5 Technology Tools Perfect for ELA Online Learning Stations

I’ve written extensively about the benefits of using the Station Rotation Model with students. English teachers frequently ask me which technology tools I use to design my online learning stations. Below are my 5 favorite technology tools and online resources for designing the online learning stations in my English classroom.

#1 StudySync

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StudySync has freed me from the limitations of our school book room. Now, I have access to hundreds of short stories, poems, excerpts from novels, and famous speeches. The texts are paired with Think Questions and writing prompts that I can use or adapt. Many texts have video previews, SyncTV episodes, and audio recordings of the texts available. I can mix and match individual texts or access entire units complete with ELD supports for students at various language proficiencies. It’s also a fantastic resource for pairing groups of students with texts at their Lexile level!

#2 Vocabulary.com

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Vocabulary.com uses adaptive software to personalize vocabulary practice for students. Sophisticated algorithms determine which words students have mastered and which words they need to continue to practice. Teachers can create lists of vocabulary words or use the lists already available on the site. There is even a “spelling bee” option that will provide an audio recording of the word and students must spell it correctly. Teachers can track individual student data.

#3 NoRedInk

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NoRedInk allows students to select from a variety of topics (books, movies, celebrities, sports) and all of their grammar practice is wrapped in those topics. It transforms mundane grammar review into something more interesting because the sentences relate to individual student interests.

#4 In-class Flip with Vocabulary, Writing, and Grammar

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For years I have been using the flipped classroom model to flip my vocabulary, writing, and grammar instruction. Instead of marching lockstep through information as a class, I will assign a video for homework and use class time for practice. In the last year, I began building station rotation lessons that incorporate these flipped videos. Students still have an opportunity to control the pace of their learning and work collaboratively with peers to apply the information. (For more on the in-class flip, check out this blog!)

#5 Newsela

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Newsela has a growing collection of articles about science, art, health, war and peace, and money written at four different Lexile levels. This makes it possible for teachers to group students by reading level in a station rotation and differentiate subtly by assigning students in each group the same article written at a different Lexile level. There is a short quiz paired with each article, so teachers can assess the students’ ability to comprehend, analyze and evaluate what they’ve read.

All 5 of these resources are worth checking out for any school looking to incorporate meaningful technology into its English classrooms.

For more on blended learning, check out my newest book Blended Learning in Action: A Practical Guide Toward Sustainable Change coming out in September. It can be preordered at a discount!

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12 Responses to 5 Technology Tools Perfect for ELA Online Learning Stations

  1. Pingback: 5 Technology Tools Perfect for ELA Online Learn...

  2. Lola says:

    I am overwhelmed, but excited. I need to attend a conference with you all day one day and then figure out how to do this in MY classroom…I live in Oregon…what are my options?

    • Hi Lola,

      I believe I’ll be speaking at the Northwest Council for Computer Education Program Director (NCCE) in Portland in March! Maybe we can connect then!

      Catlin

  3. AL says:

    Small correction: Newsela has FIVE Lexile levels for each article, not four, ranging from 2nd through 12th grade – and articles in Spanish! They also have a growing collection of historical texts like famous speeches and other primary documents as well as entire text sets for science, literature, social studies, each US state, and election coverage.

    (Plus their interface is super user-friendly.)

    Thanks for the resources!

  4. Brenda Valencia says:

    I appreciate the resources listed. I am on my second year of using stations in my sixth grade ELA classes. I have seen a benefit from my students also using Epic! for their independent reading selection.

    I have a few other web-based applications that I have my students use.

    The teachers at my school are piloting StudySync and they like it.

  5. brenda valencia says:

    My students are using (at various times, some things I don’t want them to overuse) Imagine Learning, Read Theory, ReCap, Epic, and Newsela when they are not in a teacher-led group.

  6. Great article. Also, check out KudosReading (www.kudosreading.com) for personalized online book group discussions in ELA. Teachers can also hold students accountable for independent reading on the site. Would love thoughts from the community.

  7. Shelley follensbee says:

    I teach grades 1 & 2. Therefore they do not have a lot of independent skills. What do you suggest to use? Thanks

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