Using streamed video, internet queries, or a myriad of other technology based references in order to expand outside knowledge will enable language arts students to draw the inferences and conclusions necessary for understanding the text.
- National language arts standard five focuses on the writing process, which most certainly warrants one of the most basic technological integration... the use of a word processor. By incorporating word processing skills into a language arts classroom, an educator provides his or her students with a more efficient means of editing written materials and preparing these materials for publishing. Incorporating technology into a language arts writing program also prepares students for both college and workplace where word processing skills are a necessity in written communication.
- National language arts standards seven and eight both deal with research gathering and synthesis. These standards both directly mention "non-print texts, databases, computer networks, and video" as plausible sources for gathering research information. Both of these standards highlight the importance of technology in gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing information necessary for a research project to be completed thoroughly.
Advantages Of Technology Integration Edit
Technology integration can be very beneficial for both teachers and students in the classroom. Technology enables untapped media like video and pictures to be more readily exploited, allow students to collaborate in ways that were before impossible, and provide tools to increase teacher productivity from lesson planning to record keeping. These benefits over non-technology based instructional methods have been given the term 'relative advantage'. Relative advantage is the advantage that is instructionally gained using technology in the classroom as opposed to using more classical forms of instruction. For example, several software and technology based applications offer a relative advantage over instructional strategies that do not incorporate technology by incorporating streaming video, interactive activities, etc. Some further examples of relative advantage would be that technology frequently offers the ability to save information for archival purposes. These examples are just the short list of possibilities available to a classroom that incorporates technology. Listed below are some other commonly recognized relative advantages of employing technology to a fuller extent in the classroom.
- Accessibility- Technology may offer increased accessibility if the students who you are working with have computer and internet access in their homes. In these situations, assignments, activities, assessments, etc. can be scheduled over web and completed at home, providing for a wider range of instructional opportunities for at home assignments.
- Cooperative Grouping- Educators frequently utilize cooperative grouping strategies and technology integration at the same time since technology is very conducive to group work, team problem solving, etc. Having students work in partnerships or small groups with a computer based activity as a guide allows students to work collaboratively to complete a technology-based activity.
- Exposure to Technology- With computers and various forms of technology coming more prominently into the mainstream of typical life and business, it is important to expose our students to different types of technology. Gaining experience in word processing, various software programs, internet research, etc. are essential educational needs for students to become successful in the workplace.
- Interactivity- Technology often allows educators to capture the attention of students through interactive instructional activities. Technology allows opportunities for multimedia and interactivity that are impossible with more traditional instructional techniques.
- Differentiation- Technology also frequently provides greater opportunities for differentiation for your students. Computers targeted at multimedia applications showing pictures, sounds, and videos are conducive to the learning styles of your various learners. Additionally, several software programs have exercises that are targeted at differentiating to the various academic levels of students in the classroom by assigning an initial pre-assessment and developing tailor made activities to improve areas of instructional deficiency.
- Archiving- Technology allows teachers to more efficently save and document student work for archival purposes. Whether it be students working on a paper that is saved under their name or scanning in classroom worksheets that identify where a student is in their learning at a set point of time, technology gives the power to save information in ways that are impossible through traditional means. This leads to several advantages like tracking student progress over time or looking back to see what areas need improvement.
Issues and Problems Edit
- Hardware/Software- Often the most common factor deterring teachers from integrating technology into the classroom is the lack of hardware and software necessary to make true technology integration attainable. Many classrooms suffer from few computers, slow computers, limited internet connectivity, broken hardware, or incorrect software. A lack of appropriate hardware and software makes technology integration extremely challenging, but still doable. Strategies outlined in the sections below will hopefully generate ideas for activities that can be utilized in a classroom even with limited hardware and software.
- Professional Development- Another large problem with technology integration is the lack of professional development directed towards integrating technology into the classroom. Most teachers recognize the benefits of technology integration, but are unequipped to present instructional information via technology to their classes.
- Construction Time- To successfully incorporate many thoughtful and beneficial technology applications their is a large amount of time for production and preparation. A webquest for example may take several hours for even an experienced teacher to program, identify links for, and upload to the internet. Often, even installing and setting up software programs is tedious and time consuming, leading many teachers to avoid technology integration completely.
