TechSlam: LinkedIn


Definitions: LinkedIn is a social networking site designed for professionals to connect, discuss, search jobs, and enhance their digital identity. LinkedIn supports professional's efforts to push out information such as research papers or other articles in groups they have joined or in their own LinkedIn network. Above all, LinkedIn ensures that your digital identity is a professional one when others are searching your name or seeking someone with your credentials.



Examples:



Here are some example LinkedIn Profiles. You will be able to view more content on these profiles if you set up a quick LinkedIn account first.

Rochelle Tkach

Jason Ribeiro


Dino Miele


Camille Rutherford


Thomas Whitby

Tutorials:



The video above will help you get set-up with the basics of LinkedIn. If you would like more in-depth tutorials on different features for LinkedIn, please check out more of Anson Alexander's tutorials on his YouTube page.

Practical Use:

LinkedIn allows you to network and connect with other professionals in your field. You can feel confident that you are collaborating and sharing ideas in a secure network with people you accepted into your network or with groups you chose to join. In LinkedIn groups, it is easy to contribute to discussions, push out research papers, other articles, updates, etc. Through LinkedIn, you can also follow different organizations or businesses (i.e., Brock University), and stay up-to-date with their current messages to the media.

As a professional, LinkedIn is ideal for its ability to enhance your professional identity. Even if you do not have the time to always contribute to LinkedIn group discussions, your profile will be one of the first things that come up when someone searches your name or is looking in LinkedIn for someone with your credentials. In the 21st century, it is crucial that our digital footprints reflect the professional we want the world to see. LinkedIn provides the platform to do so.

TechSlam: CourseSmart


Definition: CourseSmart is program that allows students to find and purchase e-textbooks. Students can read their e-textbooks on multiple devices, which includes iPads! Along with an organized platform to store e-textbooks, CourseSmart offers other interactive features for students to enhance their reading and learning experience. These features include a digital highlight tool, note taking tool, and bookmarking tool. Any text that has been highlighted, will further show up in the students' Notes page, which really speeds up the quoting and citing process while writing a paper.




Examples:




As you can see in the images above, CourseSmart provides students with a digital bookshelf and further allows students to highlight and add notes within the ebooks.

Tutorials:
  1. Create an account at coursesmart.com. Any e-textbooks you would like to buy, will need to be done through the CourseSmart website. Unfortunately, you can only search e-textbooks through the app. You cannot purchase them. Once a book has been bought through it website, it will then show up in the app after you have logged in.
  2. Select the book you would like to read or make reference to.
  3. View the table of contents by selecting the little image at the top right corner
  4. Highlight text by holding down a finger over the text, dragging the selection over the text, and pressing highlight.
  5. Attach a note to the text by selecting Attach Note after the text has been selected. 
  6. Book mark a particular page by clicking the red ribbon at the bottom left corner. View all pages and bookmarked pages by selecting the four little squares at the top of the screen. 
  7. Add a note to a page by selecting the little yellow sticky note a the bottom left corner. You can add multiple notes to pages. 
  8. View all notes by selecting the image at the top left corner. Once the table of contents pops up, select Notes to view notes taken while reading or select bookmarks to view just the pages that were bookmarked. 
Here is an extra tutorial video to help you get started with CourseSmart:



Classroom Use:

CourseSmart enhances textbooks for the 21st century. It makes reading and learning more mobile and provides anytime anywhere access. By encouraging your students to purchase the e-textbook, it makes it easier to reference and work with the textbook while in class. Some group work or activities in class may be specifically related to a case study or other component in the textbook. It makes it a lot easier for students to remember bringing their textbooks to use in class if the textbook is on their devices.

When considering learning for all, CourseSmart does its best to enhance such a traditional way of learning for students who struggle to learn this way. It provides an easier way to highlight and organize notes. It further helps students remember what pages they bookmarked and why. Notes can be added to enhance the readers understanding and reflective thinking. At the bottom right hand corner, CourseSmart also provides zoom buttons to make the text larger and easier to read. The e-textbooks are generally a lot more accessible and user friendly since they stay the size of the device and are not an added bulkiness when carrying the books around.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

TechSlam: MindMeister



Definition: MindMeister is a collaborative mind mapping tool. It is a platform to support students' concept learning while also making the process digitally networked. MindMeister supports a blended learning approach and further provides a safe and secure environment for students to express their thoughts, ideas, and options during a brainstorm session. MindMeister also provides a wide variety of pre-made templates for students to manipulate through the program. The app works fantastic, but MindMeister looks just as great on a laptop or desktop computer.



