Friday, July 29, 2016

Module 5: Tech Integration for English and Language Arts

Roblyer & Doering (2013) assert that "reading, writing, and critically analyzing written communications are considered fundamental skills for a literate person, and technologies have much to offer teachers as they help their students develop these skills." (p. 266) I couldn't have said it better myself. Throguh the use of technology in the English classroom, teachers can provide students with memorable and engaging educational experiences as long as they can avoid a few potential pitfalls.

Advantages of Integrating Technology

One of the more interesting pieces of emerging tech is the word cloud, a block of text which is based off of "the frequency of words used in a text." (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, p. 268) While this tool might initially seem a little simplistic, it actually can be used to improve students' writing skills by showing them things like redundancies, core ideas, and dependencies on certain modifiers (looking at you, "very") 

Additionally, English classrooms allow students to improve their digital literacy through the use of blogs, which lend themselves particularly well to the English classroom setting. (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, p. 268) By blogging their way through a text, students are able to not only practice their writing skills but also engage with their classmates with regards to sections they find compelling or confusing. Wikis offer a similar level of engagement by having "users contribute or modify content." (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, p. 268)

Disadvantages of Integrating Technology

Of course, for every benefit to integrating tech in the English classroom, there are disadvantages to be considered. For instance, due to the technological nature of communication, many schools are wondering if cursive writing instruction is necessary in schools anymore. (Roblyer & Doering, 2013, p. 271) Due to the prevalence of typing and word processing, as well as the infrequency of cursive use, many schools are deeming this instruction unimportant. Others, though, argue that the benefits to students' motor skills are worth the time investment. A similar argument exists for QWERTY keyboarding as many believe that "proper" typing is just a rigid way to enforce a one manner in which to type.

Specific Activities, Programs, etc

Useful activities and programs for the English classroom include:
Word Clouds
Phoenetics Software
Virtual Tours
Augmented Reality Reading
Electronic Annotation
Electronic Outlining
Concept Mapping
Grammar Checkers
Online Thesaurus
Digital Publishing


Roblyer, M.D. & Doering, A.H. (2013). Integrating educational technology into teaching (6th ed.). Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice Hall.


  1. Hey Jake,

    I don't know about you but I definitely feel that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. According to Patricia Edwards (2010) as stated by Roblyer and Doering (2013) “If students are to successfully meet the social political, and economic demands of their futures, they must be able to adapt and re-invent the ways that they read and write the world” (p. 268). With the way technology is today most important documents are now digital and reformatted for easier reading. Technology has to be taught and it's a shame that cursive skills are disappearing with that but technically that is not the fault of technology. The lack for a need to know cursive and the interpretation of it being considered out-dated, is what is keeping it from being taught. I also just never really liked cursive lol.

  2. I think English is one of the most easily integrated subject areas and also has many benefits. Technology can open the English classroom to so much collaborative thought. Roblyer and Doering (2012) state the importance of this collaborative method in saying that "Another reason that new literacies demand a more social environment is that teaching and learning are no longer confined to a traditional classroom context." (p. 269) The programs you mentioned such as creating wiki are a great way of creating a more social learning environment.