- Limited Familiarity- Depending on the age of your students and how accessible computers are in their lives, limited familiarity with technology amongst students could be a major stumbling block in technology integration. It is difficult to provide instruction using computers when students have low familiarity with basic applications like using a mouse, saving a file, etc.
Strategies For Integration Edit
Teaching language arts gives a variety of opportunities for integrating technology into education. Since language arts and reading are so interdisciplinary strategies you may also incorporate into the teaching of the arts, social studies, science, and several other subject fields could provide a framework for developing the context needed to make inferences, analysis texts/authors, and draw conclusions within the language arts framework. The following list contains a series of strategies that can be used to integrate technology into the classroom. These strategies are organized for different technological environments based on the accessibility to computers, internet, projectors, etc. within the school setting. The section immediately following tracks ten outstanding case studies where teachers have very practically incorporated technology usage into their classroom in order to guide and assist instruction.
- Word Processing/Desktop Publishing- While word processing is the most common and obvious means of integrating technology into a language arts classroom, it is still worth mentioning because of the profound impact it can have on enhancing and displaying student analytical and writing skills. Assigning writing activities that require the use of a type-written submission helps to encourage students to complete their assignments with the use of a computer. Students may also complete writing assignments via a school computing lab or on classroom computers if there is non-availability of computers in the home. Technology can also be integrated through the student production of forms of desktop publishing, beyond a simple type written essay. By requiring the insertion of pictures, video, hyperlinks, borders, various fonts, etc. into the assignment the teacher can ensure that computing skills beyond simple typing are addressed.
- Provide Authentic Audiences- Check out this site for a list of websites that accept submission of student writing: http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/basic/yngwrite.html. One popular example of a site like this is http://www.fanfiction.net. Students can submit their creative writing there (such as Harry Potter stories) and other kids read and comment on their writing. Providing your students with a real audience for their writing is a tremendous motivator.
- Video- Using video files to enhance reading in language arts is a powerful tool for technology integration. Whenever books or stories are read, students often lack background information about the author or time period where the story is taking place. This makes if difficult for language arts students to draw the important inferences that help them better comprehend and analyze the story. With video streaming programs like United Streaming and Discovery Learning several thousand video clips are available to be searched, downloaded, and broadcasted for students to see in the classroom on a computer or at home over the internet. Video that helps students reinforce knowledge being learned in a language arts classroom through a visual format is an effective way to integrate technology and expand upon topics being covered.
- Powerpoint Presentations- Microsoft Powerpoint and other presentation software can be very useful when integrating technology into language arts. Powerpoint allows students to make presentation style slides that can be used as a teaching aid. Language Arts students maybe required to make presentations on a book being read, a favorite author, an interesting poem, or a short story. Powerpoint also makes it practical to give oral presentations with a visual component to accompany it. This allows for a jigsaw of information, since students will have an in depth knowledge of their topic along with a facial understanding of the other books or topics being presented.
- Language Arts Software Packages- There are several software programs available for download and purchase that deal directly with improving reading fluency and comprehension, increasing vocabulary, and addressing student writing. These software packages often allow for interactive learning through integration of video, activities, and games. Software packages can be utilized effectively in a single computer classroom with students working individually or in groups as either a center based activity or an opportunity for enrichment after completion of classroom work. Similar opportunities on a larger scale exist in multiple computer classrooms. A list of popular language arts software packages are listed in the software section of this wiki.
- Language Arts Online Activities- Similar to the language arts software packages available, several computer applications can be downloaded or purchased over the web. These activities often provide similar interactive games and activities, yet give additional flexibility since an internet based application can be utilized at a student home as long as a computer and internet access if available. These online activities can serve as reinforcement, homework, etc. depending upon how many of your students can access the activities from home.
- Concept Mapping Software- Concept mapping software, which can be found in common programs like Microsoft Word or in more advanced applications like Inspiration can be integrated successfully into language arts. Since several language arts standards aim at analyzing things and forming connections between various topics, concept mapping software can be utilized to give a visual depiction of the linkages existing between two seemingly different subjects. Concept maps can be used to brainstorm writing ideas, analyze character traits, examine book themes, etc. Since concept maps made in Microsoft Word or Inspiration can be saved, the class can always come back to the map and make appropriate additions or changes.
