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English and e-learning

"We are, it seems, constantly being told that the main goal of education should be enabling students to build, rather than to “reproduce”, knowledge; and that knowledge building is a collaborative endeavour. Learners must now be able to connect and collaborate with other individuals and other sets of knowledge." 

– Using ICT to develop knowledge-building communities in subject English and the arts

Plan to use technologies that support student engagement and learning in English.

Student using a netbook

Identify how you can use technologies to:

  • create and share oral, written, and visual texts
  • foster collaboration
  • provide authentic learning experiences
  • improve student motivation and engagement
  • support all learners and remove barriers to learning.

Reading with iPads

iPads encouraged students’ creativity and independent learning because iPad apps offered opportunities that differed from paper-based activities.

– Supporting teachers in integrating digital technology into language arts instruction to promote literacy

Teacher, Julie Hinman from Avondale School talks about how the introduction of iPads into her classroom renewed enthusiasm for one of her students in reading.

Konini School teacher, Vicki Pimenta shares her approach to using the literacy progressions and raising student achievement in reading. The literacy progressions are recorded by students and are accessible through QR codes in the classroom. Vicki found students are more confident in speaking about what they know and their next learning steps.

Reading tools
  • Instructional series  – Instructional reading series teaching and learning resources for years 1 to 8. Includes: Ready to Read, Junior Journal, School Journal, School Journal Story Library, and Connected.
  • Literacy Apps  – A comprehensive selection of literacy learning apps, covering phonics, reading comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary. 
  • Kiwi Kids News  – A news website for New Zealand students and teachers. Each school day four or five relevant news articles are uploaded. There is a weekly news quiz, a homework booklet for each term, and a weekly feature article.

Collaborative close reading using digital annotation tools

Using digital annotation tools supports teachers and students to work together, facilitating the comprehension and analysis of text.

Commenting, highlighting, and hyperlinking functions enable students to:

  • share opinions and ideas
  • identify and/or explain the meaning of unknown words
  • ask each other questions about the text
  • draw connections between the reading and other texts on the web 
  • identify textual elements and language features
  • identify main ideas. 
More information »

How to use annotation tools for video, documents, PDFs, and web pages are explained in these blog posts.

Video games as texts

 "The encoding/decoding paradigm highlights an important issue in the use of videogames in the English classroom; that audiences are active constructors of textual meaning."

– What games studies can teach us about videogames in the English and Literacy classroom

Picture of game console controller

Image from Pixabay

Choosing video games as texts can:

  • lead to rich discussions about 21st century meaning-making 
  • engage learners by drawing on their interests
  • encourage critical thinking about a new and relevant medium and industry.

They can offer rich narratives and deeper layers of meaning-making by virtue of their interactivity.   

More information »
Reading tools
  • Goodreads  – A social network focused on reading. Teachers and students can join group discussions on books, write and read reviews, and keep track of reading.  
  • The poetry archive  – Listen to poems recorded in the author's own voice. Find lesson outlines and analytical guides.
  • Hypothesis.is  – A digital annotation tool for collaborative and active reading.
  • Newsela   – Articles and content based on current affairs for different reading levels. News items are followed up with interactive activities for closer reading.

Fostering collaborative writing with Google Docs

Google Docs has entirely transformed the way teachers can support students through the writing process, from the very first brainstorming activity to the feedback provided to students on their final drafts.

– Teaching in the cloud: How google docs are revolutionising the classroom

Teacher, Vimi Chandra and her students explain how they work collaboratively using Google docs, and the benefits this has for their learning.

Collaborative writing activities include: 
  • co-constructing a written text
  • cooperating by writing different sections of a text
  • commenting constructively on each other's work.
Learners writing collaboratively:
  • share ideas
  • learn from each other
  • establish tuakana–teina relationships
  • develop communication skills.

Nigel Mitchell, HOD English at Tawa College, and students in his English class talk about the benefits of using Prezi to collaborate and take control of their own learning.

Benefits of working collaboratively

Collaborative groups draw on the strengths of all their members. Collaborative writing and peer editing, done in pairs or small groups, can:

  • enhance student interactions – students use and develop a range of social skills that foster a sense of accountability, cooperation, and community
  • lower the anxiety associated with completing tasks alone and build students’ self-confidence
  • increase motivation, risk-taking, and tolerance among the group
  • help students understand writing as a process and develop a sense of audience
  • raise students’ awareness of content and grammar elements that they might not notice on their own and lead to more meaningful revision.
Prezi logo
Advantages of using Prezi
  • Multiple users can work simultaneously on the same presentation.
  • Presentations can be published and shared using controlled privacy settings. 
  • Dynamic presentation options available.

