Designing for Technology Integration: Questions to Ask
  • 450744839What are the learning goals?
  • How will the tech tool support students in meeting those goals?
  • Which level of the SAMR model does the tool and the design of the learning situation map to?
  • What affordances does the tool offer that improve the learning or application process?
  • What training on the tool will I need to provide my students to make the overall learning experience effective?
  • How will I assess student learning and how the tool helped to facilitate that learning?
  • 178468712How did the use of the tool increase/improve my students’ uptake and application of the material or skill?
  • What additional tool training could have made the learning process more effective?
  • What changes would I make to the progression of the learning (both literacy content, literacy skills, tool knowledge) to improve the learning experience?

Literacy Ed Tech Tool Duel

During the first cohort of the Literacy & Technology Leadership Lab, teachers compared two tools that could be used to engage students in practicing the same or similar literacy skills.  They explored each tool, compared their features, and discussed the pros and cons.  To see the results of each duel, click on the links below.

462143937 (1)Online Discussion Showdown: ProBoards vs. Quick Topic

Online Annotation Showdown: Google Forms vs. Infuse Learning

Quick Formative Assessment Showdown: Diigo vs. Ponder

Some Tech Tools to Support Effective Literacy Instruction

Literacy & Technology Symbaloo Webmix 

features effective tools for teaching reading and writing
by Rachel Mainero, teacher and literacy coach at Reuther Middle School.

CiteLighter research toolCiteLighter is a powerful tool for bookmarking, clipping, annotating, and organizing web content. With a free CiteLighter account, your students will be able to take notes on a webpage and instantly save their notes to their CiteLighter account. CiteLighter automatically remembers the webpage where notes were written — and even starts creating a bibliography for you. Used wisely, CiteLighter can save you and your students a great deal of time and frustration — and can actively scaffold your students’ learning of key research steps and skills (e.g., taking notes that paraphrase or summarize the text being read, instead of simply “clipping” it; keeping track of sources consulted and creating a bibliography).

imgresPonder is an app and browser add-on that allows students to create micro-responses to  teacher or student-selected content they read and watch on the web.  They can both make comments and identify key themes in texts, which are all aggregated into a class feed.  The tool allows teachers to design highly specific or open-ended reading assignments and to track students’ reading experiences and thinking across those assignments while planting seeds for class discussion.


google-drive-logo2Google Drive offers a suite of tools for creating documents, spreadsheets, drawings, and presentations. A key feature of these tools is the ease with which a document can be shared with others (with you, the teacher, or with classmates) to allow collaborative composing, peer editing of rough drafts, and much more.


diigoDiigo is another powerful tool for bookmarking, clipping, annotating, and organizing web content. One feature of Diigo is the ability to annotate a webpage and make that visible to others. For example, when a teacher creates a Diigo “group” for her students, she can show them her annotations and model how to attach digital “sticky notes” to an online text. Students can also make their notes visible to others — or choose to keep them “private.” is a free idea-mapping tool students may find useful during the topic-clarifying, brainstorming, and outline-creating stages of their research work. When students start a new “mind map,” they see a blank canvas where they can add and arrange and re-arrange colored idea “bubbles” containing their ideas and notes. Lines can be drawn to show connections between bubbles. “Mind maps” can also be shared with others and edited by more than one author.


Padlet_logo_graylinePadlet is another free idea-mapping tool that’s great for brainstorming, activating and recording prior knowledge, organizing ideas, and creating an outline. The Padlet interface looks like — and works like — a traditional bulletin board (Padlet calls each new board a “wall”). You place a note or idea on the “wall” and then move it next to other related notes — or wherever you want. Padlet is also easy to use for collaborative activities, with two or more students contributing to the same Padlet “wall.”