- Audiobooks- Several websites are available providing digital audio files of books for either free download or purchase. These downloadable audio books are a useful resource in a language arts classroom, particularly if one or more students have difficulty with reading fluency. Audio books allow good reading with proper punctuation, expression, and grammar to be recited to students in a format that can be forwarded or rewound to an appropriate place.
- E-mail- E-mail an definitely have a place in a language arts classroom since much research shows that one of the best ways to improve writing is to increase the amount of writing. E-mail provides a non-threatening way for students to express their thoughts. Setting up a pen pal system where students are in correspondence over the web to students from around the country or around the globe also provides some interesting opportunities for exposures to new cultures and ideas.
- Webquests- Webquests have been a successful way to incorporate technology seamlessly into a classroom setting. Webquests can be particularly appropriate in language arts since their is so much literature on a range of subjects that linking to information for your class to use is limitless. A webquest is a self-contained activity over the internet where the teacher has already designated certain links for his or her student to connect to and gather their information. More information on webquests can be found at the following link: http://webquest.org/.
- Classroom Information On The Web- Placing classroom information onto a class website can be helpful in keeping your students, their parents, and the greater school community informed about what is occurring in the classroom. Successful class websites have several components and vary dramatically from class to class. Some of the most common features of a class website are classroom announcements, links to related websites, internet webquests, pictures from the classroom, posted grades, enrichment materials, etc. May school districts will provide space on a district server and therefore creating and uploading web information may be as easy as creating a page in a number of web design programs (ex. Microsoft Frontpage, Marcomedia Dreamweaver) and uploading your site to the public server.
- Blogging- The use of blogs as a means of communication for students who are studying a particular piece of literary work can be a particularly effect strategy for using technology in a language arts classroom. Weblogs or 'blogs' as they are more commonly known give students the opportunity to reflect on things being discussed in the classroom in an achronistic manner. By posting a particular topic or reflection question to address and having their students sign in and respond, educators can create a forum for open discussion. More information on blogging can be found at the following link: http://schoolcomputing.wikia.com/wiki/Weblogs.
- Podcasts- Podcasting is a relatively new phenomenon, however its has enormous potential for enhancing education through technology integration. A podcast would be defined as anything recorded in a digital format and broadcasted over the internet. There are several application for language arts including using podcasts to cover important course content and reading books aloud and broadcasting them over the internet to improve reading fluency. Once an audio file has been captured in digital format and placed on the internet for download, parents and students can access the audio file by downloading it from a class website and listening to the file either through a computer or Apple I Pod. More information on podcasting can be found at the following link: http://schoolcomputing.wikia.com/wiki/Podcasts.
- Wikis- A Wiki is a piece of Web server software that allows users to create and modify Web site content using any Web browser. The characteristic that set wikis apart from other web-based forums and discussions is that it may be authored and edited by a number of people. Some speak of wiki pages as never being completed and always in the process of being edited and expanded. Applications for wiikis in a language arts classroom could be on collaborative papers where one or more students are working on and editing the same document. This tool makes for a more collaborative learning experience in the classroom. More information on wikis can be found at the following link: http://schoolcomputing.wikia.com/wiki/Wikis.
- Examples Of Successful Vocabulary Technology Integration
Case Study #1- Powerpoint And Vocabulary
Educator Anne Marie Guerrettaz who teaches at Maryvale Prepatory School in Baltimore, Maryland uses Microsoft Powerpoint as a unique tool to help her student better remember and understanding sight vocabulary words. By grouping her students, Ms. Guerrettaz uses constructivist learning principles to have her students create visual depictions, sight vocabulary used in context, and pneumatics in order to create Powerpoint slides based on a group of assigned vocabulary words. After each group has created a Powerpoint presentation that will help the class remember those select words they present their slides to the class using a laptop connected to a multimedia projector. This unique jigsaw activity exemplifies how technology can be effectively used to increase vocabulary usage and exposure in the classroom. While Ms. Guerrettaz uses Microsoft Powerpoint in her classroom, several other slideshow presentation programs (hypercard, keynote, etc.) would also serve a similar purpose.