Use wikis to drive student-led knowledge-building

Students can use wikis to create collaborative understandings of a class text, including entries on:

  • character
  • theme
  • setting
  • author biography
  • symbolism
  • style
  • narrative.

Developing shared online resources means students can use the content review and revisit information as part of their learning and for exams. Using the discussion post facilities embedded in wikis can extend conversations beyond the classroom.

Tools for setting up a class wiki

Wikispaces.com  – Wikispaces Classroom is a social writing platform for education. Create a classroom workspace for students to communicate and work on writing projects alone or in teams. Free for teachers and students.

Wikidot.com  – The free version allows users to create up to five sites and store 300MB of content.

Class wiki examples
More information » 

Publish student-created eBooks

eBooks combine text, images, and audio. Students can create self-authored eBooks, both fiction and non-fiction. eBooks can be:

  • published online and shared with classmates and whānau
  • embedded into ePortfolios. 

Teacher, Mihi Morunga and students describe the process of creating iBooks and the benefits these have in the learning process. Once completed students can share their books with whānau.

eBook tools
  • MyStorybook  – Make an unlimited number of stories, upload images, and share stories for free. Contains templates, images, and audio narration.  
  • Storyjumper  – For creating and sharing reading books online for free. Aimed at a younger audience.
  • iBooks  – App is available from the Mac App Store for free. Contains templates or blank page options. eBooks can be shared on iTunes to gain access to a wider readership. 
  • Book creator  – Designed for educational contexts. Lots of options for combining audio, video, images, and texts. Good for all ages. 
Student on computer

The benefits of writing for an authentic audience go beyond motivating students. It helps students develop real-world writing skills such as:

  • analysing different audience needs and interests
  • writing in formal and informal registers
  • analysing and understanding the different conventions required for different genres (such as letters to the editor, reports, and blog posts)
  • writing for practice audiences (or peers) to see how real readers will react to their writing before they publish it to the world.
More information »

Wairakei School teacher, Kate Friedwald and student, Rosa, explain why knowing their writing is being seen and commented on by an authentic audience encourages the production of quality work.

Blogging

Students can create content for class or individual blogs within a variety of contexts including:

  • creative writing
  • book reviews
  • research
  • news reports
  • opinion pieces.

Blogging tools provide:

  • creative platforms for text creation – video and images are easily embedded, and web sources to be linked
  • a wide and authentic audience –
    • commenting can be enabled to allow readers to respond and give feedback
    • sharing settings can be adjusted to include a potential global audience, or a restricted audience such as school, class, or whānau readers.
More information »
Blogging tools
Quadblogging

QuadBlogging  – Signing up to to Quadblogging will connect your class with four other classes around the world. Each week a different class blog is focused on, and the other three classes view the blogs and leave comments.

Blogger  – Google's free tool for creating blogs integrates with other Google Apps like Google slides and Google forms.

Edublogs  – A blogging platform designed for educational purposes. It has tools for classroom management.

Websites for sharing writing with a wider audience 
  • NZ Writers College  – Has an updated list of local and global writing competitions taking open submissions.   
  • Hooked on NZ Books He Ao Ano  – A website for young people to review New Zealand young adult fiction. Content is Creative Commons licensed.
  • FanFiction.net  – This website hosts communities of fan fiction writers and readers. These are stories written by fans that include the setting and characters of the original text. Students can post fan fiction writing and get feedback from readers.

Extending connections beyond the classroom

Connected classrooms can reach beyond physical barriers to create conversations with people from other classrooms, cultures, and communities. Social media provides venues for students to share their stories both within and beyond the classroom. It grants opportunities for them to hear stories from beyond their school. Being connected helps students recognise the power of personal voice.

– Connecting a classroom: Reflections on using social media with my students

Social media – Examples and approaches

Using Twitter
  • Twitter logo
    Create a unique hashtag to get your students responding to readings and linking to resources on class themes.
  • Enter global conversations on specific topics and texts.
  • Inhabit texts by tweeting as a character.
  • Follow and connect with authors of the texts you are studying.
  • Three ways to use Twitter in the English classroom
Using Instagram
Instagram logo
  • Create a class account around a particular theme for students to post videos, images, inspiration, and small samples of writing.
  • Post poetry and analysis.
  • Post visual writing prompts.
  • Use hashtags to relate class themes to wider discussions.
  • Create a character's Instagram account.
  • Use the comment functionality for feedback/peer review.
  • Using Instagram to teach poetry
Using Facebook

Snapshot 3: Shakespeare on Facebook

A teacher shares how she used Facebook to engage students with the characters and themes of Romeo and Juliet in this snapshot of learning from English Online.

