The use of technology in the English language arts classroom is hotly debated, but there's no denying that digital tools can offer unique opportunities for teaching and learning. This is especially true when it comes to teaching literature. Whether it's through interactive lessons or online projects, technology can help bring literature to life in ways that encourage student interest.
If you want to add a layer of technology to your literature units, there are important things to consider before getting started. Let’s take a look at some pointers!
Make sure the tech serves the lesson—and the student.
Does the technology you use help students understand the text better? Or does it help them understand the technology better?
The main concern when using technology to teach literature is that it should help your students meet the learning objectives you've set for them. That's the case whether you're using computers or just books, pens, and paper. If you use a specific technology in your classroom, there should be a specific justification for why that technology is essential to the lesson.
But there are secondary concerns, too.
Teaching with technology that students understand and use themselves on a regular basis could help them engage more thoroughly with the texts you're teaching.
Author and teacher Jordan Shapiro offers this on thinking critically about modern forms of media:
“I don’t advocate for games in the classroom because I think it’s important that people learn about videogames. I do it for two reasons: one is to engage in contextualization; the other reason has to do with fostering a critical way of thinking about media and especially interactive media. Whether you play videogames or not, nobody in the world is going to get through the next 20 years without having gone through some kind of education into the digital, interactive, procedural process.”
Engaging in discourse about new forms of media—not just video games, but also graphic novels, video essays, etc.—will better prepare students to think critically about these forms of media and how to analyze them as texts. This could be important for their future success as these forms of media become increasingly prominent.
Crucial for the literature classroom, most traditional methods of literary analysis can still be applied to works in these new mediums, meaning that many of the skills students develop by analyzing the new forms of media can also be used to study traditional texts.
Or you can teach a traditional text alongside a reinterpretation of that text in a newer medium, as with this choose-your-own-adventure-style game based on Shakespeare's Hamlet. This could lead to all kinds of great discussions and textual analysis—and could help your students develop a new understanding of just what makes Shakespeare's original text so powerful.
Use the internet to your advantage.
The internet is all about connectivity, which is why it’s great for facilitating discussion. If your school uses learning management systems like Google Classroom, Canvas, Blackboard, or Schoology, consider setting up a forum or comments section for your classes in which you and your students can talk about the books you're teaching.
There are a couple advantages to this approach:
- You can ask your students questions or post comments about the book anytime.
- Answer a student's question once, and it's there for everyone to see. Students with similar questions get their problems solved at the same time, saving you time and effort.
Of course, there are some things to be careful about:
- The internet can be a notoriously toxic environment. Make sure that when you set up your forum, the only people who can access it and post comments to it are you and your students.
- Privacy concerns! If you're unable to restrict access to only you and your students, then anyone who knows your forum's web address can access it—including harassers and bullies. Students should be advised to provide as little personal information as possible. You may want to have your students use nicknames rather than their real names.
- To make sure you and your students are the only ones who can post comments, you'll all have to register accounts with the website hosting your forum. This is a more minor concern than the previous two, but it's still something to think about.
Be aware of emerging technologies.
As we know, technology is always evolving. What’s new one day could be obsolete the next. While you shouldn’t drop everything you’re using and immediately adopt the newest tools as soon as they appear, you should generally be aware of what’s happening out there.
Today, one of the biggest types of technology that has people talking is artificial intelligence (AI). As we mentioned previously on our blog, artificial intelligence has been under development for years but only recently became accessible to the public. Now, many teachers are using AI in the classroom to augment their lessons and assist with certain tasks like grading and planning. Some ELA educators are even using AI tools to supplement (but not replace!) literature-based activities and exercises.
Incorporate technology to enhance traditional reading experiences.
New programs and reading platforms offer you quite a bit of flexibility in how you deliver educational content to your students. Some platforms make it easy to blend online learning with more traditional experiences. Take KeyLit, for example.
KeyLit is our digital, interactive learning program featuring rigorous, standards-aligned lessons and assessments. It’s designed to guide students, working independently or in class, through a close reading of famous literary texts to help build critical reading skills. It can also help individualize lessons and target where students are struggling, making holding students accountable easier for you.
