Wednesday, December 14, 2016

3 Language Arts Resources You're Probably Not Using - Yet!

To prepare students for language arts these days, the most important resources we must ensure they become fluent in using are those that students will be using in the world outside of school. For example using a free productivity suite like Google’s docs, sheets, and slides is a given. Knowing how to write an effective email is another. Understanding how to publish on a website or blog using tools like Blogger, WordPress, Wix, or Weebly is important as well. Using infographic tools such as Piktochart is also important. Perhaps most important of all is knowing how to publish for an authentic audience using social media such as Facebook, SnapChat, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, etc.

How do you get there? Here are my favorite tools to support language arts at each grade level.

Grades PK - 2
One of my favorite literacy and publishing tools for PK - 2 is Footsteps 2 Brilliance. The cost is well worth the price. The research shows that even without a teacher, the tool alone can teach students not only how to read, but also supports them in writing and publishing books.
Image result for footsteps 2 brilliance

Grades 3 - 8
For 3 - 8 I love MovieStar Planet. The site describes itself as “a social website where children and teenagers work together with their friends to create cartoons. MovieStarPlanet is a blend of Facebook and YouTube with a learning dimension added."
Image result for moviestarplanet

Grades 9 - 12
Essential for teens is guidance and support in understanding and using the most ubiquitous publishing tool at their disposal:  Social Media. If you’re not sure how to do that you must check out the New York City’s Social Media Guidelines at There you’ll find infographics, an activity book as well as parent and teacher guides.  

This is part of a series in my conversation with author and professor Liz Kolb, who is teaching a course at the University of Michigan that addresses ways technology supports modern teaching and learning. Stay tuned on The Innovative Educator blog for the additional considerations in future posts. For a recap of all ten considerations visit

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