More information »

Social media and digital citizenship

Ensure that you model appropriate conduct when working online with social media. Guide your students through staying safe online, and successfully navigating creative commons and copyright.

More information »

Digital citizenship modules  

These modules contain materials designed to scaffold safe and effective practises online.

Key resources

The Learning Progression Frameworks (LPF)

An online tool that illustrates the significant steps students take as they develop expertise in reading, writing, and mathematics from years 1–10, spanning levels 1–5 of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

The Literacy Learning Progressions

This tool describes the specific literacy knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students draw on in order to meet the reading and writing demands of the The New Zealand Curriculum.

Learning progressions App

This free application will help you use the learning progressions frameworks to support teaching and learning for writing and reading. Available from iTunes.

Literacy progressions

Reading and writing progressions in child friendly language; put together by teachers for teachers and students.

Plan opportunities for students to record their speech and listen to how they sound to support building fluency and phrasing.

Provide students with access to technologies that remove barriers to learning, such as text-to-speech.

Use digital technologies to help students create texts that:

  • make connections between oral, written, and visual language
  • provide opportunities for students to choose the best tool for their purpose
  • support the development of oral language.

Irongate School teacher, Marion Croad, describes the improvements in her New Entrant students' written and oral language as a result of using Photostory.

More information »

Podcasting

Podcasting offers an inexpensive way to create and share compelling media that correlates to authentic activities outside of school. Students who podcast become active participants in culture and society. They can create original content as they ethically and effectively collect and remix the work of others. 

– Student-powered podcasting

Students working togther

Students can create podcasts to: 

  • tell digital stories
  • record book reviews
  • conduct interviews
  • record debates
  • upload regular school news updates.

Planning and developing podcasts provides an authentic context for students to plan, collaborate, and edit. List podcasts on iTunes to find a wider audience.   

More information »
Digital tools for developing oral language

Voicethread 

Students can record themselves and leave comments on uploaded images, presentations, and PDFs. Management tools enable teachers to control the privacy settings, organise students into classes and groups, and record their feedback on student work.

adobe spark

Adobe Spark Video 

A free online video editor with a range of templates, music, image, and animation options that enable videos to be created and shared with friends and whānau. An effective tool for creating media that will activate students' speaking, writing, and design skills.

Vocaroo

A simple voice recording tool. Students can make recordings and share them using links.

PhotoStory

A free application for creating visual stories from digital photos.

Creating and using visual texts can:

  • help students understand the connections between written, visual, and oral language
  • promote digital fluency as students select the best tool for their communication purpose
  • support understanding and enable students to make connections.

Digital storytelling

Digital storytelling is the art of telling stories using a variety of digital multimedia, including images, audio, and video.

Irongate School teacher Natasha Jacobs and students from her year 5/6 class explain how they create a storywheel that is then digitised and supported with audio narration.

More information »
Tools for digital storytelling

PhotoStory  – A free application for creating visual stories from digital photos.

Storybird  – Provides a series of templates and a bank of images for students to drag and drop into their story.

Video and animation

Making movies and animations is an effective way of developing oral, written, and visual literacies. 

Use video to: 

  • create a visual representation of a poem or other literary work
  • record class role-plays or text re-enactments 
  • bring a script to life
  • create a personal narrative or tell a story
  • record a book review
  • explore media literacy, literary elements, and cinematic techniques through video.

Treetops TV is Leamington School's television driven by the students. Technologically capable learners put the school's learner dispositions into action. 

More information »

Sue Martin uses stop motion animation with her students to promote narrative skills, particularly sequencing and retelling.

Tools for making movies
Tools for sharing/publishing video

Videos can be stored in the cloud in a YouTube or Vimeo account. Before you publish a video, consider privacy settings.

Interactive storyboarding tools

Presenting information

Model and provide students with a range of options for presenting and sharing information visually with their audience. Support them to select the best tool for their purpose.

Exploring texts with infographics 

Use web-based infographic software to create visual representations of texts showing the relationships between characters, plot events, and story elements.

More information »
Tools for creating infographics

Canva  – A simple drag and drop tool for creating presentations, posters, one-page documents, and social media posts. Integrated with Google Apps.

Piktochart  – Contains templates, icons and images, graphics, charts and maps. Uses a drag and drop approach to create infographics. 