Examples:

This is an example of when I used MindMeister in one of my graduate courses to take an online facilitated discussion off of Sakai and to a more interactive platform. As you can see, students were able to post comments, links, and make connections between points. The only downfall to MindMeister is that the free version does not allow one to upload pictures or videos. You would need to upgrade your account to add pictures or videos.

Tutorials:

  1. You will first need to create a MindMeister account. The email you use to create the account will be the email you give to someone when they want to share a mind map with you.
  2. Once logged into the app, your mind maps will appear on the left hand side (there will be some sample mind maps to get you started).
  3. Select the plus sign at the bottom of your screen to either create a blank map or choose a map from the templates. 
  4. Once inside the mind map, the plus and negative signs on the map allow you to add or delete bubbles. 
  5. Double click a bubble when you want to type something. 
  6. Select the little 'i' with a circle around it in the top right hand corner and click Share Map to add someone to the mind map. All you need to do is enter their email address. Choose Read-Only if you do not want to let this person edit the mind map. 

Here are some videos to further help you get started with the MindMeister mobile apps:





Classroom Use:

MindMeister is a program or app that can be used in any subject or course. It can be great for students to brainstorm, have discussions, or provide feedback to one another about their ideas. MindMeister goes beyond being a simple a mind mapping tool. It allows the owner of a mind map to share their map with others so that they can contribute or provide comments on the map.

Instead of having an oral classroom discussion, post a question in MindMeister and allow your students to collaboratively answer the question in a digital network. This app will support students who may need more time to form their thoughts and opinions. If some students are not as confident during classroom discussions, MindMeister provides a safe alternative environment for students to participate in these discussions.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

TechSlam: Educreations


Definition: Educreations is a screen-casting app for teachers to create tutorials or for students to create presentations. It is a fantastic app to support a blended learning platform. Educreations also comes pre-loaded with tutorials made by other educators. When students are creating their own tutorial or presentation, the app allows students to write, draw, type, or upload pictures all while recording their voice in the process. This is a fantastic way to document students' thinking and communicating during inquiry-based or problem-based learning projects.


Examples: 


Tutorials:

This image below gives a clear and concise idea as to what the features are and where they are in the Educreations App. I took this image from RMHS Rocks Help Desk.


Here is a video tutorial to help you get started!



I also wanted to mention that students should definitely create an account for Educreations. This will allow them to save their Educreations in the account and come back to them either on their own device or on a different device next time in class.

When students are ready to send their work to you, have them click 'Select' at the top right corner. Then have students select their screen-cast. Once this has been done, students need to select the box icon beside the trash can. Students can select the Mail App and email you their work.

Classroom Use:

Educreations is a cross-curricular app. It is a fantastic tool to find tutorials for students or create tutorials for your course. I also highly recommend letting your students use Educreations to create an assignment or culminating task. It is more interactive and multi-modal compared to a PowerPoint or Prezi. For students with exceptionalities, it gives them other mediums to work with to demonstrate their learning (i.e., voice recording and drawing). It further allows teachers to track the progress of their students as they form their ideas, which may help support the assessment process after students submit their final piece of work.

During group work or inquiry-based activities, have students write and record their thoughts on this screen-casting app instead of chart paper or in their notes. After students have recorded their thoughts, have them send the link to you or to their own email. They can then show the screen-cast to the whole class through the LCD projector or SMART Board.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

TechSlam: Edmodo



Definition: Edmodo is an app to support a flipped classroom or blended learning experience. It resembles a lot of popular social media webpages and allows students to post questions and comments to one another. It is a fantastic app to take classroom discussion online, poll students, and send out alerts. Edmodo also allows you to view the latest posts from other educators and reply. It is a lot like having a Facebook newsfeed designed just for educators!



Examples: 

Tutorials:
  1. First, create an account with Edmodo. 
  2. If you are creating a group for your class, select Groups. In the top right corner, select Create. You will then be asked to put the title, description, grade, and subject area.
  3. Once you have created the group, write the class code on the white board or send students the class code. The class code can be found under your display picture when you are inside the group. 
  4. You may want students to lead their own class discussions. If so, you will need to join their group. Ask your student for the class code, go to Groups, select Join, enter the class code, and you are good to go!
  5. When you are ready to make a comment, select the plus sign in the top right corner, select Note, type your question or response, and click send. 
  6. There are also options to attach files to posts, send out alerts to group members, and poll students. 
Here is a video tutorial for Edmodo: 



Classroom Use:

Edmodo is a cross-curricular app. It can be used to enhance any of the content areas. It is a great app to support collaborative networking online. I would highly recommend using it to formatively assess your students before or during a lesson to check for understanding. If you are planning on assigning your students different weeks to facilitate group discussions, I recommend you give them the option to lead the group discussion online. This gives your students the experience of setting up a group themselves and experiencing the app from a teachers' perspective.

