Saturday, July 16, 2016

Tech Tools for Reading/Writing Workshop 2 of 2

Here is the link to Part 1 of Tech Tools for Reading/Writing Workshop in case you missed it. 

More on tech tools that could be used in Reading and Writing Workshop. As I reflected on the last post I realized that the tools can change from time to time. Teachers should start to integrate tech tools into the Reading and Writing Workshop model. It is not integrating tech for tech's sake. The tools are out there. Their integration can benefit students, and help you meet your objective. 
Today we will look at:
Annotating Text

Why you should integrate technology:

  • Individualized
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • RTI/PST/IEP Meetings
  • More than handwritten notes
    • Record voices
    • Capture photos
  • Review previous notes
  • Plan for instruction
  • Easily shared with parents and the team

Digital Tool to Consider:
Evernote (@evernote) is a fabulous tool to use for conferring with students. Your Evernote account can sync across multiple devices. You get 2 devices with the free plan and unlimited with the premium. I know quite a few teachers who love it so much they pay for the premium. A new feature  - it integrates with Google Drive too! 

iPad screen shot

Each file is called a Note and you can put notes together to make a Notebook. Let's look at the power of Evernote by going over the tool bar at the top. You can schedule reminders. A great way to stay organized and remember who's turn it is to see you, when conferring. You can add photo examples of students written work. You can write a note with your finger or a stylus if you prefer that over typing, or take a sample of a students writing if you wanted. You can record your voice notes or the voice of your students' reading. Emailing the note is the next feature. You can search a long note for key words or phrases. The sharo (share-o) gives you the ability to push the note to another app on the iPad. Presentation mode is a premium feature but you can use it for 30 days for free. Add to Shortcuts is basically the same as making it a favorite. Star it to put it the Shortcuts category. You can duplicate the note. Simplifying the format means removing text formatting or changing to plain text. Finally, you can delete the note. All of these features combined make it a very powerful tool for conferring with students. As you can see by my notes in the left-hand column you can also tag notes in order to search for them more quickly. 

Why you should integrate technology:

  • Capture student fluency
  • Practicing
  • Archived
  • Allows the text to come to life
  • Sharing their voice

Digital Tools to Consider: 
Evernote, Notability, or Garage Band
I used to have students use Sound Cloud or audioBoom but with the resurgence in podcasting those services have changed. Students can record their voices independently and share it with you later. This is a great way to make the accountable during their independent time while you are conferring with other students. Take the time to play around with these apps a bit. The work flow of getting files out of them and into another app has become easier on the iPad. 

Annotating Text

  • Save money on sticky notes
  • Organized thinking
  • Searchable
  • Dates
  • Share with others
  • Visually track ideas
  • Never lose another sticky note 

Digital Tools to Consider:
Lino, Padlet, or Post-it Plus (for iOS)

All three of the these are sticky note creation and organization apps. Lino is web based. Padlet works on both web browsers and an iOS app. Finally, Post-it Plus is an iOS app. With these you will not have sticky notes all over the floor in your classroom and you will not have students saying, "I lost that note." ever again.  The Post-it Plus app is my favorite of the three, but any of them will work depending on your platform or your needs. 

There are many You Tube and Vimeo videos out there that will show you how to use the basics on any of the platforms that I have mentioned. I would love to hear how you have integrated tech into your workshop model. Are there any apps that you like better than the ones that I have mentioned in my last two posts? Please share them. I am always looking for new and better tools. 

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