Visme  – Contains a large range of templates and icons. Uses a drag and drop approach for creating infographics.

ThingLink  – A tool for turning an image into an interactive graphic. Embed text, images, and video through hyperlinking. Publish texts to share with a wider audience. Use ThingLink to:

  • introduce a range of digital tools and demonstrate how they can be used
  • present research
  • create scavenger hunts to support focused information gathering or exploration of content.

ThingLink by Mateo Samper

Filter by: Primary Secondary

Kid Pix

Students at Sunnybrae Normal School used Kid Pix and iMovie to record and share experiences, ideas, and information during an inquiry about kiwi conservation.

Tags: English, Science, Multimedia – graphics/animation, Multimedia – video, Lower primary, Primary

Keynote

Students at Sunnybrae Normal School in Auckland improved their literacy skills, and explored connections between oral, written, and visual language by creating digital texts.

Tags: English, Multimedia – graphics/animation, Multimedia – video, Presentation, Lower primary, Primary

FrameByFrame and iMovie

Students at Onehunga-Cuthbert Kindergarten in Auckland improved their storytelling by producing and sharing their stories with the help of animation software.

Tags: English, Multimedia – graphics/animation, Multimedia – video, Lower primary, Primary

KnowledgeNET

Students at Cornwall Park District School became reflective learners by using Learning Journals in KnowledgeNet.

Tags: Assessment, Cross-curricular, English, Learning management systems (LMS), Lower primary, Primary

iPads

Students at Tauranga Primary School used iPads to consolidate their knowledge base, and reinforce learning intentions.

Tags: English, Mathematics and statistics, 1-1 Digital technologies, BYOD, iPads, Lower primary, Primary

Jing

St Mary’s Catholic School in Tauranga trialled a system of online reporting that supported student self assessment, and increased parents’ understanding and involvement in formative assessment.

Tags: Assessment, Effective pedagogy, English, Multimedia – graphics/animation, Multimedia – video, Primary, Upper primary

2Touch

Students with special learning needs improved their communication skills during circle time through the use of a 2Touch interactive whiteboard.

Tags: Diverse learners, Effective pedagogy, English, Assistive technologies, Interactive displays, Lower primary, Lower secondary, Middle primary, Primary, Secondary, Upper primary, Upper secondary

Quizlet

Students at Ashburton Intermediate in Christchurch developed an understanding of subject specific vocabulary through the use of online flashcards.

Tags: Diverse learners, English, Science, Utilities/tools/gadgets, Primary, Upper primary

Blogger

Students at St Pius X School in Auckland improved their literacy skills and their perceptions of themselves as learners through blogging.

Tags: Effective pedagogy, English, Blogging, Social media, Primary, Upper primary

Collaborating using Blogger

Students from Melville Intermediate School used Blogger to share their development of te reo Māori and receive feedback.

Tags: English, Learning languages, Blogging, Social media, Primary, Upper primary

Movie Maker

Students from Melville Intermediate prepared and learnt their individual mihi in te reo Māori, then created videos to share their learning using Movie Maker.

Tags: English, Learning languages, Multimedia – video, Primary, Upper primary

Engagement through Blogger

Students at Epsom Girls Grammar School improved their writing ability and their understanding of assessment standards through the use of blogging.

Tags: English, Blogging, Social media, Secondary, Upper secondary

MyPortfolio2

Students from Mount Roskill Grammar School engaged in shared learning with their peers and subject teachers for NCEA Level 3 English using MyPortfolio.

Tags: Assessment, Effective pedagogy, English, e-Portfolios, Secondary, Upper secondary

iPod Touches and iPads

Students at Kaipara Flats School used mobile devices to help develop their information processing and analysis skills.

Tags: Effective pedagogy, English, Student inquiry, 1-1 Digital technologies, BYOD, iPads, Primary, Upper primary

Skype

Students from Melville Intermediate helped students from neighbouring Broadlands Primary School prepare and learn a short mihi using Skype.

Tags: English, Learning languages, Collaborative tools, Communication, Primary, Upper primary

Viddix

Students at Buckland’s Beach Intermediate created and presented engaging picture books for younger students using the dual-screen player in Viddix, along with other online resources.

Tags: English, Multimedia – graphics/animation, Multimedia – video, Primary, Upper primary

Spiderscribe

Students from Ashburton Intermediate used mindmapping technologies to prepare and manage the organisation of their report writing.

Tags: Effective pedagogy, English, Interactive/thinking tools, Primary, Upper primary

Animoto

Students from Bayswater School created a video slideshow chronicling events in a school-wide inquiry using Animoto.