Edmodo also supports a learning for all approach. Students who may not be confident enough to speak during large group discussions or may need more time to think about what and how they would like to make their point may have a greater chance of success and class participation through digital networking. It provides a secure and safe environment for students to read, post, and reply within a digital classroom discussion.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

TechSlam: Penzu




Definition: Penzu is a free online journalling app. It is a fantastic way to keep students' reflective journals organized online. Students can send their journal entries after every class or send them as a collective journal at the end of the term. Penzu is great for formative assessment measures and can also enhance students' metacognitive thinking.



Examples: 





Tutorials:

  1. Select the Penzu App and have your students create an account.
  2. Students will then be walked through how to set up their first journal.
  3. When students are in their journal, they can select New Entry. 
  4. Students type their reflection or other written piece, which will then be saved in their Penzu account. They can also 
  5. Whenever students are expected to journal on Penzu, they can work on any iPad as long as they login to their account. 
  6. When students are ready to send their journal entry to you, they can select the gear in the top right corner and select export Export Entries. Once students have selected this, they can then enter your email and send their work to you. 
Classroom Use:

Penzu is a cross-curricular app with no specific features for the content areas. It does however enhance cross-curricular connections between content areas and literacy learning. This is a great tool to demonstrate to your students how reflective journalling can enhance an interdisciplinary approach to learning. Hopefully this can then be applied during their placements. Penzu can also be used as a word processor for students' assignments or culminating tasks. You may also want to introduce your students to Penzu Classroom. Please click the icon below to read my iPad App review on Penzu Classroom.






Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

TechSlam: Inspiration Maps App


Definition: Inspiration maps is a mind mapping tool for students to brainstorm and organize ideas. Students can either use one of the pre-made templates, or they can create their own mind map. The pre-made templates can enhance lessons in the content areas and also support formative assessment measures.




Examples:



Please read my iPad App Review of Inspiration maps by clicking the icon below:



Tutorials:

  1. Open app and select Templates.
  2. Students can either start from scratch and use the blank template or they can select one of the pre-made templates.
  3. If you would like students using a certain template, make sure to specify what template they should select. 
  4. Once students are in the mind map template, they can begin to type in the bubbles, add pictures, add audio, manipulate the map, and even switch their map to presentation notes (looks more like a Word document this way).
  5. Since this is the Light version of the app, students are unable to send directly from the Inspiration Maps App. When students finish, instruct them to click the wrench in the top right corner, select Share, and choose Save to Photos. 
  6. Instruct students to go to the photos app and select the picture of their mind map. Once it has been selected, have them click the bottom left icon, select the Mail App, and have students enter your email so that they can sent it to you. 

Here are some more Tutorials on how to use the Inspiration Maps App:






Classroom Use:

The Inspiration Maps App offers a variety of apps that are either specific to certain content areas or can be used cross-curricularly. An example of an interdisciplinary mind map would be the Group Project Plan.



There are also mind maps that support formative assessment. 


Here are some examples of mind maps specific for the content areas:

Language Arts

Science

Social Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

EdTech Internship: Real World Learning

Looking for an innovative course to take during your graduate studies program? Hear all about my experience as an EdTech intern for the Educational Research and Innovation Hub located in the DSBN Academy. The experience catapulted my career, research, and professional networks. 

The Newbie @ISTE


This post may be a little late, but it took me some time to reflect and think about my experiences at ISTE this past week. Here's what I have to say...

I'm a newbie. I'll admit that. I thought I was into edtech the past couple of years, but honestly...I don't think I realized how far my drive and passion towards edtech would take me. I've been reflecting here and there over the past couple of days trying to narrow down and focus on what I learned over the past week. What was my take away? It's hard to think of a take away since everything is so new and overwhelming to me. I am a year out of the teacher education program and on the cusp of my teaching career. I feel like the world of edtech has exploded into my life and left me with a whirling mind and tones of questions...

