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All Educational Technology and Digital Media articles

By: Judy Zorfass, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2014)
When students engage in "word analysis" or "word study," they break words down into their smallest units of meaning — morphemes. Discover effective strategies for classroom word study, including the use of online tools, captioning, and embedded supports to differentiate instruction.

By: Judy Zorfass, Tracy Gray, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2014)

Find out how to help your students improve their writing through activities and tools that support the drafting stage. Show your students how to use technology tools to create, revise, and store their drafts in a digital writing portfolio.



By: Judy Zorfass, Tracy Gray, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2014)

Semantic maps (or graphic organizers) help students, especially struggling students and those with disabilities, to identify, understand, and recall the meaning of words they read in the text.



By: Judy Zorfass, Tracy Gray, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2014)

When a student is trying to decipher the meaning of a new word, it's often useful to look at what comes before and after that word. Learn more about the six common types of context clues, how to use them in the classroom and the role of embedded supports in digital text.



By: Reading Rockets (2013)
Writing for an audience gives kids a reason to use their developing reading and writing skills. Here are some tips to get you and your child started with free, safe blogging sites.

By: Reading Rockets (2013)
Smartphones and tablets are everywhere, and even our youngest children interact with technology on a daily basis. Find out what you as a parent can be doing to help your young learner navigate the digital world — you may need to reconsider how you connect with your child during technology use.

By: Reading Rockets (2013)
Electronic books are becoming more and more commonplace. Here you'll discover practical tips for sharing e-books with your child, and how to keep the focus on reading and the story.

By: Reading Rockets (2013)
Your child may be at a school where they are using an approach called "flipped classroom" or "flipped lesson." If so, keep reading to find out more about the concept, and three ways that you can support flipped learning at home.

By: Reading Rockets (2012)
Our interconnected and digital world demands a lot of our learners. Here are five simple ways to help build your child's critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

By: Alise Brann, Tracy Gray, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2012)

Learn how technology tools can support struggling students and those with learning disabilities in acquiring background knowledge and vocabulary, improving their reading comprehension, and making connections between reading and writing.



By: Patti Ralabate, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2012)
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides the opportunity for all students to access, participate in, and progress in the general-education curriculum by reducing barriers to instruction. Learn more about how UDL offers options for how information is presented, how students respond or demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and how students are engaged in learning.

By: Reading Rockets (2012)
Explore two ways you can help your child begin to develop information literacy: learning to tell the difference between fact and opinion, and figuring out if a source of information is reliable.

By: Sheri Vasinda, Julie McLeod (2011)

The struggling second and third graders in this study increased their reading comprehension after a 10-week Readers Theatre podcasting project. Podcasting made the students aware of a wider audience, which enhanced the authenticity and social nature of the strategy, and made their performances permanent so they could be stored and conveniently retrieved for later listening and evaluation.



By: Carole Cox (2011)
Media-rich and interactive websites can play an essential role in science instruction. They can encourage students to think critically, by providing tools for modeling, visualization, and simulation tools; discussion and scaffolding; and data collection and analysis.

By: Reading Rockets (2011)
Young kids love technology, gadgets, and nature! While parents may be looking for ways to reduce screen time for their kids, here are a few helpful suggestions for integrating simple technology and books into your outdoor adventures in a fun and educational way.

By: Alise Brann, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2011)
One motivating, engaging, and inexpensive way to help build the foundational reading skills of students is through the use of closed-captioned and subtitled television shows and movies. These supports can help boost foundational reading skills, such as phonics, word recognition, and fluency.

By: Bridget Dalton, Dana L. Grisham (2011)

Drawing on research-based principles of vocabulary instruction and multimedia learning, this article presents 10 strategies that use free digital tools and Internet resources to engage students in vocabulary learning. The strategies are designed to support the teaching of words and word learning strategies, promote students' strategic use of on-demand web-based vocabulary tools, and increase students' volume of reading and incidental word learning.



By: National Center for Technology Innovation (2010)
Speech recognition, also referred to as speech-to-text or voice recognition, is technology that recognizes speech, allowing voice to serve as the "main interface between the human and the computer." This Info Brief discusses how current speech recognition technology facilitates student learning, as well as how the technology can develop to advance learning in the future.

By: National Center for Technology Innovation (2010)
To be scientifically literate, students must be able to express themselves appropriately. Learn how to help struggling students master specific vocabulary and be able to use it in their science writing activities.

By: National Center for Technology Innovation (2010)
In an increasingly complex world, all students need to be scientifically literate. While some students may go on to pursue advanced careers in the sciences, basic scientific literacy is critical for all students.

By: National Center for Technology Innovation (2010)
Science learning often involves creating abstract representations and models of processes that we are unable to observe with the naked eye. Learn more about visualizing, representing, and modeling to aid struggling learners.

By: National Center for Technology Innovation (2010)
Knowing how to engage in signature scientific acts, such as formulating questions and using evidence in arguments is an important part of science learning. This InfoBrief from the National Center for Technology Innovation offers more information about using technology to support struggling students.

By: National Center for Technology Innovation (2010)
The type of physical tasks often present in many science lessons can present significant barriers for many students with learning disabilities or physical impairments. How can teachers find ways for these students to participate?

By: Family Center on Technology and Disability (2010)
It is important for parents to understand the "language" of assistive technology so they can be informed advocates for their child's technology needs. The following glossary of terms can help parents learn about the kinds of assistive technologies that are currently available and how they can be used.

By: Family Center on Technology and Disability (2010)

By: Family Center on Technology and Disability (2010)
Assistive technology is any kind of technology that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Learn more about Assistive Technology and ways your students might benefit from it.