Tags: English, Multimedia – graphics/animation, Multimedia – video, Presentation, Middle primary, Primary, Upper primary

Inspiration

Students used Inspiration to help clarify ideas, express and justify opinions, and support their presentations. 

Tags: Effective pedagogy, English, Interactive/thinking tools, Presentation, Lower secondary, Secondary

Hapara Teacher Dashboard and Google Apps

With a vision for improving literacy learning outcomes, Houghton Valley School trialed Hapara Teacher Dashboard and Google Apps with their senior classes over 12 months.

Tags: Diverse learners, Effective pedagogy, English, Student inquiry, Teacher inquiry, GAFE, Learning management systems (LMS), Primary, Upper primary

Raising literacy levels

Fendalton Open Air School teachers collected and analysed a range of data to enhance their writing programme and engage learners. 

Tags: English, Teacher inquiry, Collaborative tools, Communication, Multimedia – video, Presentation, Primary

Raising student achievement

Polyfest provided Mangere College with the opportunity to re-think curriculum planning and design to improve student achievement results for NCEA.

Tags: English, Learning languages, Science, Social sciences, The Arts, Visual arts, Multimedia – graphics/animation, Multimedia – video, Secondary, Upper secondary

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The impact of using Google Apps on literacy learning in the classroom

The impact of using Google Apps on literacy learning in the classroom

Liz Maclennan from Breens Intermediate shares how she is using Google Apps with her students to raise literacy levels, particularly for Māori and Pasifika students, in her classroom.

Goal setting and reflection: Literacy learning supported by Google docs

Goal setting and reflection: Literacy learning supported by Google docs

Students from Breens Intermediate share how they record their literacy goals and reflections on Google docs, which are shared with their teacher and peers.

Stop motion animation to promote literacy

Stop motion animation to promote literacy

Sue Martin uses stop motion animation with her students to promote narrative skills, particularly sequencing and retelling. 

Stop motion animation - a tool for all learners

Stop motion animation - a tool for all learners

Sue Martin shares how using stop motion animation with her students has improved student literacy learning outcomes and resulted in more confident learners.

Improving boys' writing using Google docs

Improving boys' writing using Google docs

Anna Swann, from Holy Cross School, explains her teacher inquiry into using Google docs to improve boys writing.

Improving fluency and phrasing using iPad apps

Improving fluency and phrasing using iPad apps

Junior school teacher, Denise Stanisich talks about her teacher inquiry focusing on raising student achievement in fluency and phrasing

Teacher inquiry into improving NCEA learning outcomes

Teacher inquiry into improving NCEA learning outcomes

Teresa Cargo, Deputy Principal Sacred Heart Girls College, shares her teacher inquiry into using video with her year 13 students.

Students create resources to support learners with special needs

Inclusion in the classroom

Students at Houghton Valley School made a book using digital photos with simple captions to help prepare a student needing extra support for their first school camp experience.

Improving written and oral language with multimedia

Improving written and oral language with multimedia

Sally McDougall and her students explain their process for writing book reviews and creating QR codes to share them with the wider community.

Using digital stories to improve student literacy

Using digital stories to improve student literacy

School teacher Natasha Jacobs and students from her Year 5/6 class explain how they create a storywheel that is then digitised and supported with audio narration. 

Improving oral language and writing with Photostory

Improving oral language and writing with Photostory

Irongate School teacher, Marion Croad, describes the improvements in her New Entrant students' written and oral language as a result of using Photostory.

Developing key competencies through writing collaborations

Developing key competencies through writing collaborations

Students from Ruawai Primary School and their teacher talk about how they are developing key competencies through writing collaborations.

Developing digital literacies using Google Apps

Developing digital literacies using Google Apps

The principal of Ruawai Primary School, explains how Google Apps are used to develop digital literacies, creative thinking, and communication skills in a collaborative environment. 

1:1 Netbooks – Allowing excellence in the classroom

1:1 Netbooks – Allowing excellence in the classroom

Tyler, a year 6 student with dyspraxia, uses a netbook to help him write creatively instead of being inhibited by the speed of his handwriting or his ability to form letters. 

Student ownership of reading goals supported by QR codes

Reading goals supported by QR codes

Konini School teacher, Vicki Pimenta shares her approach to using the literacy progressions and raising student achievement in reading.

Sharing book reviews with QR codes

Sharing book reviews with QR codes

Hillcrest Normal School librarian, Kim Bizo demonstrates and describes the process for making QR codes of book reviews with gifted and talented students. 

