News

App of the Week: Way more than your average e-reader

By Stephen Noonoo
November 16th, 2015

Ed. note: App of the Week picks are now being curated with help from Graphite by Common Sense Media. Click here to read the full app review.actively-learn

What’s It Like? Actively Learn is an interactive e-reading platform where students can highlight and annotate text as they read. What’s more, it lets teachers assign texts to students, and groups of students, so that whole classes can read, annotate, and interact around a text. The site contains thousands of free ELA, science, and history texts, from “The Picture of Dorian Gray” to George Washington’s Farewell Address. Don’t see what you want? Teachers can upload any text of their choosing, from online articles to your own media. You can also use, rent, or buy copyrighted materials through the platform (depending on the version you’re using).

Price: Free and monthly subscription versions

Grades: 4-12

Pros: It’s a very easy-to-use tool with excellent Common Core-aligned lessons built right in.

Cons: More science and technical texts would round out the site.

Bottom line: Far beyond the average e-reader, this tool helps students connect and stay engaged while teachers easily measure progress.

About the Author:

Stephen Noonoo

Stephen Noonoo is a former editor of eSchool News. He has served as a consultant for CUE, California’s ISTE affiliate, and as managing editor of its quarterly publication, OnCUE. He has worked as a freelance writer, an education editor for SmartBrief newsletters, and as a staff editor for a well-known publication focusing on education technology.