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Technology in the ELA Classroom

Instructor: Shannon Orr
Is it possible to keep every student in your ELA classroom engaged regardless of their learning level? Absolutely! This lesson is designed to define and describe technological applications that can help students in ELA.

Technology at Every Level

Most students have had access to some sort of technology well before they enter the classroom. Whether they have played on their family's computer, had access to a tablet, or utilized their parent's cellphone, most students enter school with some sort of prior knowledge regarding technology. Many people view children's use of technology as excessive. Instead of looking at the use of technology as a waste of time, teachers can utilize these skills to help students learn and perfect skills used in the classroom. The more prior knowledge students have with technology, the easier it will be for teachers to introduce different types of applications and equipment to help students excel academically.

Educational Technology for the ELA Classroom

An application is an electronic program that can be downloaded to teach a skill or learn information. Applications are often to referred to as apps. The amounts of apps that are available to teach various skills are endless. Teachers could probably find an application that applies to every skill taught during the school year. Due to the enormous amounts of apps that are available, it is helpful for teachers to preview several apps in order to determine which would be best for his or her class.

A very common and usual application that teachers should have on hand is a dictionary and thesaurus app. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary app gives the definition of words, provides audio pronunciation of words, and gives synonyms of words. When students are writing, it is important for them to use a variety of descriptive words in their texts. This makes writings interesting and helps keep the reader engaged throughout the story. A dictionary and thesaurus app helps students choose higher level words and helps them understand the meaning of those words so they are sure it correctly fits into their written work.

One great app teachers can introduce to even young students is Kidblog. Kidblog is an application that will allow students to communicate with each other using a blog. This app not only helps to perfect students' writing skills but also gives them an opportunity to practice their written communication skills with other students. Teachers could use this program to introduce students who do not have as much experience with the keyboard. They could also use it to help students who may struggle with correct language skills. This program gives students the practice they need to become comfortable using the skills they have been taught.

Subtext is another great app. Subtext is an application that allows students to read a chapter or article and write a review after each session. Subtext is useful for helping students focus on one type of literature as well as compare two similar writings. Students get the opportunity to use compare and contrast skills as well as enhance their writing skills as they review each article.

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