Netbooks - an "onramp" to success in literacy

Netbooks – an "onramp" to success in literacy

Using a netbook, Google docs, and blogging has increased engagement and improved learning outcomes for student Kieren. 

Renewed enthusiasm for reading

Renewed enthusiasm for reading

Teacher Julie Hinman, talks about how the introduction of iPads into her classroom renewed enthusiasm for one of her students in reading. 

Working together: writing with iPads

Writing with iPads

Avondale School teacher, Rae Marsh talks about how using iPad writing app Screen Chomp has made a difference for one of her Year 5 students in learning how to form letters correctly.

Students using Prezi

Using Prezi to collaborate

Nigel Mitchell, HOD English at Tawa College, and students in his class talk about the benefits of using Prezi to collaborate and take control of their own learning

Improving student writing with digital stories

Bilingual digital stories

Primary school teacher, Bridget Harrison talks about using digital stories to support students with English as a second language.

Teaching digital stories using tuakana-tana

Teaching digital stories using tuakana-teina

Irongate School has a focus on improving student literacy levels particularly for their large population of Māori and Pasifika students.

Polyfest as a learning context – English: Create a visual text

Polyfest as a learning context – English: Create a visual text

Mangere College students describe e-posters they designed as part of their visual arts NCEA assessments to reflect their identity and culture.

Removing writing barriers with Google docs and digital technologies

Removing writing barriers

Teacher Kate Friedwald and one of her students share how using writing tools and other collaborative facilities in Google docs has improved student writing.

Improving student writing using blogs

Improving student writing using blogs

Wairakei School teacher and her student explain why blogging encourages students to produce better quality work because it is being seen and commented on by an authentic audience.

Using an iPad to support independent writing for a student with ADHD

Using an iPad to support independent writing for a student with ADHD

Daniel, a student with ADHD, and his teacher explain how he uses apps on his ipad to support his reading and comprehension. 

Creating iBooks

Creating iBooks

Teacher, Mihi Morunga and students describe the process of creating iBooks and the benefits these have in the learning process.

MCS TV – Using digital technologies to enhance literacy

MCS TV – Using digital technologies to enhance literacy

Principal, Helen Pearson and students discuss how they have used Mahurangi Christian School TV (MCS TV) to enhance literacy in their classroom.

Improving student writing with digital stories

Improving student writing with digital stories

Bridget Harrison at Kimi Ora Community School shares how her students are using digital stories to scaffold the writing process.

Beginning to use ICTs to enhance learning

Beginning to use ICTs to enhance learning

Teacher Liz Dench and a student, from Hillcrest High School, discuss accessing how using technologies expands learning.

Passionfruit – a curriculum integration project

Passionfruit – a curriculum integration project

Sam Cunnane, head of the arts faculty at Fraser High School, talks about an experiment in cross-curricular teaching at secondary school level.

Fraser High School curriculum integration project – students reflect

Fraser High School curriculum integration project – students reflect

Senior secondary students reflect on how their learning has changed at Fraser High School through curriculum integration and the use of authentic contexts as they produced the first issue of Passionfruit magazine.

Benefits of using laptops in the writing process

Benefits of using laptops in the writing process

Dave McShane, principal at Te Kura o Kutarere, describes how providing students with laptops to use in the writing process has enabled them to engage and sustain their focus on the task.

Using Storybird to improve literacy skills

Using Storybird to improve literacy skills

Susan Lee, teacher at Te Kura o Kutarere shares how using Storybird in her classroom has made a significant impact on the literacy development of her students

Students take ownership of their learning

Students take ownership of their learning

Staff at Te Kura o Kutarere talk about the change in students' attitude to learning that has occurred as a result of using Storybird in the writing process. 

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Key resources

The Learning Progression Frameworks (LPF)

An online tool that illustrates the significant steps students take as they develop expertise in reading, writing, and mathematics from years 1–10, spanning levels 1–5 of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC).

The Literacy Learning Progressions

The Literacy Learning Progressions, is a professional tool provided to support The New Zealand Curriculum. It describes the specific literacy knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students draw on in order to meet the reading and writing demands of the curriculum.

Learning progressions App

This free application will help you use the learning progressions frameworks to support teaching and learning for writing and reading. Available from iTunes.

Literacy progressions

Reading and writing progressions in child friendly language; put together by teachers for teachers and students.

Authentic writing: What it means and how to do it

Nine teachers share their idea of authentic writing and describe how they support their students to write with greater depth in this blog post.

Teaching the art of listening: How to use podcasts in the classroom

Five keys for successful podcasting in your classroom are described in this blog post.