- Examples Of Successful Comprehension Technology Integration
Case Study #2- The Non-Traditional Book Report
Educators Marilyn and David Forest who teaches at James Logan High School in Union City, California have moved their students away from creating a traditional handwritten book reports and replaced them with Hyper Card Projects. Through a Hyper Card Project, students are asked to summarize some of the major settings, characters, and themes from either fiction or non-fiction texts that they are reading by placing both written and visual depictions of what they are reading into a multimedia presentation. Using a program like Microsoft Powerpoint, the students at James Logan can create text and upload pictures relevant to their book. Students can also include outside knowledge they have gathered through research and provide links to their sources through the Hyper Card Projects. Finally, these projects can be uploaded to the web and categorized so that other students can review whether it would be a novel or text they would be interested in reading in the future.
For more information about Marilyn and David Forest's technology integration follow this link. http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/cue/cue.html
To see an example of a Hyper Card Project follow this link. http://www.jlhs.nhusd.k12.ca.us/Classes/Social_Science/Latin_America/Che/Che.frames.html
- Examples Of Successful Fluency Technology Integration
Case Study #3- Podcasting Your Novels
At Willowdale Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska, Ms. Sandbourn’s class has taken to the air podcasting several aspects of their fifth grade classroom. Ms. Sandbourn has her students record their voices and give lectures based on information they have gather on topics ranging from the United States Constitution to various books that have been reading in class. Podcasts can be beneficial in providing audio record of material covered during a class period that can continually be referenced via the internet. Other uses of podcasts could be to help improve reading fluency by recording a book or story being read by a fluent reader to model good pronunciation and expression for struggling readers.
For more information about Podcasting in Ms. Sandbourn’s classroom follow this link. http://www.mpsomaha.org/willow/radio/listen.html
- Examples Of Successful Analysis Technology Integration
Case Study #4- Blogging To Analyze and Understand
Supervisor of Instructional Technology and Communications Will Richardson from Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, New Jersey has pushed the incorporation of blogging into several classes and disciplines with astounding results. Weblogs or 'blogs' for short provide an interactive discussion forum where individuals Through blogs students at Hunterdon have the ability to express themselves in written form, thereby indirectly improving their writing, but more so, it provides a forum for students to have intellectual discourse on a topic related to what is being discussed in the classroom. Hunterdon students have even blogged with authors of the novels they are reading, asking in depth questions and receiving analysis directly from the source.
For more information about the impact of blogging at Hunterdon Central Regional High School follow this link.http://curriculum.enoreo.on.ca/ontario_blogs/why_blog.html
For more information about incorporating weblogs into the classroom follow this link. http://www.glencoe.com/sec/teachingtoday/educationupclose.phtml/47
For more information about the impact of blogging at a New Jersey High School follow this link. http://weblogs.hcrhs.k12.nj.us/bees/
Case Study #5- Character Mapping Through Inspiration
By using Inspiration software it is possible to complete a thorough analysis of characters, settings, themes in a short story, poem, novel, or other work of literature. The Inspiration software allows the user to create concept maps by using a visual depiction to display connections between several different concepts. Through Inspiration, a classroom computer, and an LCD projector, the instructor can lead the class in a concept brainstorm of a piece of literature. For example, you can cluster personality or physical traits of characters in a story being read. Since the brainstorm is created through the Inspiration software, concept clusters can be reviewed later and added to as a during reading activity. Using Inspiration in the classroom allows for a deeper analysis of literature and assists visual learners in better understanding the connections seen in stories.
- Examples Of Successful Writing Technology Integration
Miguel Guhlin blogs, "We need to thrill our learners to be readers and writers. To be successful in life, what kind of writing will help children in their life? If you're like me, you're writing persuasive writing. In K-2 classrooms, 95% of writing experiences were with personal narrative and story By 6th grade, children will have spent 84% of writer's workshop composing personal narratives, stories, and writing from prompts. Kids wrote a brochure and dedicated it to everyone who is scared of bats. For the us, the use of technology to get online and find out about stuff. With every book, there's a web site. Kids went to batconservation.com. Bats Conservation said, "If you send us the information and produce it and send it to all 1000 of our members." Those kids were screaming with absolute joy. All day, all they want to do is write persuasive brochures. Our kids sit in those classrooms and do what they're told. They write and read without every understanding why. "
E-mail Pen Pals
Third Grade educator Ben Lewis has found e-mailing to be an exceptional way of improving the writing skills of her students by partnering up with pen pals from a different school. Through his pen pal activity student not only improve their writing skills, but also gain exposure to new students from different regions of the country and globe. http://k-6educators.about.com/od/languagearts/l/aa090201.htm
Give each student a digital camera as part of essay writing assignment and have them include digital photos that illustrate their writing.
