by Marilyn Moore
Technology has created valuable tools for the reading and writing classroom teacher. This article will focus on four types of teacher technology tools.
Sites for Teachers
Hundreds of sites exist that present teachers with resources. One of the sites most often used by my college students is the ReadWriteThink site. This site offers lesson plans, games, graphic organizers, and activities. (The International Reading Association partners with the National Council of Teachers of English and Verizon Thinkfinity to produce ReadWriteThink.org.)
Software for Teachers
Word-processing software is probably the most used software by teachers. Other software includes Inspiration which can be used by both teachers and students. It allows teachers to make their own graphic organizers. Software such as RubiStar allows teachers to create rubrics.
Online Communities for Teachers
Teacher Tube is an educator site for sharing content including educational videos, docs, audios, and photos for the classroom. The videos are organized into school subjects and different school levels – college, high school, middle school, and elementary. In a recent article, Kist (2013) points out that the Common Core Standard 6, Grade 8, states that in order to give students practice in collaborative writing, teachers need to use technology including the internet, blogs, or wikis to enable teachers to create lessons where students collaborate on projects such as persuasive writing tasks.
Technology Resources for Teachers
To design effective lessons and to meet literacy lesson objectives with deeper understanding, teachers are using iPads, websites, and SmartBoards. Moore (2012) reported that iPad activities that focus on reading and writing include discussion boards, research on websites, dictionary apps, note taking apps, peer editing, and group essays. We learn from Coiro and Fogleman (2011) that there are three types of websites: informational, interactive, and instructional. They contend that teachers need to use websites to design tasks that make learning meaningful and worthwhile.
SmartBoard use is a very popular technology tool. SmartBoards consist of a touch screen connected to a computer or projector. Software from SmartBoard allows students and teachers to use their hands and fingers to manipulate the screen. While technology tools for teachers are very motivating, it doesn’t necessarily help teachers know how to use them or what these new forms of teaching literacy entail. To keep up with the latest technology tools for teachers, it is important to attend professional development seminars and join professional organizations such as the International Reading Association.
Coiro, J., & Fogleman, J. (2011). Using websites wisely. Educational Leadership, 68(5), 34-38.
Kist, W. (2013). New literacies and the Common Core. Educational Leadership, 70(6), 38-43.
Moore, M. (October, 2012). Integrating iPads into the high-school curriculum. Reading Today Online, 1-2. Retrieved from http://www.reading.org/readingtodayPublications.
Dr. Marilyn Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Professor at National University in California and serves as the Faculty Reading Program Lead.
This article is part of a series from the International Reading Association Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).