Authentic learning facilitated through a wiki

In this video, Hillcrest High School French teacher, Sarah Collett and two of her students describe the usefulness of using a wiki to create and enhance authentic language learning experiences.

Three ways to use Twitter in the English classroom

A blog post describing ways to use Twitter in a secondary school English class.

Using Instagram to teach poetry

A Grade 9 (year 10) teacher describes how she uses Instagram for poetry analysis and assessment in the classroom in this blog post from The Secondary English Coffee Shop.

Get your students excited about writing with digital storytelling

A teacher from South Africa shares her teaching and learning steps to get the most out of digital storytelling in the classroom in this blog post.

Snapshot 5: Video gaming as a context

This snapshot describes how a teacher used the creation of a video game as the context for a year 11 English programme.

Get students talking with digital tools

Ideas for using voice recorders in common classroom activities are presented, along with suggested tools and apps, in this blog post from ISTE.

Back to school with annotation: 10 ways to annotate with students

Ten practical ways to use annotation to support student learning using digital media are described in this blog post.

Digital annotation for close reading

One of the components of close reading is annotation. This blog post reviews a series tools for students to use annotating documents, videos, and websites.

13 stunning places to publish student art and writing

A collated list of publications — online and print periodicals – that showcase work by student artists and writers of all ages. Each one features high-quality work.

NZ Writers College – Writing competitions and events

A list of competitions and deadline dates. 

QuadBlogging

Quadblogging connects your class with four other classes around the world. Each week a different class blog is focused on, and the other three classes view the blogs and leave comments.

The poetry archive

An archive of poems, classroom materials, and lesson plans to support teaching about and with poetry. The Children's Poetry Archive  is a section of this site, which contains a large collection of poems searchable by author and theme.

Hooked on NZ Books He Ao Ano

A website for young people to review New Zealand young adult fiction. Content is Creative Commons licensed.

Instructional series

English medium literacy instructional series teaching and learning resources for NZ students in years 1 to 8.

Ministry of Education – e-books and Apps

The Ministry of Education list of Apps, includes e-books from the Ready to Read series which have been created in conjunction with Deaf Aotearoa as NZ Sign Language resources. These apps, and others, are available on iTunes (for Apple devices)  or GooglePlay (for Android devices)  and are free to download.

Literacy Apps

A list of educational apps that provide practice with essential skills in print awareness, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. This list includes a section for children with dyslexia with apps for for text-to-speech, audiobooks, organisation, and goal-setting.

Kiwi Kids News

A safe, informative news website for New Zealand students and teachers. Each school day four or five relevant news articles are uploaded to keep students informed about the world around them. Along with our news articles there is a weekly news quiz, a homework booklet for each term, and a weekly feature article.

Newsela

Newslea contains a library of free to read news articles, which can be filtered by grade (year) level and specific reading skill or topic being focused on. This is an American website and to access the full range of features a cost is involved.

Making language and learning work

DVD 2: Integrating language and learning in secondary English and social sciences from the Making Language and Learning Work series demonstrates how to effectively integrate content-area teaching and language learning in mainstream subject classrooms for students from diverse language backgrounds in a manageable way in mainstream classes.

hypothesis.is logo-small

Hypothesis.is

A digital annotation tool for collaborative and active reading.

Prezi logo

Prezi

A dynamic presentation tool, which can be used collaboratively.

Wikispaces.com

Wikispaces Classroom is a social writing platform for education. Create a classroom workspace for students to communicate and work on writing projects alone or in teams. Free for teachers and students.

Wikidot.com

The free version allows users to create up to five sites and store 300MB of content.

Digital stories

PhotoStory

A free application for creating visual stories from digital photos.

Storybird

Provides a series of templates and a bank of images for students to drag and drop into their story.

Making movies
adobe spark

Adobe Spark Video 

A free online video editor. It has a range of functional templates, music, image, and animation options that enable users to make videos that can be easily shared with friends and whānau. It's an effective tool for creating media that will activate your students' speaking, writing, and design skills.

Windows Movie Maker

Turn your photos and videos into movies. Add special effects, transitions, sound, and captions to help tell your story. Free to download.

iMovie

Create 4K-resolution movies. Edit on iPhone, iPad, or Mac computer.

Sharing/publishing video

Vimeo

Store your video in the cloud. Vimeo basic is free for up to 25GB of storage per year. Review Vimeo privacy settings .

YouTube

Store your video in the cloud. It is free to upload videos and view videos with ads into your YouTube account. Review YouTube privacy settings .

