I really believe (as I’m sure you do as well) that the more students read, the more successful they will be. However, one of the things I always struggle with is how to get tangible evidence of my students actually interacting and thinking about text while they are reading it, not just afterwards. We all know we can put a book or an article or a poem in front of a kid, and it can look like they are reading. Heck, maybe we even made sure it was at their reading level and in their area of interest. However, I’m sure you’ve been there when after they’ve read you ask them a question about the text and you get a deer in headlights look back.
In order to comprehend text, students must be thinking and analyzing the text during reading. There are many different active reading strategies-you should find one that’s right for you and your students. However, once you find one, how can you effectively integrate it with technology? My solution for that is DocentEDU.
DocentEDU allows teachers to include open-answer questions, multiple-choice questions, highlights, comments, their own text, videos, interactive vocabulary, and an ever-expanding list of awesome interactive tools into almost anything online. This includes articles from newspapers, short stories you might find, any website with primary source information, and even published Google Docs for those oldie but goodie PDFs you have lying around. Then, DocentEDU allows students to then read that text you’ve assigned and follow your active reading instructions. Students can annotate the text (once again, pretty much anything on the internet) by leaving highlights, comments on the highlights, emoji responses, longer texts of their own, and even embed their own interactive content which they make/find. What’s even more amazing is that the teacher can see what the students have annotated LIVE as the students do it.
DocentEDU is also very flexible, so you can adapt its usage to any type of curricular area or pedagogical reading concept that you may already know and use!
This is such a great tool that really allows my students to dive deep into whatever they are reading. I recommend you try it today. Below are a couple of videos that show the ins and outs of this web tool.