With KeyLit, students can explore brilliant works of literature without feeling like they’re completing scary summative assessments. Many of the lessons within KeyLit follow a multiple-choice question format asking students to recall key plot points, uncover character motivations, or analyze figurative language. A few multiple-choice questions that deal with more complicated ideas are “opinion questions” that are graded on completion. These are sprinkled throughout, allowing students to consider how they interpret an especially confusing passage risk-free.
Every KeyLit unit features discussion boards with thought-provoking response questions. This workspace allows students to express their ideas about the literary work, cite direct evidence from the text, and interact virtually with one another.
In addition to its exploratory nature, KeyLit allows you to hold students accountable without extra work for you. Each lesson features a plot-based reading quiz that objectively helps you determine who read and who didn’t. All questions are standards-aligned, allowing you to see which standards your students excel at and which need more attention. KeyLit even displays objectives at the top of each lesson so students clearly see what they should take away from the activities they complete. Worried about cheating? Though the questions are all in the same order per lesson, the answer choices are automatically randomized for each screen. Students cannot go back to prior questions once they’ve clicked “next.”
Once students complete a lesson, their submitted work is instantly graded, letting them see their results and find out where they need help. In the gradebook, you can isolate student reports and see which lessons were especially difficult for your class. This gives you the opportunity to create more targeted, individualized lessons without going through stacks of assessments!
The world of technology in the classroom can sometimes feel like the untamed wild West, but KeyLit allows you to harness it into something fun, exploratory, and useful. Give it a try to boost your units and spend more time on the parts of teaching you love!
How have you been using technology in your classroom? Do you have any success stories you want to share? Any challenges you're facing? We'd love to hear from you—let us know on Facebook!
Connect students to the literature you love to teach with KeyLit by Prestwick House! This interactive program uses standards-aligned lessons to guide students through close readings of famous works of literature, helping them develop critical reading and analytical skills along the way.
By using technology, literary texts can be intensified more, for example by turning them into literal hypertexts by introducing different notes (information, open questions, main ideas) and relationships (with other similar materials that can include also student assignments or notes).How would you incorporate technology in teaching literature? ›
- PoetryDaily helps literature/poetry students read, understand, and discuss works and also helps them understand the genre in general.
- SparkNotes offers the opportunity for students to read general analyses of great works in literature, character overviews, and book summaries.
By using technology, literary texts can be intensified more, for example by turning them into literal hypertexts by introducing different notes (information, open questions, main ideas) and relationships (with other similar materials that can include also student assignments or notes).What are the advantages of technology in teaching literature? ›
Technology facilitates teaching languages and studying languages. By enhancing the learning process, technology allows teachers to develop their teaching. The technique continues to grow to make it easier for teachers to learn a language for students.How to incorporate technology in teaching reading and writing lesson? ›
- Use automation. ...
- Monitor and correct language mechanics. ...
- Produce visual data and reporting. ...
- Combine media forms. ...
- Let students collaborate. ...
- Help students publish and promote their own ideas. ...
- Use model-based learning. ...
- Use virtual and augmented reality.
The history of literature has always been influenced by technological progress, as a transformative cultural power—threatening destruction or promising a luminous future—as a theme inspiring new narrative forms and plots, or as a force influencing the way authors conceive textuality and perform their creative work.How do you integrate technology in teaching English? ›
Students can use interactive games to reinforce math, spelling, phonetic, and reading skills. Sites like Spelling Training permit students or teachers to upload their own word lists to practice word pronunciation and create interactive games.How can technology help reading and writing? ›
Computer programs and related technology can aid in the development of fluency in reading and help to expand vocabulary, allowing students to understand the meaning of words. Reading comprehension benefits from technology in the classroom as students are challenged to find meaning in what they have read.How technology helps in learning English? ›
Using tech ensures they have multiple chances to listen throughout the day. If you record your lessons or work in a flipped or blended environment, students can go back and listen to the instructions as many times as needed. Audio books help them listen to the texts they may struggle to read.What is the impact of technology on English language teaching and learning? ›
Computer- based communication technology provides tools for language learners to improve their language skills. Learners are exposed to numerous software programs to improve their reading, listening, speaking skills and grammar knowledge.