By: Ruth Sylvester, Wendy-lou Greenidge (2009)
While some young writers may struggle with traditional literacy, tapping into new literacies like digital storytelling may boost motivation and scaffold understanding of traditional literacies. Three types of struggling writers are introduced followed by descriptions of ways digital storytelling can support their development.

By: Kristin Stanberry, Marshall H. Raskind (2009)
If your child has a learning disability, he or she may benefit from assistive technology tools that play to their strengths and work around their challenges.

By: National Center for Technology Innovation, Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd) (2009)
Many computer products have built-in accessibility options such as text-to-speech, screen magnification options, or voice input controls. Learn what some of these optional features are and how to integrate them into instruction and studying.

By: Kristin Stanberry, Marshall H. Raskind (2009)
Learn about assistive technology tools — from abbreviation expanders to word-recognition software programs — that address your child's specific writing difficulties.

By: Kristin Stanberry, Marshall H. Raskind (2009)
Learn about assistive technology tools — from audiobooks to variable-speed tape recorders — that help students with reading.

By: Alise Brann, Judy Zorfass, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2009)

Technology tools and supports can be an excellent way to help struggling students engage with social studies texts in a meaningful way, and build deeper understanding through guided inquiry.



By: Alise Brann, Tracy Gray, Judy Zorfass, PowerUp WHAT WORKS (2009)
To help students become comfortable with multimedia, it is useful to incorporate it into your instruction wherever possible. Providing varied means of representing information (Universal Design for Learning) can help improve your students' access to complex texts.

By: Diane Barone, Todd E. Wright (2008)
This article describes how digital and media literacies are woven into a fourth-grade classroom. Background on how a teacher and school brought new literacies to students through the use of technology is revealed so that other teachers can engage in similar instructional support.

By: National Center for Technology Innovation (2008)
With the range and variety of commercial software products on the shelves today, how can an educator or parent choose a program that will most benefit a particular student? Where are product reviews that can inform the decision?

By: Tony Vincent (2008)
Creating podcasts in the classroom has many educational benefits, including strengthening skills in research, writing, and collaboration — and podcasting is easy to do. This article walks you through the steps of preproduction, recording, postproduction, and publishing.

By: Access Center (2008)
This brief provides an overview of computer-assisted instruction and looks at how writing software can help students with developing ideas, organizing, outlining, brainstorming, and minimizing the physical effort spent on writing so that students can pay attention to organization and content.

By: Zach Miners, Angela Pascopella (2007)
It might seem that evaluating information online (just one form of "new literacy") and reading a book (more of a foundational literacy) are pretty much the same thing. But there are differences that, when brought into the classroom and incorporated into curricula, are enriching the educational experiences of many K-12 students. Many administrators are beginning to recognize the need to revise their districts' media skills instruction.

By: Barbara K. Strassman, Trisha O'Connell (2007)
Help students engage in reading and writing by asking them to write captioning for audio-less video clips. This article contains step-by-step instructions for using the technique as well as links to digital media and suggested teaching ideas.

By: Mary Ann Zehr (2007)
Technology that encourages interactive learning can be an effective tool for teaching English language learners, even if the technology is not specifically designed particularly for ELLs.

By: Capstone Press (2007)
Are your students drowning in information, misinformation and downright bunk? Are information literacy skills tested in your state? Teaching information literacy skills has never been more important. But it's easier said than done. As teacher-librarians, how do we teach those critical, all-important information literacy skills in ways that capture and hold student interest?

By: National Council of Teachers of English (2007)
Because success with technology depends largely upon critical thinking and reflection, teachers with relatively little technological skill can provide useful instruction. But schools must support these teachers by providing professional development and up-to-date technology for use in classrooms.

By: Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), LD OnLine (2007)

By: Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), LD OnLine (2007)
If your child cannot read their textbooks, they need digital copies of their books. Schools now can use National Instructional Material Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) to get e-text. Learn the details that will help you advocate for your child so they can use NIMAS. And learn where to find the publishers and producers that provide e-text.

By: Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd) (2006)
Technology—and especially the subset of technology tools known as assistive technology—can be an effective element of the writing curriculum for students with disabilities. Assistive technology (AT) can be defined as a technology that allows someone to accomplish a critical educational or life task. Since writing is so integral to school success, AT is often indicated to assist students with disabilities. In this article, CITEd looks at how technology can support students' writing.

By: Jacob Milner (2006)
Handheld formative assessment technology provides teachers with a virtually real-time picture on which students need help, where they need it, and how the teachers can help best.

By: U.S. Department of Education (2005)
By the time they begin kindergarten, children in the United States have watched an average of 4,000 hours of TV. Here are some tips that will help you monitor and guide your child's TV viewing.

By: The Access Center (2005)
Learn about “computer-assisted instruction” (CAI) and the ways in which it enhances teacher instruction.

By: Annette Lamb, Larry Johnson (2005)
Encourage students to become better listeners and readers through audiobooks.

By: Pamela A. Solvie (2004)
Learn the basics of how a digital whiteboard works and potential benefits of using the technology in early literacy instruction. Results of a research study in a first grade classroom reveal that digital whiteboards are effective as an organizational tool for lesson preparation and followup instruction; provide opportunities for scaffolded learning; and stimulate greater student engagement.

By: Denise Johnson (2003)
Audiobooks have traditionally been used with second-language learners, learning-disabled students, and struggling readers or nonreaders. In many cases, audiobooks have proven successful in helping these students to access literature and enjoy books. But they have not been widely used with average, avid, or gifted readers. This article lists the benefits of audiobooks for all students.

By: Judy Zorfass, Alise Brann, PowerUp WHAT WORKS
Learn about specific strategies you can use to differentiate instruction to help your students overcome fluency problems, as well technology tools that can support development of fluency skills.

"Wear the old coat and buy the new book." — Austin Phelps