The Tech-Savvy Teacher: Digital Texts in the Classroom - Simply Skilled Teaching

The Tech-Savvy Teacher: Digital Texts in the Classroom


I’ve been in the teaching profession long enough to have seen the debate come full circle. It’s no longer a question of whether or not you should incorporate digital texts within your classroom: it’s a given. Digital texts are here to stay in the classrooms of America; and I for one think that’s a good thing.

The Common Core State Standards recognize the need for students to achieve digital literacy in order to prepare them for the 21st century demands of college, career and life. So let’s prepare them. We won’t ever lose our love of books; but there’s a vast array of quality digital texts available. It’s our job to see that our students encounter good literature in both formats.

Digital Texts Provide Flexibility in the Classroom

There’s an increased amount flexibility that’s available when you incorporate digital texts in your classroom literacy program. For starters, the font size can be increased to make text larger and easier to read. The background can be changed and words highlighted for later reference. Many reading apps offer access to a dictionary, so students can look up word meanings while still in the text. Struggling students, as well as students with learning disabilities, can benefit greatly from text-to-speech or read-aloud features. Assistive technology has come a long way in helping make texts accessible to all students. The bottom line is, while we must provide access to plenty of books with “real” paper pages for our kiddos to flip through and pore over, we also need to give them access to an array of quality digital texts.

Digital Texts Provide Accessibility — Both In and Out of the Classroom

Digital libraries give students opportunities to encounter texts they can read not only at school, but also anyplace where they have online access. The majority of your students already use digital technology outside your classroom; and their parents grew up in the digital age. Whether they see them in our classroom or not, our students encounter digital texts containing hyperlinks and embedded images and videos. While we all know that too many links can be a distraction, we also know that if used correctly, hyperlinks can also provide additional support and content that helps students build knowledge and extend meaning from the texts they read. It’s important to give our students the tools they need to safely and properly access the vast amount of online information and material that’s available to them as they grow.

Big Books and E-Books — Your Students Need Both!

Your kiddos love it when you convene the whole group on the rug for a read-aloud of a big book. They also enjoy the experience of having rich, well-crafted literature being read aloud to them through digital access. Incorporate a listening center or computer center in your literacy rotation to allow students to play learning games or listen to books being read online. Often the illustrations in digital texts are colorful and vivid, making stories and texts come to life; and students benefit from carefully-enunciated, expressive reading of quality, well-written texts.

I know you’re committed to your job of teaching students to read; and I know you use every tool at your disposal to help them succeed. That’s why it’s so important to have a library of quality digital texts that are available for your students. It’s also why I am so excited to share with you a new resource that I’m so proud of! You’re gonna want to make plenty room on your teacher toolbelt for this one!

introducing guided readers

Teaching Reading Just Got Easier, with Guided Readers!

Your job is to use all the tools available to you to effectively light the fire of literacy in the minds of young readers. That’s why I’m SO excited to introduce to you a highly effective tool for your Guided Reading instruction! Guided Readers helps you teach with rigor and address 21st-century literacy skills with your students.

The Fastest Route to Guided Reading Success…

Ready to incorporate more digital texts in your classroom? Then you will LOVE the Guided Readers Sprout or Bloom plans! Each of these plans includes digital leveled readers for all reading levels. The Digital Interactive Reader helps students with decoding and comprehension skills as they listen to and engage with stories. They can listen to stories being read aloud, as well as record their own reading to improve their oral comprehension, decoding and fluency. In addition, the Guided Readers Teacher Portal allows you as the teacher to listen to and assess student recordings. Your students can take quizzes on the texts they read, and with the Teacher Portal you can access quiz scores to assess their comprehension.

Hundreds of Leveled Readers, 3 Affordable Plans

All Guided Readers leveled books are professionally leveled through our partnership with Fountas & Pinnell and The fiction books have beautiful illustrations by professional illustrators; and the nonfiction books feature the highest-quality and most eye-catching photographs you can find!
There are already hundreds of leveled readers already on the site, with 20-30 books being added reach week! Books ranging from levels A- Q are currently on the site, and levels R-Z will be added in the upcoming months. There are 3 affordable program plans, now at special introductory prices!

There’s a “Printables” plan, with printable leveled readers, lesson plans and comprehension resources. And both the “Sprout” and “Bloom” plans offer digital reading texts (the “Bloom” plan offers printable and digital texts). Are you ready to merge literacy and technology and rock your Guided Reading instruction? Get Guided Readers!

Whether you use digital texts, traditional books or both; I believe in you, and I’m cheering you on! Want to join a community of teachers just like you? Check out my private Facebook community where I share teaching ideas, fun tips and helpful strategies, as well as some yummy freebies! Click here to join the Facebook group!

Thanks so much for dropping by, teacher peeps. Keep using ALL the tools to teach those kiddos! You are amazing!


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Anna DiGilio


I'm Anna DiGilio

Hi, I'm Anna! I was a primary teacher for over twenty-three years, wife of a firefighter, mother of twin teenage boys, obsessed with being creative and helping teachers and love my Saturday morning quiet cup of coffee!
Thanks for stopping by!



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Hi, I'm Anna! I was a primary teacher for over twenty-three years, wife of a firefighter, mother of twin teenage boys, obsessed with being creative and helping teachers and love my Saturday morning quiet cup of coffee!
Thanks for stopping by!

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