I believe that these questions are what drive our passion towards edtech. I went to ISTE hyped up and excited about the vendors. 4 football fields of edtech...seriously? What techie enthusiast wouldn't dream of seeing this sight in person? Well, it was definitely a sight to see. Overwhelming actually. Walking into the vendor area was like nothing I had seen before at a conference. Everything from spinning signs, the ticking sound of a prize wheel, and the hum of edtech company pitches here and there. It was awesome. I made my rounds, talked to some companies, filled up my swag bag, and left.

So what did I learn? Did I learn anything? I found myself questioning this vendor floor and how I could apply everything I was taking in. I am a new teacher. Unfortunately, I am a new teacher without my own classroom. I would love more than anything to say to companies, "yes, I can use your product in September!" To be honest, it was a bit of a downer to think that everything I was learning about was only going to be taken at surface value until I could actually dig in and apply what I had learned in a classroom.

I thought this until I finally started questioning and reflecting with new people. Honestly, I think at conferences as big as ISTE, you can forget to leave the vendor area and actually go out and meet the teachers and intellectuals behind the application of these edtech tools. These are the people questioning the status quo and sparking the change in schools.

While at ISTE, I had the pleasure of really getting to know a leader in the field of edtech, Zoe Branigan-Pipe. We were sitting in the Blogger's Cafe and started to really get into a great conversation about pedagogy, building relationships with students, and inquiry. I learned so much about not focusing on all of these tools surrounding us and instead focusing on our own skills and pedagogy as a teacher. I reflected a lot with Zoe and started to realize that I should not be as overwhelmed with all of the edtech in the vendor area. I discovered that edtech companies need to be around to help solve problems and meet certain needs in our lives. However, we cannot force ourselves as teachers to use these tools just because they exist. I believe teachers need to take a step back from what they see at ISTE and keep these tools and companies in mind. When the need arises, it should not be too difficult to find the edtech that will best suit your pedagogical approaches.

Overall, I am simply trying to work my own mind around what I really took from ISTE. I think the biggest realization I had was to take a step back from the spinning signs, prize wheels, and pitches to sit down and meet someone new. You never know where the conversation will lead you...

Zoe and I @ISTE Blogger's Cafe :)

LDANR Trivia Night

Come out to support individuals with learning disabilities in the Niagara Region! The LDANR is hosting its 3rd Annual Trivia Night! See flyer for details:

News-O-Matic Knows What's Up in the 21st Century!

Looking for an engaging way to incorporate current issues and events into your classroom? As schools move more and more towards a 21st century design to education, real-life connections to global issues and events are necessary. To enhance student success in their future careers, students need to understand the importance of the news and staying up-to-date with events in the world. They further need to learn how to analyze and interpret news texts and not take everything they read at face value. The app created by Press 4 Kids called News-O-Matic is a fantastic way to integrate 21st century learning in the classroom. I have recently shared this app in the Cube for Teachers database as a curriculum resources for Language Arts grades 3-6. However, the app itself is interdisciplinary and features news articles about social studies, science, art, sports, and more! Here are the reasons why you should incorporate News-O-Matic into your next lesson:

Enhances 21st Century Literacies: The daily news stories News-O-Matic posts speak to the various 21st century literacies mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Although the model of 21st century learning may look different across Canadian provinces and across the U.S.A., these models generally hold the same value towards certain literacies. In order to integrate and emphasize these 21st century literacies across the curriculum, high quality digital platforms are necessary. Here are the ways News-O-Matic enhances 21st century learning in the integrated classroom:
  • Digital Literacy: News-O-Matic is an interactive app that can be downloaded on multiple types of devices. I have used this app on the Apple iPad, and it has been a great learning environment for students to practice their digital skills and digital citizenship. Students are learning how to interact with these devices through the multi-modal features like videos, highlighting, and article filing (saving) features. Furthermore, students are able to work on their digital citizenship skills. News-O-Matic provides students with an option to get the citation for the article they just read. This teaches students the importance of citing their source and not taking credit for someone else's ideas. The highlighting feature may also help students learn how to take out key points and paraphrase the ideas they are trying to cite in their own work. 
  • Global Literacy: Most of the articles posted in News-O-Matic come from around the globe. Students are able to read about current global issues in kid friendly text and stay up-to-date on current events happening all around the world. As seen in the example screenshot below, there are articles addressing events and issues around the globe. Students are also able to click on videos that will usually show a real life clip of the issue or event. 

