Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Technology-Based Literacy Resources and Practices With Special Promise

Location: W176a

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Monday, June 25, 8:30–9:30 am
Location: W176a

Jason Carroll   Mark Gura   Dr. Michele Haiken   Heidi Perry   Noam Schafer   Stein Setvik   Kwamara Thompson  
What’s new, exciting and inspiring in literacy instruction? Members of the ISTE Literacy PLN and invited guests will present emerging technology-based resources and practices with high potential to improve and transform learning and teaching. Leave this session with ideas, insights and resources ready to impact your classroom and practice.

Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Instructional design and delivery
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Language arts
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Model effective classroom management and collaborative learning strategies to maximize teacher and student use of digital tools and resources and access to technology-rich learning environments.
For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The body of resources available to teachers of Literacy, as well as practices in how they are implemented and applied to teaching and learning, is a moving target. New and innovative resources are continually being developed and offered for use. This session will support all teachers who attend in understanding and finding their way through this overwhelming body of possibilities, revealing to them new resources, many of them free, designed to inspire students guide them in learning Literacy skills. Further, instructional practice is continually evolving with big bullet concepts like Personalized Learning, The Flipped Classroom, and Outcomes Based Instruction shaping attitudes and the way teachers approach planning and implementing instructional activities, too. Instructional Frameworks like the Common Core State Standards, as well standardized tests and college admission practices, which also influence goals and activities in the classroom, evolve constantly. Consequently, the Literacy PLN would like to offer this session so that colleagues may benefit from the significant body of expertise, experience, and interests of its membership. These represent a deep source of support and advice on what’s most important to see, understand, and consider using in today’s Literacy Instruction. The PLN will reach out to its membership for suggestions based on direct experience for resources and practices to include in this session. The leadership committee will select the very most significant of these for inclusion and will facilitate a spirited presentation and discussion of these for attendees. Particular attention will be paid to easy to use, impactful, and free or low cost options, as well as practices that make the most of them. Most importantly, preparation for – presentation of – and curating, archiving, and publishing of the content of this session will guide the Literacy PLN in its focus and efforts this year and beyond, and enable it to provide important leadership in the essential field of Literacy Instruction.


The session will start with a brief (5 minute) introduction to establish context for the content to come and introduce the presenters. - The session will present 3 – 4 high potential instructional resources and practices that involve their use (45 minutes, total). Each resource and related practice will be given 10 – 15 minutes. The audience will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion, sharing their own experience with the resources (or similar resources) and offering their own reflections on the use of these in the classroom. Below is a sample of the body of resources the PLN is currently compiling as it prepares this session: However, planning for this session will be an ongoing process so that the appearance of newer resources and implementation practices may be included, making our late June presentation especially relevant. 10 minutes will be allotted for each resource and related practice. - 10 minutes will be formally allotted for audience Q & A. However, the audience will be encouraged to interact with the presenters during the presentation, as well, with a public conversation serving as the model for implementation of the session.- The session will wrap up with a very brief discussion of how the participants may continue to work with the PLN (as online/connected contributing colleagues) to refine and expand this focus body of resources and practices - RESOURCES TYPES HIGHLIGHTED IN THIS SESSION will include: Digital, multi-media writing and composing platforms (text writing, illustration and visual composition, sound and voice, etc.); Literacy focused Gaming resources; Imagining and Thinking resources to build students’ close reading, writing, and critical thinking skills across subjects; and others

Supporting research

Book: Teaching Literacy in the Digital Age: Inspiration for All Levels (ISTE 2014). This recently published compendium (edited by the President of the ISTE Literacy PLN with contributions from members of the PLN) presents a full body of practices and resources that reflect the profound ways that technology is positively transforming Literacy Education. - Articles:- Kennewell, S., Tanner, H., Jones, S., & Beauchamp, G. (2008). Analysing the use of interactive technology to implement interactive teaching. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24(1), 61–73. (In Kervin, et al.)- Labbo, L. (2006). Literacy, pedagogy and computer technologies: toward solving the puzzle of current and future classroom practices. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 29(3), 199-209. (In Kervin, et al.)- Zammit, K. & Downes, T. (2002). New learning environments and the multiliterate individual: a framework for educators, Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, m25(2), 24-36. (In Kervin, et al.) Preparing students for careers that don’t even exist is a daunting practice. Many have commented that it is the teachers’ responsibility to include new technologies in the everyday curriculum in order to adequately prepare them for their future lives- Kervin, L., Verenikina, I., Jones, P. & Beath, O. (2013). Investigating synergies between literacy, technology and classroom practice. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 36 (3), 135-147. Teacher efficacy and access to the latest resources to utilize HOTS is remains a defining issue- Haas, C. (2009). Writing technology: Studies on the materiality of literacy. New York: Routledge. Understanding “literacy” in the 21st Century context means understanding the technologies that support it - Powell, D. (2013). Learning Space: Perspectives on Technology and Literacy in a Changing Educational Landscape. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from As students matriculate into the secondary ranks, both teaching digital literacy skills and providing all students with the tools necessary to implement those skills are crucial

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Jason Carroll, Texthelp

Jason is the Global Products Manager at Texthelp, an industry leader in literacy support software. He has trained thousands on the effective use of educational technology throughout the United States and beyond since his start in education over a decade ago. His focus is on helping to make smart, easy to use products that help diverse learners of all ages succeed and speaks internationally on these topics each year. Jason holds an MBA and is an Authorized Google Education Trainer. He is a published author, has taught at the University level, and served as an independent consultant prior to Texthelp.

Mark Gura, EdTech Digest
Dr. Michele Haiken, Rye Middle School/Manhattanville College
Heidi Perry, Writable

Heidi is the co-founder and chief product/marketing officer of Writable, a writing practice program for grades 3-12. Heidi works with teachers to ensure writing feedback and revision are more engaging and effective in their classrooms. Prior to Writable, Heidi co-founded Subtext, a digital, close reading program for K12, which was acquired by Renaissance Learning. While at Renaissance, Heidi served as the General Product Manager for the Reading business line, which includes the Accelerated Reader products. Heidi holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and an MBA from Oxford University.

Noam Schafer, Actively Learn
Stein Setvik, Actively Learn
Kwamara Thompson, Classroom, Inc

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