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Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

5 Ways to Enhance Literacy with Digital Tools

Participate and share

Participate and share : Poster

Tuesday, December 1, 1:30–2:30 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Jessie Erickson  
Come explore new and unexpected ways to enhance literacy with digital tools in your classroom. You will leave with ready-to-use templates and turn-key to engage learners, embrace creativity, student voice, choice and make learning more dynamic. Bring your imagination and get ready to create!

Audience: Coaches, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees would benefit by having a Google Apps for Education account or personal Google account, and a Windows laptop, Mac laptop, or Chromebook, to fully participate in the session.
Topic: Student agency, choice & voice
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this session is to show how Google Suite can be used in language arts for creative student learning activities. Each activity uses tools already included in the Google Suite. The activities focus on ways to help students improve their reading comprehension, summarization skills, writing skills, creativity, and expression beyond just text.

The activities explored will include:

1) Google Slides Magnetic Poetry
Description: In this activity we use google draw and slides to create drag and drop words that can be manipulated to create poetry.

2) Emoji Learning Activities
Description: In this activity we use special characters to insert emojis to summarize stories, write creatively, and explore character emotions.

3) Comic Strips and Timelines
Description: In this activity we use emojis, copy write free images, and text tools to summarize stories, write creatively, create story timelines, and explore character emotions.

4) Mystery Revealer
Description: In this activity hyperlinks and object to create interactive slides for creative, non-linear storytelling.

5) Interactive Newsletters
Description: In this activity we use headings and hyperlinks to create an interactive interactive newsletters for creative, non-linear informational writing.

6) Bitmoji Classroom
Description: In this activity we use hyperlinks to create an interactive interactive spaces for almost any content.


This session will be entirely hands-on as participants engage in each of the Google Suite activities.

1) Google Suite overview - 10 minutes
2) Magnetic Poetry - 15 minutes
3) Emoji Learning Activities - 15 minutes
4) Comic Strips and Timelines - 15 minutes
5) Choose Your Own Adventure Stories - 15 minutes
6) Interactive Newsletter - 15 minutes
7) Closing and Questions - 5 minutes

Supporting research

The benefits of using technology to engage students in literacy activities are well supported by research. The website Reading Rockets includes an article (at addressing many of these benefits with cited research and practical examples. Example effects include improvements in comprehension, motivation, writing competency, and critical thinking.

Additionally, there have been many scholarly research articles published that support digital tools as a way to support literacy instruction. Here are links to some supporting articles:

Finally, the website TeachThought includes an article (at that explores the benefits of text-reduction strategy to improve reading comprehension and summarization skills. This article has provided inspiration for my magnetic poetry, comic strips, timelines and more.

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Jessie Erickson, Grand Forks Public Schools

Jessie Erickson is the District Assessment Coordinator for Grand Forks Public Schools. Jessie holds Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Specialist Diploma in Educational Leadership. She has She had the opportunity to work with the students and staff as a teacher, Building Resource Coordinator, Instructional Coach and Curriculum Technology Partner within the Grand Forks Public Schools and Grand Forks Air Force Base School Districts. She loves facilitating opportunities that ignite all learners to become passionate about leading and learning.

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