One of the coolest features on News-O-Matic is the "Go There" option where students can tap the little globe in the corner. This globe appears afters students open a news article. Students are then taken to a map that shows where the story is taking place in the world. This map further shows students where they are situated on the map and provides statistics regarding the distance between where they are and where the event or issue they are reading about is happening. Students can also listen to audio of how to say "hello" in that country's language by clicking the HELLO button (see screenshot below).

  • Environmental Literacy: This literacy ties into global literacy very nicely while thinking about it in the context of News-O-Matic. Many of the stories on environmental technology or environmental issues will be situated in countries around the world. As seen in the example screenshot below, the one issue is titled "France is Going Green." This article discusses the air pollution problem France is encountering and how the government is responding to the issue. Students are therefore learning about global issues while also learning about ways people can respond to environmental concerns. I used this article in my pilot study where I looked at how tablets can enhance students' knowledge construction about science within he application of literacy and language arts tasks. Students really enjoyed News-O-Matic and the multi-modal features. They further found the article "France Going Green" to be a great resource to cite in their final culminating task. 
  • Multicultural Literacy: Multicultural literacy is further evident within News-O-Matic based on the news articles that address different cultural events and issues around the world. The screenshot below shows a news edition that students can click into and learn about shelter innovations for people in Africa. This edition further ties in global literacy since students are learning about different cultures around the world. 
  • Critical Literacy: This literacy is essentially embedded throughout the articles. Teachers should facilitate their lessons with News-O-Matic so that students understand the importance of putting on a critical lens while reading news reports. News-O-Matic provides a fantastic platform for students to gather information on topics and potentially combine findings to support a hypothesis or answer a particular question. By having some form of writing extension activity, students are able to critically reflect, compare, and analyze the articles they just read. Furthermore, a Language Arts extension activity would enhance integrated units and move away from traditional "subject blocks" that most schools still use. 
Assistive Technology: A key component to the News-O-Matic app is the assistive features embedded within the app. As a teacher and researcher with a passion for inclusive classroom practices, I believe News-O-Matic would meet most of my students' needs. The amount of reading within the app can be quite daunting for many students who generally struggle with reading or are identified with a reading disability. News-O-Matic has a "Read to Me" option to support these students. By having this assistive feature within the app, students' reading abilities will not effect their understanding or comprehension of the news articles. The app further highlights vocabulary that may be tricky for young readers to understand. Students can then click on these words and listen to a definition. This not only supports students who struggle with reading, but it further develops vocabulary among all of your students. You can see the feature of the "Read to Me" option on the right hand side of the screenshot below. You can also see the highlighted vocabulary words within the text. 


Assessment: News-O-Matic created an app specifically for teachers. I have not had much experience using this feature of the app, but it looks very useful. Teachers can create an account for all of their students and track what articles their students are reading. You are also able to track student data regarding their reading response answers. This provides insight for assessment purposes to see how students are progressing with their reading response abilities. Below is an image of the News-O-Matic app for school!


Overall, I highly recommend using the News-O-Matic app to enhance 21st century learning in your classroom. This app could be incorporated as a morning Bell Work activity where students must come in and begin their day with one of the new articles. This app can also be used during guided reading opportunities where a teacher works with a small group of students to read a short story. These news articles would be great to spark discussion in small groups and measure students' reading comprehension. I have also started to use News-O-Matic with the student I tutor. What I like the most about this app is the amount of choice students get between the articles. They can really narrow in and read about something they are truly interested in. Hopefully through apps like News-O-Matic, we as teachers can engage and motivate our students to gain literacy skills that will support and connect them in the 21st century. 

Click the icon below to check out the News-O-Matic webpage!



One Minute Reader: Fluency, Vocabulary, & Comprehension App!

Over the past four months, I have been regularly integrating the One Minute Reader app into my tutoring program. This app offers a fantastic digital platform for students to improve their reading abilities for fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. I have recently shared the One Minute Reader App in the Cube for Teachers Database as a Language Arts curriculum resource. Generally, I would say this app is for grades 3 to 6, but it could definitely be used in lower or higher grades if you have students who are working at these reading levels. There is a placement feature, which I will explain below, that supports teachers in determining what level of books students are working at.

As I have stressed in previous blogs, there are certain features that I believe all apps should encompass. The following information explains how One Minute Reader has a variety of features that speak to the digital learner and enhance traditional literacy skills.