Interactive storyboarding

Boords

Collaborative online storyboarding.

Storyboardthat

The free version has limited options, allowing the creation of two storyboards per week.

Infographics and augmented texts

Canva

A simple drag and drop tool for creating presentations, posters, one-page documents, and social media posts. Integrated with Google Apps.

Piktochart

Contains templates, icons and images, graphics, charts and maps. Uses a drag and drop approach to create infographics. Free version with limited features.

ThingLink

A tool for turning an image into an interactive graphic. Embed text, images, and video through hyperlinking. Publish texts to share with a wider audience.

eBook tools

MyStorybook

Has templates, images, and audio narration.

Storyjumper

Easy to use, for a younger audience.

iBooks  

Professional eBook creator for Mac OS with sophisticated graphic design and media options. eBooks can be shared on iTunes to gain access to a wider readership.

Book creator

Designed for educational contexts. Lots of options for combining audio, video, images, and texts. Good for all ages.

Oral language

Voicethread 

Students can record themselves and leave comments on uploaded images, presentations, and PDFs. Management tools enable teachers to control the privacy settings, organise students into classes and groups, and record their feedback on student work.

Vocaroo

A free to use voice recording tool. Recordings can be shared or embedded.

Research and readings

New technologies, new possibilities for the arts and multimodality in English language arts

This article considers how art, multimodality, and technology can work together to support students’ reading of literature and inspire their creativity.

Educational uses of digital storytelling

Educational uses of digital storytelling

This website organises the content from Bernard Robin's article, The educational uses of digital storytellingIt presents an overview of digital storytelling and how it can be used to support instruction and improve literacy skills. It contains information about the tools to use, and considerations for teachers to be aware of before implementing digital storytelling in the classroom.

Slipping literacy under the radar

In this video, Emma Watts, 2013 CORE Education eFellow, talks about the power of multimedia for engaging and extending student learning, especially in the area of literacy.

Australian Educational Computing

Social media for collaborative learning: A review of school literature

This article from Australian Educational Computing, 2013, 28(2) provides a series of design principles for educators, including three broad conclusions that social media for collaborative purposes is best utilised when: (a) social media offers something new, (b) strategies are in place to help students learn how to work collaboratively, and (c) the tasks are appropriate.

Mobile microblogging: Using twitter and mobile devices in an online course to promote learning in authentic contexts

The authors of this study aim to (a) provide useful design suggestions for educators to incorporate mobile microblogging in online learning in meaningful and engaging ways, and (b) explore challenges in design and implementation in order to inform instructional design decisions.

Wiki use in the 21st-Century literacy classroom: A framework for evaluation

The authors of this review examine three different perspectives on the literacy needs of 21st-century students and created a framework to assess the incorporation of technologies in classrooms as a means to build students’ new literacies. The framework was applied to the use of wikis to illustrate the literacy learning potential of both wikis and other new technologies.

Cite Journal: English language arts

Public journal dedicated to the intersection of English education and technology.

Extending their language: Expanding their world

Extending their language – Expanding their world: Children’s oral language (birth-8 years)

This report from the Education Review Office reinvestigates how effectively young children’s oral language is supported in their early years of education.

Supporting teachers in integrating digital technology into language arts instruction to promote literacy

This literature review provides information and practical guidelines for teachers on instructional methods for using digital tools in the classroom to promote literacy. It contains practical descriptions of using nine different tools and considerations for integrating these into teaching and learning.

IRis

Online publishing and authentic audience to improve student writing

This doctoral thesis outlines practice-based research into the use of technology, online publishing, and authentic audience as tools to engage students to become more proficient writers. It highlights the importance of how technology is used to create a relevant and engaging social learning environment. Students need space to actively collaborate and discuss content, and opportunities to receive appropriate feedback from a wide audience of authentic readers.

Toward authentic audiences: Blogging in a high school English classroom

This study examines perspectives on a group of high school students engaged in blogging as part of two language arts courses over an eight-month period. Research questions focused on how students conceived of and interacted with their readers, how they used structural features of the blogging platform to connect their blogs to one another, and how freedom of speech online led a few students to transgress school norms.

Student-powered Podcasting: Teaching for 21st-century Literacy

Student-powered podcasting

An excerpt from Christopher Shamburg's book Student-powered podcasting: Teaching for 21st century literacyIt examines the definition of 21st-century literacy, its importance, why schools need to reform teaching and their curriculum, and how podcasting helps students learn 21st-century literacy skills.

Online community discussions

e-Learning community discussions

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