Blog 1: Useful Websites for the Integration of Technology Approaches in Classroom

As a future teacher, I think it will become almost inescapable to find an interesting way to include technology approaches in our classroom schedule to increase students’ interest in their acquisition of a second language. On interesting website that kept my attention is Read180 Next Generation, that I want to introduce you in this blog. In the fist part of this blog, I give you the steps of my research because I think some websites deserve more attention and could be interesting for you in your further researches on the subject. Following that, I will describe you how Read180 Next Generation seem to be an indispensable tool for student in their English reading improvement and an incredible help for teachers in the management of their classroom activities and evaluation.

How did I find out about this website? On EDTech website, I was reading the article Website Helps Educators Make Sense of Common Core when my attention stopped on the name of the new informational website “Common Sense for the Common Core” introduced in this article. It has been launched by Scholartic, which aims to help educators and parents in integrating the educational standards in class and at home for kids of all grades in my topic of interest, English. Interesting! On the first page of the website, in the section Instructional Materials & Programs under the tab English Language Arts, a very imposing list of websites offer advanced activities of a high quality level that are based on the educational standards. On the right, dots indicate to which field of interest activities are addressed more precisely: Grade Range, Reading, Writing, etc. Thus, it is very easy and fast to look over all the websites and locate which ones would help you in specific teaching tasks and needs.

Read180 Next Generation is the first one of the list. On this site, we can find a wide range of activities that are specifically dedicated for reading comprehension improvement from grade 4 to the highest level. Based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), all activities have been precisely described in a “Text complexity key” following these three following dimensions: qualitative, quantitative and Reader and Task. Thus, once the student knows his current level in reading comprehension, he chooses a text of his choice and works with it. Over time, he will upgrades his level of competency through the website which always provide him the perfect level of difficulty to improve himself in his interest field.

I see many very convincing elements in this website. First, what I think is fabulous is how student’s interests are highly considered. It seems obvious that the student will learn much faster by choosing topics for his practice in reading comprehension. Second, it is much faster to use this website for the teacher than find a book or an article with the topic, make photocopies, prepare a questionnaire, etc. All activities are presented in colors, which is visually interesting for the students. Third, as the student is registered on a website and that the teacher control the access permission, the teacher, as well as the parents, can easily follow the evolution of the student, by seeing his last works, results and level on the website. The teacher doesn’t have to worry about the next activity, the website will always offer activities perfectly adapted to the current capacity level of the student, and most, the activities are all based on educational standards to correspond to the current scholar criteria. Four, he also has the opportunity to continue his work everywhere he has a computer and an Internet connexion. Thus, no need to bring books or other scholar material. It is simple and practical for everyone implied in the process.

The use of new technology approaches in classroom is perfectly adapted for the new generations of kids as it is already part of their life and that they need to stay up to date and knowledgeable about this tool of the 21th century. Read180 Next Generation is a good example of technology approach perfectly adapted to teachers and students’ needs and will certainly take more place in the planning of our future classrooms.

Head image source : http://altnewsmedia.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/kevin-kelly-and-generatives/

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