Technology Ideas For The English Language Arts Classroom

Technology can be a great tool for teacher collaboration, student learning as well as student assessment. Read great ideas on how to use more technology in your English Language Arts program from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

Classroom technology can be a great tool for teacher collaboration, student learning as well as student assessment. This week’s Twitter chat focused on a how teachers are using Technology in their ELA classrooms with their students.

English teachers have done a great job of shifting their mindsets from using technology as a word processing tool, into a tool for student collaboration, voice and publishing. I got so many great ideas from this chat, that I cannot wait to try them out in my classroom this spring.

Read the curated Twitter chat below to see the great technology focused things teachers are doing in their classrooms.

Q1: How has classroom technology changed what and how you teach? 

  • Technology has made differentiation easier and many teaching tasks more efficient
  • We are dabbling in Google Classroom this year.  Just started with online quizzes – such a time saver! 
  • Have used Quia for years but initiating Google Classroom. Really appreciate collaborative possibilities
  • Technology has allowed me to differentiate for every student, provide students with much more feedback and collaborate with colleagues
  • Technology has really enhanced my content, making more current and more meaningful to my students
  • It has streamlined, focused, and deepened my instruction and assessment 
  • Tech has opened up the possibility of going paperless. Online textbook, drafting online, grading via voice recording, etc. online assessments allow for instant data to drive instruction, reteach, and interventions 
  • Having an online classroom for Flipped Notes/Lessons has allowed more class time to practice and apply skills and content 
  • Technology has encouraged us to expand our definition of text and reconsider what it means to be text consumers and creators
  • Agreed, kids can really take ownership and personalize learning to meet their needs
  • 1:1 classroom also helps with differentiation of texts, tasks, assessments, readings

Q2: What’s your most creative use of technology in your classroom?

  • Assign students to be characters from a novel and have an online discussion 
  • Student blogging builds research and writing skills
  • Here are some of our favourite high-tech vocabulary activities! http://tinyurl.com/jjvocab 
  • Google Forms for online assessments with immediate feedback. Google Classroom for paperless assignments 
  • I recently screencastified myself explaining data to email to a parent in place of phone conference. Great timesaver
  • Student blogs, infographics and use of Insta as a social justice campaign
  • I use @aurasma in my #NaNoWriMo bookfair. It allows students to attach movie posters/trailers to book covers and covers persuasion
  • I’ve been flipping lessons by making my own videos on My Simple Show
  • I’m so much more creative than before – I’m loving Storybird for narrative writing illustration/publication, & #hyperdocs
  • And lots of infographics – love Piktochart
  • I am not in a classroom but I love @padlet as a way to share digital resources with other teachers
  • Do you use Seesaw for lit circles/book clubs? It’s a great way to meet/discuss in a digital space! http://tinyurl.com/jjbookclubs
  • My students have no computer access except school–bringing background information into our discussions, fresh info, ideas
  • Socratic Seminars online have been successful. Either in addition to or instead of in the class. Gets reluctant participants 
  • Students record/reflect daily on docs and we have digital conversations about their learning. Let’s Recap for video reflections 

Q3: What are your favourite assignments to give your students that incorporate classroom technology?

  • Using @canva to create brochures, infographics, PSAs to synthesize information from readings. Also anything self-scoring 🙂
  • Here are some of my students’ favorite high-tech poetry activities! http://tinyurl.com/jjpoetry
  • I’ve been using Piktochart. Love that my skills keep improving from one to the next 
  • I love the way Google Docs helps streamline revisions, digital gallery walks, screencasts/ videos for tough concepts 
  • Self-Assessment and Justification of essay components Google Docs, WL blogs, WL political cartoons online discussions
  • I love #hyperdocs that give students choice and voice – Padlet, Canva, Screencastify are all good tools

Q4: What do you do when classroom technology isn’t working properly or the internet is down

  • Have students do independent reading, do a teacher led book talk followed by student led ones and try again with tech tomorrow
  • As a coach, I always encourage teachers to think through this when designing lessons to have a backup plan
  • Model patience and flexibility; focus on content and use pre-computer techniques
  • I’m always juggling lots of different assignments – some paper in writer’s notebooks, reading lit
  • Have to have no-tech plan too. Classrooms still need books/reading time! Sharing ideas face to face is good too 
  • If student project, switch to discussion, reflection self-assessment of progress
  • Independent reading or vocabulary games the old-fashioned way, tic-tac-toe on the board in teams! 
  • There’s always something non-techie to do in the ELA classroom. read, write, speak, listen. Tech is a tool not the content

Q5: Share your favourite free online resources. 

  • I have been digging Nearpod, Kahoot, and Pickers…
  • Students love Kahoot!
  • Google everything, QuickTime screen recorder for Mac, Piktochart, My Simple Show, Quizziz, Quizlet Live
  • Smithsonian Tween Tribune is great change up from Newsela. Also love Let’s Recap, Kahoot, Quizlet
  • Try Read and Write Google Extension, Wri Q – another add on 
  • Google Classroom, Newsela, LearnZillion, Padlet, Screencastify…too many to list! 
  • http://noredink.com  – amazeballs for grammar! 
  • Of course Goobric, Doctopus, and autoCrat 
  • Schoology, Screencast-O-Matic, Google everything, NewsEla, Piktochart
  • Player’s Tribune, Wordless News, NYT What’s Going on in This Picture, The Daily Infographic

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