Using A Tablet PC In The Classroom
Educator Joseph Manko who teaches at Rosemont Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland uses technology for his students to see good writing modeled, critique the writing of their peers, and evaluate what can be done to improve written responses. Using a tablet PC hooked up to a multimedia projector, Mr. Manko allows students to come to the front of the class and enter examples of their written responses onto the tablet PC for the class to see. Afterwards, students have the opportunity to evaluate the piece of writing and edit or make any changes that would help improve the written piece. The tablet PC will also allow for the saving of each written response, thereby leaving a means to assess progress in writing for each student overtime.
While, the tablet PC provides a unique educational tool, similar strategies can be effectively implemented with lower technologies like an overhead projector and separate transparencies which the students can compose their written responses or evaluate and edit the work of their peers.
For more information about Joe Manko's technology integration follow this link. http://staff.hcpss.org/~jmanko/intropage.html
Software To Improve Writing
- Microsoft Word- Microsoft Word is probably the most common form of word processing/desktop publishing software, although several other software titles exist that will allow you to edit and manipulate texts, pictures, etc. Word processing software is integral to improving writing in a language arts classroom. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us→/default.aspx
- Writing Analysis Programs - See: http://www.techlearning.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=193700228 for a description of three software programs that analyze student writing: Pearson's WriteToLearn, Vantage Learning's MyAccess!, and Criterion from ETS
Software To Improve Literary Analysis
- Inspiration- The Inspiration Graphical Mapping Software allows students and teachers to create concepts maps that can be helpful to the study of several aspects of language arts learning. Through Inspiration, students can create concepts maps for characters, themes, settings, and summaries of books and stories they are reading. Inspiration allows for a graphical depiction which shows links and connections between various pieces within the literature being studied. For primary school language arts classroom the program kidspiration (produced by the same company) provides concept mapping tools that are more visually based for younger learners. http://www.inspiration.com/
- Bride Media- Bride Media publishes multimedia CD-ROMs on Shakespeare plays including classics like Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and many others. The CD-ROMs include several interactive activities to reinforce skills and analysis that the students will gain while reading the test. http://www.bridemedia.com/bmi/products/order/index.html
- SAS - American Literature InterActivities- SAS - American Literature InterActivities is a unique language arts development program that addresses culture, themes, and stylistic devices associated with various literary periods and ethnic groups. Students will be taken through a series of pre-, during, and after- reading activities in order to better comprehend and analyze themes and devices in a literary selection. http://www.sasinschool.com/software/americanlit/index.shtml
Software To Aid Test Preparation
- The Princeton Review- Educational Testing Activities- The Princeton Review, one of the industry leaders in educational testing now has online software available for the use of educators. By subscribing to the Princeton Review program, school districts will gain access to CD-ROMS, online tests, and paper assessments that can help in preparation for standardized tests in math and language arts. http://www.homeroom.com
- Classworks- Classworks by Curriculum Advantage, Inc. is comprehensive, instructional software that gives students the edge to succeed. Dynamic, interactive lessons engage students and offer new ways to address difficult concepts.
- Comprehensive K-12 Math, Reading, Language Arts; Elementary Science Aligned to local, state, and national standards/
- - 180 award-winning software titles with thousands of lessons
- - Ability to import your High-Stakes test scores to ensure automatic delivery of the right content for each student
- - Research-based and proven successful across the nation
- - Automatically Delivers Customized Learning Based on Your High-Stakes Test Results
- Not every student learns the same way or at the same pace. Helping teachers find easy ways to individualize
- instruction is critical in today's classroom. But with all the student assessment conducted in America's
- schools, the amount of raw data is overwhelming.