- Start with short stories. ...
- Focus on a story's elements. ...
- Involve reading methods. ...
- Use engaging texts. ...
- Show age-relevant media. ...
- Visualize concepts. ...
- Meet with students one-on-one. ...
- Assign small-group discussions.
By having the ability to access and utilize Wikis, Blogs, and Kajour chats allows students to express their feelings without having to be apprehensive about what others may think or say aloud in class. Having these resources for our students increases their abilities to write meaningful text.How has technology influenced the creativity in writing? ›
Since the early writers had limited information to work with, they could organize their thoughts and ideas systematically. Modern writers can easily borrow ideas from other writers. It is easy to copy paste ideas from different websites on a word processor, organize them, and present them as original ideas.How technology helps in teaching and learning? ›
Technology provides teachers with an opportunity to connect with their students in a new way. It allows you to open up lines of communication and use the Internet to explain curriculum material in a new way, which can be very helpful to students.What is the impact of technology in developing your reading and writing skills? ›
It can both support traditional literacies and introduce new forms in the classroom. Technology can help students discuss their ideas by bringing readers and writers together in the same classroom, and it can help students work together at different times through google documents and blogging.How does technology affect reading books? ›
3. Digital technology may lead to shallower comprehension. In traditional printed books, the author has (presumably) spent considerable time devising a logical story or line of reasoning. As the reader works his way through the book, he can stop and ponder the unfolding material.What is the impact of digitalization on literature? ›
The impact of digitization on Literature is that it acts as a great leveler, such that students and researchers are able to find the digital world as a repository of data, accessible at one's convenience and at lower costs. Digitization thus helps in creating a society that is well informed and knowledgeable.What are the positive effects of technology on the English language? ›
First, it adds lots of "jargon vocabulary". Second, it provides meaning to existing words and terms, such as the meaning of 'mouse' and 'keyboard' and so on. Moreover, it produces words on unifying the utterance of people all over the world as they meet each other via social media although they are from remote places.What are the effective technologies for improving English language skills? ›
- Blu-Ray Movies.
- Google Translate.
- Google Search.
- Converse with Siri. Siri is a great tool you can use to ask questions and get other information from on your smartphone. ...
- Online and Smartphone Apps.
What is Technology Literacy? Technology Literacy is using technology to solve problems and accomplish tasks effectively. It includes the ability to use technological tools for problem-solving and critical thinking and the ability to understand how technology works and its uses to improve learning and performance.
Digital literacy is an individual's ability to find, evaluate, and communicate information by utilizing typing or digital media platforms. It is a combination of both technical and cognitive abilities in using information and communication technologies to create, evaluate, and share information.What is the difference between digital literacy and technology literacy? ›
The difference between technology and digital literacy is if technology literacy is an appropriate skill and competence with using technology while digital literacy requires fluent in digital communication, understanding, filtering and manipulation to become successful in the future.What technology is used to improve reading? ›
Optical character recognition (OCR) technologies can scan printed visual text. OCR analyzes scanned text, renders it into digital text form and reads it aloud as TTS. This assistance can be handy in the case of printed classroom materials and homework, library materials, handwritten teacher evaluations and grading.What technology helps students read? ›
Types of assistive technology for reading
Text-to-speech (TTS) lets you see text and hear it read aloud at the same time. To use this tool, you click on or highlight words, and the words are read by a computer-generated voice. TTS works with any digital text.
Due to the current technology, students can easily obtain research data by simply going online. Writing has been simplified by online writing tools and plagiarism scanning tools help them submit original documents. When using the appropriate technologies, students will write better and more effectively.What are the technology tools for English learners? ›
Tools such as infographics, digital word walls, and digital storytelling are all effective for building background, deepening understanding of language and content through multiple and varied interactions, and promoting collaboration and communication—all important indicators of ELs' success in mainstream classrooms.How can technology empower English language teachers and students? ›
- Reclaiming days of instructional time in early elementary grades.
- Shifting attention from lesson planning to active learning.
- Breaking the bottleneck of writing feedback.
- The long-term goal of self-directed learning.
