Friday, November 3, 2017

How to Instantly Increase Interaction Using Insert Learning

Q: How can I get my students to interact with their text? So many students seem to read without stopping to reflect or make meaning of the content. 

Many of us are enthusiastic to explore opportunities in flipping, differentiating, and screen casting in an attempt to increase reader interaction with texts.

One simple Chrome extension called Insert Learning allows you (and your students!) to do all three, on nearly any page of the Internet.

Insert Learning creates instant interactivity on nearly any web page by allowing you to add
  • highlights,
  • annotations and definitions (to accompany those highlights),
  • sticky notes (which can contain links, YouTube videos, or screen casts),
  • open ended questions,
  • multiple choice questions (instantaneously graded), and 
  • discussion questions (the responses to which are visible to all students).
The following video demonstrates the ease with which this extension is used.

What's awesome is that when students load the extension onto any page, even those that you haven't assigned with tasks, they can then highlight, annotate, and create sticky notes with screen cast videos. One student, for example, may visit three different sites to research the traits and habits that make the cheetah such an effective predator. Even after the student closes those sites, she can reactivate all notes, highlights, etc. on that same site, even weeks later, by simply launching the Insert Learning extension again while on that page. This is an incredibly simple way to create a close reading experience with online content.

The video below shows you how you, as the teacher, will be able to view student-created annotations from the main teacher document which you've assigned. What the video doesn't show is that students can paste a sticky note into the document and access their device's built-in camera and microphone to record themselves. A student-generated video would be a great way for a teacher to hear a student's fluency in reading a passage from the given text, or to simply have the student share an oral versus written response.

The free version allows you to create and store five lessons, which provides ample opportunity to see the power of this extension. Go to Insert Learning and give it a go!

If you're looking a site that offers free nonfiction sources that work perfectly with Insert Learning, check out Wonderopolis.

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