- This innovative K-12 solution automatically sifts through the mountain of test-generated information to
- create individualized instruction for each student. With the advanced technology of the Classworks solution,
- teachers are free to do what they do best — teach. Updated 12.08
Software To Improve Reading Fluency & Literacy
- Soliloquy Reading Assistant- is a program which analyzes students' reading by recording their voice and analyzing it in real time. http://www.soliloquylearning.com/
- Wiggleworks- An old favorite that has not been upgraded, wiggleworks can run on Windows XP or on a citrix or terminal server for newer operating systems. http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/wiggleworks/index.htm
- Renaissance Learning- Reading (reading practice, accelerated vocabulary and literature skills) and Math. It allows you to create a customized, individualized reading/math program for every student. It is web based. http://www.renlearn.com/
- Ochard Educational Products- Orchard offers language arts products for grades K-12. The Orchard program focuses on vocabulary building, phonics, and more. Orchard Learning also produces state specific assessments for over 35 states that can be purchased along with their software. http://www.orchardsoftware.com/
- Gamco Educational Software- Gameco Educational software created by the Siboney Learning Group has a series of educational games and activities that will help improve phonemic awareness, reading fluency, writing, and basic comprehension skills. Products address curriculum standards and skills from grades K-12. http://www.gamco.com/products.htm
- Scholastic- Scholastic recognized by many as the nation's leader in educational products and has several software packages available to help students with language, writing, and vocabulary development. Included under Scholastic are software packages designed by Tom Synder Productions including the Fizz and Martina series, Clifford Reading materials, etc. http://www.tomsnyder.com/products/products.asp?Subject=LanguageArts
- Weaver Instructional Systems- Weaver Instructional Systems designs and develops computer software programs for reading, language, and study skills. Weaver also offers a reading intervention program targeted for grades K-3. http://www.wisesoft.com/
- One More Story- One More Story is an online database of hundreds of childrens books that are available in audio and pictorial form. This is a great resource for students who need to increase their fluency and can be used to model excellent reading in a very interactive way. http://www.onemorestory.com/
- Lexia Strategies for Older Students--Reading SOS-- from Lexia Learning. It is primarily a decoding program, but has a few comprehension sections. I think a teacher needs to be involved in assigning the skills to be addressed. I believe they also have a diagnostic software as well. I use the Lexia Strategies for Older Students with my middle school dyslexic students.
Software To Improve Vocabulary
- Centaur Systems- Center Systems publishes educational software dealing with vocabulary development. The software focuses on an in depth understanding of Greek, Roman, and Latin roots. http://www.centaursystems.com/
- Fast ForWord- Fast ForWord software is targeted at developing fundamental language, listening, and reading skills. This software package helps to build fundamental cognitive skills of memory, attention, processing and sequencing. Several interactive activities help in developing listening accuracy, phonological awareness and language structures. http://www.scilearn.com/prod2/
Web Resources Edit
Software To Improve Literary Analysis
- United Streaming- United Streaming uses video as instructional media. It is a great site for providing context and background knowledge to many topics being read and discussed in a typical language arts classroom. The site is password protected and costs money to use. However, most local school districts (that I know of) have purchased this service. Unitedstreaming allows you to select videos based on grade level/topic/Voluntary State Curriculum indicator. You can create your own playlist and create and/or print a quiz to accompany the video. The downside is the amount of time it takes to stream video if you are not using a broadband or other high-speed connection. http://www.unitedstreaming.com
- Teachers Domain- Teachers Domain has a series of lessons, classroom materials, and video clips that can be incorporated into K-12 language arts classroom. Materials are broken down by both grade level and topic so materials and information are easy to find. http://www.teachersdomain.org
- Brain Pop- Brain Pop provides animated movies for grades K-8 on a variety of academic disciplines including language arts. There are lessons with reproducible activities, experiments comic strips and timelines. Students can interact by completing the online quiz and asking questions. While the service is not free, many school systems have purchased district licenses. You can also register for a two week trial for free. http://www.brainpop.com
- Discovery Learning Connection- The Discovery Learning Connection website contains a database of over 30,000 streaming videos to tutor students from ages 3-10. These videos help to provide the context needed to better understand passages being read and therefore form conclusions and make inferences. There are also games and quizzes that go along with the content. You can register for a two-week trial for free. http://www.discoverylearningconnection.com