Auto-correction helps foreign and native speakers
Another huge technological innovation for language learners was the rise of autocorrection. From simple text-autocorrect to pronunciation analyzers, auto-correction has made learning languages that much easier.
- Diversifying Classroom Texts. ...
- Complementing Novels With Films. ...
- Scaffolding Student-Led Literary Analysis. ...
- Utilizing Creative Student Reading Responses.
Moreover, lecture-discussion was found to be the most effective strategy in the teaching of literature. It also revealed that teaching strategies were used to address the different learning skills of the students.
There are six approaches in the teaching of literature. They are the (1) Language-Based Approach, (2) Paraphrastic Approach, (3) Information-Based Approach, (4) Personal-Response Approach, (5) Moral-Philosophical Approach, and (6) Stylistic Approach.How technology helps students learn essay? ›
It gives us a chance to saving our time to rewrite the notes in the classroom because we can access them anytime anywhere. It also more effective for teachers, in order to do not waste their time to prepare the notes and jot down the notes on the board. Instead, gives them more time to explain the course better.Why is it important to integrate technology in the classroom? ›
Technology empowers teachers to develop creative and interactive classrooms and gives them access to innovative resources. Effective educators understand the benefits of integrating technology in the classroom and finding new ways to make lessons meaningful.How does technology inspire student learning and creativity? ›
' Digital learning tools allow children to engage and interact with content, forcing students to harness their creativity to overcome challenges, create content and personalize their own learning experience.What is creative use of technology? ›
Examples of creative technology include multi-sensory experiences made using computer graphics, video production, digital music, digital cinematography, virtual reality, augmented reality, video editing, software engineering, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, CAD/CAM and wearable technology.How does a literary device contribute to the formation of creative writing? ›
Literary devices are tools used by writers to better express their ideas and enhance their creative writing. These devices help highlight special concepts and ideas using text. As a result, it enhances the readers understanding of the text.How technology supports the constructivist approach in teaching and learning? ›
Constructivists believe that technology should be used by the students as a tool to explore problem solutions and acquire new information. Once this is done then the learners can apply their own meaning to the new knowledge.What can you do to incorporate digital literacy skills into your teaching in the future? ›
- Emphasise the importance of critical thinking. ...
- Use social media for learning and collaborating. ...
- Provide guidance on how to avoid plagiarism. ...
- Teach students to manage their online identity. ...
- Help students manage digital distractions. ...
- Provide authentic contexts for practice.
Computer programs and related technology can aid in the development of fluency in reading and help to expand vocabulary, allowing students to understand the meaning of words. Reading comprehension benefits from technology in the classroom as students are challenged to find meaning in what they have read.How does technology help teachers in teaching English language learning? ›
Language teachers can use a wide range of digital resources, such as e-books, audio files, videos, and online articles, to supplement their teaching materials. These resources offer increased flexibility and can be easily updated, making them a valuable tool in language teaching.
Online resources improve student learning and retention.
Through videos, learning games, and images, teachers can show students colorful, stimulating examples of the material that they're trying to teach. Subjects that are historically dry or difficult to grasp can be turned vibrant and interesting.
There are three main types of skills within digital literacy. These are consuming skills, creating skills, and communicating skills.How technology improve reading skills? ›
Additional opportunities to build background knowledge
One factor that influences reading comprehension is the background the reader brings to the text. Through technology students can access images and other content to help expand their knowledge of time periods, locations, and contexts.
Technology helps by making it easy to edit written work, engage with ideas and content in multiple modalities, and practice oral fluency without stress as they record, listen, and rerecord.What are the methods of teaching English language and literature? ›
There are very famous and productive methods of teaching English. Some popular methods are Grammar-cum-Translation, Direct Method, Audio-Lingual, Suggestopedia, and Silent Way. The methodology of teaching English differs from person to person.What are the advantages of information technology in teaching English language? ›
Technology provides an even greater avenue for interaction between teacher and students. At the English lessons different videos, exercises, games, listening drills may be done. Information technology makes learning English available to a wider range of learners as well.Which situation shows that technology can be used to motivate students to learn? ›
There are several ways to increase students' motivation using technology, such as: Videos – Educational videos can be used to boost students' motivation. This new approach has a great impact because most of the students are visual learners.