Technology in Elementary Classrooms

How to use technology to support literacy instruction

Why use technology at school?

Simply because it's available to you! If this isn't reason enough, then check out the video below on the top 10 reasons why using technology in the classroom is an excellent idea!
Top 10 Reasons to Use Technology in Education: iPad, Tablet, Computer, Listening Centers

Benefits of using technology to support literacy instruction

  • It helps keeps students focused.
  • Students are more motivated to learn reading and writing skills.
  • It helps teach skills that prepare students for today's workforce, also known as 21st century skills.
  • The use of illustration apps helps improve struggling readers with reading comprehension by giving them a way to visualize the story.
  • Students can collaborate with other students outside of the school, and their parents via Blogs and Wikis.

How to Utilize the Technology Available to You

If you have an iPad/iPod:
  • Popplet is a graphic organizer app. This application allows the user to customize the graphic organizer to their liking by adding or deleting boxes attached to the organizer.
  • DoodleBuddy is an illustration application. Students can use this app to create visualizations of the story.
  • iBooks can easily be used for independent reading. Having access to the internet via an iPad, allows for an astounding book collection for students to choose from when looking for a book that interests them.


If you have E-Books:

  • If your E-book allows you to record, students can record themselves reading to help improve fluency and retelling.
  • If using teacher created E-books, you can easily differentiate stories based on reading level.
  • If you have students with disabilities, students can track their print, have the story read out loud, and be provided with a visualization of the story's content.


If you have computers in your classrooms:

  • Create a classroom blog. This blog can be used for collaboration with other students and parents, assigning writing prompts during the day or for homework, publishing their writing, pictures of themselves learning, and videos of themselves reading.
  • Create a classroom Twitter account. This Twitter account can be used for collaboration with other students in different school, as well as parents.
  • Use the Wordle website to create a word cloud to help students analyze the meaning and relationship of words in important articles/excerpts.
  • Use vocabulary gaming websites such Free Rice and Vocabulary.com to support the students in learning new vocabulary words.

Check out the video below of students using Apple technology to support their learning of literacy skills!

How to Use iPads in the Classroom

References


Barone, D. & Wright, T.E. (2009). Literacy instruction with digital and media technologies. The Reading Teacher, 62(4), 292-302. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27699693


Dalton, B. & Grisham, D.L. (2011). eVoc strategies: 10 ways to use technology to build vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 64(5), 306-317. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41000924


Hutchison, A., Beschorner, B. & Schmidt-Crawford, D. (2012). Exploring the use of the iPad for literacy learning. The Reading Teacher, 66(1), 15-23. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23321264


Karchmer‐Klein, R. & Layton, V. (2006) Literature‐based collaborative internet projects in elementary classrooms. Reading Research and Instruction, 45 (4), 261-294. DOI:10.1080/19388070609558452


Kist, W., Doyle, K., Hayes, J., Horwitz, J., & Kuzior, J.T. (2010). Profiles and perspectives: Web 2.0 in the elementary classroom: Portraits of possibilities. Language Arts, 88(1), 62-68. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41804230


Lohnes, W., S., Laster, B.P., Liu, X., & LERN. (2011). Technology stalled: Exploring the new digital divide in one urban school. Journal of Language and Literacy Education [Online], 7(2), 1-21. Retrieved from http://www.coe.uga.edu/jolle/2011_2/watulak_laster_liu.pdf


Razfar, A. & Yang, E. (2010). Digital hybrid and multilingual literacies in early childhood.Language Arts, 88(2), 114-124. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41804239


Rhodes, J.A. & Milby, T.M. (2007). Teacher-created electronic books: Integrating technology to support readers withdisabilities. The Reading Teacher, 61(3), 255-259. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20204580


Saavedra, A. & Opfer, D. (2012). Learning 21st century skills requires 21st century teaching. The Phi Delta Kappan, 94(2), 8-13. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41763587


Wohlwend, K.E. (2010). Focus on policy: A is for avatar: Young children literacy 2.0 and literacy 1.0 schools. Language Arts, 88(2), 144-152. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41804242


Dalton, B. & Grisham, D.L. (2011). eVoc strategies: 10 ways to use technology to build vocabulary. The Reading Teacher, 64(5), 306-317. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41000924


Hutchison, A., Beschorner, B. & Schmidt-Crawford, D. (2012). Exploring the use of the iPad for literacy learning. The Reading Teacher, 66(1), 15-23. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23321264


Karchmer‐Klein, R. & Layton, V. (2006) Literature‐based collaborative internet projects in elementary classrooms. Reading Research and Instruction, 45 (4), 261-294. DOI:10.1080/19388070609558452


Kist, W., Doyle, K., Hayes, J., Horwitz, J., & Kuzior, J.T. (2010). Profiles and perspectives: Web 2.0 in the elementary classroom: Portraits of possibilities. Language Arts, 88(1), 62-68. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41804230


Lohnes, W., S., Laster, B.P., Liu, X., & LERN. (2011). Technology stalled: Exploring the new digital divide in one urban school. Journal of Language and Literacy Education [Online], 7(2), 1-21. Retrieved from http://www.coe.uga.edu/jolle/2011_2/watulak_laster_liu.pdf


Razfar, A. & Yang, E. (2010). Digital hybrid and multilingual literacies in early childhood. Language Arts, 88(2), 114-124. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41804239


Rhodes, J.A. & Milby, T.M. (2007). Teacher-created electronic books: Integrating technology to support readers withdisabilities. The Reading Teacher, 61(3), 255-259. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20204580


Saavedra, A. & Opfer, D. (2012). Learning 21st century skills requires 21st century teaching. The Phi Delta Kappan, 94(2), 8-13. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41763587


Wohlwend, K.E. (2010). Focus on policy: A is for avatar: Young children literacy 2.0 and literacy 1.0 schools. Language Arts, 88(2), 144-152. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/41804242