Differentiated Instruction: One Minute Reader is designed with 6 different levels for students to work between. Each level has multiple book packages that you can purchase within the app. Each book package comes with five non-fiction stories all based around a theme (i.e., Amazing Athletes, Cool Creatures, Fun Festivals, etc.). Multiple students can work within the app on different book packages that meet their learning needs. This is a really simple way for teachers to differentiate instruction within an app so that students are challenging their reading abilities at appropriate levels. Furthermore, all of the stories look the same besides their colour and level number. The differentiation is therefore not as noticeable for students to recognize.

Choice: A great feature about this app is how students can choose from a variety of book pages in the Book Store (as seen in the first picture at the bottom right). Students can choose book packages based on a theme they are interested in. All stories are non-fiction.

Curriculum Connections: One Minute Reader has three different components that align with the Ontario Language Arts Curriculum. Once students select a story, they practice this story throughout the app to build fluency (speed & accuracy). The app times students' at the beginning, then reads the story with the student, and finally times the study again to determine if their fluency has improved. One Minute Reader also has a vocabulary component. After students read the story for the first time, they are able to click on the highlighted vocabulary words to hear how it sounds and a definition for what it means. Students also hear the word within another sentence. As students work through their book packages, they can continuously fill in the crossword puzzle with all the vocabulary words from that package. The last component of Language Arts that One Minute Reader focuses on is comprehension. At the end of every story, the app has students complete 3-4 comprehension questions. Usually, I have found these questions focus on the big idea of the text. Some questions are also about the meaning of a particular word in the story, which is usually challenging for students because the words chosen always have multiple meanings depending on the context.

Immediate Feedback- Immediate feedback happens continuously throughout One Minute Reader. Right after students complete the 'cold read,' students are given their fluency score immediately after. This cold timing score is calculated by timing students for one minute and having the student tap the last word they read. The only issue with this app is that it does not account for accuracy. It does not deduct the words students missed or read incorrectly. This is something you may want to keep track of yourself. After the fluency number is calculated, the app visually depicts the number as a thermometer for students to see how many words they initially could read (this is the blue part of the thermometer in the last picture above). After some scaffolding to practice the story, students are then told to read the story again while they get timed for one minute. Students can time themselves as many times as they would like until they are pleased with their score. Once the student has selected the score (hot timing) they are happy with, the app immediately shows the difference between the cold timing and hot timing. This is done by showing the thermometer again and increasing the difference with red (as shown in the picture above). This immediately shows students how they have progressed after working on their fluency throughout the app.

Scaffolding: My favourite component to the app is how it scaffolds students to practice fluency. After the initial cold read, the app practices the story with students by reading the story out loud. This section is called Read Along because students are expected to read along with the app. To support students with keeping up and not loosing their place, the app highlights what sentence the app is currently reading so that students can still see the words they are trying to read along with (see middle picture above). It is a fantastic feature and has really supported my own students' fluency development. After reading along a few times, my students' fluency scores go up about 20 words. It is a great way for students to hear how to fluently read and to practice many high frequency words within the story. This feature also supports independent work since the teacher does not have to be the one reading the story with a student. The app has a voice built in and programmed to read the story.

Reward System: One Minute Reader has a unique reward system. Students can first earn some points throughout the app, but I have not yet discovered what students can use these points towards. I am assuming they are just to encourage students. On top of these points, students are working to earn letters towards a joke jumble. This reward system is just for the comprehension component. Each book package has a joke question and whenever students get a comprehension question correct, they earn another letter towards the joke's answer. I have found this reward system to be really engaging and motivating. It also gives students a good laugh at the end of their package!

Assessment: One Minute Reader further provides a lot of data that can be used to assess students on the spot or assess students' reading progress over time. Each story ends with immediate feedback for students and teachers to view. It shows the cold timing, hot timing, and other scores students received while practicing. It further shows the score students received for comprehension. This is shown in the last picture above. After a whole book package is complete, the teacher can then see the data analytics from all five stories to compare how students progressed throughout the package (as shown below). I found this chart to be extremely helpful to see how my students were improving between their cold timings (the initial read without practice). Both of the students I tutor jumped about 10 words between their first cold read and their last cold read in the book package. I also compared these numbers from the whole book package to the numbers from a previous book package that one of my student had completed. I discovered that this student had jumped about 25 words from the very first cold timing to their most recent cold timing! I have only been using this app for about 4 months, and this is the fastest improvement I have ever seen with my student.


Overall, I highly recommend using the One Minute Reader app to build your students' reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. You can also purchase this app based on individual levels if you know you are only working with students at that one level. However, I recommend downloading the general One Minute Reader app so that you can differentiate and easily move students between different levels. Click the icon below to discover more about the One Minute Reader App!