- Thinkport- Thinkport is a website that contains lesson plans, classroom materials, and several interactive activities to be used with students. On the website you can take online field trips where students learn through an interactive format about materials that often provide background information about materials being discussed in a language arts classroom. The site contains material for multiple grade levels and disciplines. http://www.thinkport.org
- Mr. Manko's World- Mr. Manko's World is a website targeted towards middle school social studies and language arts teachers and students. The website has an abundance of downloadable resources including worksheets, assessments, and reading guides for several popular young adult novels. http://www.hcpsss.org/~jmanko/intropage.html
Software To Improve Reading Fluency
- Starfall- Starfall is an excellent multimedia site for educators (typically grade K-3) who are looking for resources to better teach language arts skills and content. It uses video to help teach phonemic awareness/phonics. Once students have developed phonics skills they can advance to reading genres, etc. It's very interactive, but not overwhelming or distracting. http://www.starfall.com
- JumpStart - JumpStart is an award-winning 3D online virtual world for kids. Ideal for preschoolers through fifth graders, JumpStart is the perfect mix of fun and learning, offering kids the opportunity to engage in interactive learning games on a wide array of subjects. http://www.jumpstart.com
- Audio Books For Free- Audio Books For Free is a website that provides books being transmitted aloud in mp3 format. Students or teachers can download books they are reading in class and listen to them for improved understanding and fluency. This is a great resource for students with reading difficulties. While t books are provided for free, the site does advertise to purchase some different formats of the stories. It also may take a high speed connection and some time to download. http://www.dvdaudiobooks.com/screen_main.asp
- Scholastic- Scholastic is seen by many is one of the premier companies in children’s literacy. Their website provides lesson plan, movies, games, quizzes, and interviews all targeted at improving student reading. The site contains materials perfect for a language arts classroom and covers several grade levels. http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/index.asp
- Storyline- Storyline is a website that helps story books come to life for students. The site allows children to read and follow along with the book. Often times, Storyline will have celebrities who are reading picture books through which students can follow along with their own paper version of the book. The site is targeted towards younger readers and English as a Second Language students who struggle with reading. http://www.storylineonline.net/
- PBS Kids- PBS Kids contains an entire section dedicated to the Clifford the Dog books. Through the many activities and interactive read-alouds younger students who are just beginning to read can hone their comprehension and fluency skills. This is a great resource for struggling readers or English as a Second Language students. http://pbskids.org/clifford/
- Cyber Kids- The Cyber Kids reading activities are based off of the Choose Your Own Adventure books and allow students to navigate through several stories and make decisions on where the characters will go next. The site may be particularly beneficial to boys or weak readers who can become more involved in the stories that they read. http://www.cyberkids.com/cw/mul/
- Tools for Teachers- The Readability Analysis allows you to paste a block of text into this page and then it analyzes it for readability.
1. Name three benefits of utilizing technology into a language arts classroom.
2. What are two hurdles/challenges of utilizing technology in the language arts classroom?
3. What are possible ways you can utilize weblogs to provide excellent language arts instruction?
4. Provide some possible strategies you can use to improve analytic reading by incorporating technology into the classroom.
5. What is one successful language arts web package or software package that can provide a relative advantage in terms of instruction? (Name the software and explain what it does.)
6. How can podcasts be used to improve reading fluency?
- Cramer, S. & Smith, A. (2002). Technology’s Impact On Student Writing At The Middle School Level. Journal Of Instructional Psychology, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp. 3-14.
- Banaszewski, T. (2002). Digital Storytelling Finds Its Place In The Classroom. Multimedia Schools, January/February 2002, pp. 32-35.
- Scharf, E. & Cramer, J. (2002). Desktop Poetry Project. Learning And Leading With Technology, Vol. 29, No. 26, pp. 28-31, 50-51.
- McNabb, M.L. (2005). Raising The Bar On Technology Research In English Language Arts. Journal Of Research On Technology In Education. Fall 2005, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 113-119.
- Warburton, J. (2001). Finding The Poetic In A Technological World: Integrating Poetry And Computer Technology In A Teacher Education Program. Journal Of Technology and Teacher Education. Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 585-597.
- Cardiner, S. (2001). Teaming Up To Integrate Technology Into A Writing Lesson. Learning And Leading With Technology. Vol. 28, No. 4, pp. 22-27.
- McGrail, Ewa. (2005). Teachers, Technology, And Change: English Teachers’ Perspective. Journal Of Technology and Teacher Education. Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 5-24.
- Merkley, D., Schmidt, D. & Allen, G. (2001). Addressing The English Language Arts Technology Standard In A Secondary Reading Methodology Course. Journal Of Adolescent And Adult Literacy. Vol. 45, No. 3, pp. 220-231.
- Roblyer, M. D. (2005). Integrating Educational Technology Into Teaching,(4th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Back to Teaching With Technology