Friday, October 17, 2014

ISTE Literacy PLN / Newsletter - Lit TECH Times: Volume 1, Issue 1 - Octorber, 2014

Lit TECH Times: Volume 1, Issue 1- October 2014The Literacy Professional Learning Network (formerly, the Literacy Special Interest Group) is pleased to kick off the 2014/2015 school year with the following announcements:

#ISTELitChat LAUNCH  Beginning Sunday, 10/19/2014, 8PM/EST the ISTE Literacy PLN will moderate a twitter chat on literacy and technology to promote learning. Join us for the conversation using the hashtag #ISTELitchat. All are welcome. We will hold monthly twitter chats with the hashtag #ISTELitChat
addressing trending topics related to literacy and technology moderated by the ISTE Literacy PLN and other noteworthy guest educators. Are you new to twitter?

Check out:

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning's Twitter for Educators Beginner's Guide


Edudemic's Teacher's Guide to Twitter  

LITERACY JOURNAL SUBMISSIONS REQUESTED The PLN is actively looking for articles to include in its next issue of Literacy Special Interest, its own professional journal. The journal publishes articles by literacy teachers and those who support them that are written in an accessible style and that address important issues in Technology Supported Literacy Instruction. This is a great opportunity to get your ideas and your voice published.

Those interested in submitting articles for inclusion in the journal should first submit a summary to, putting the words "Journal Article Summary" in the subject of the email. On receiving feedback from the journal, prospective submitters may complete and submit a full manuscript. We hope to get the upcoming Issue #3 out before the first of the year.


The PLN Leadership Committee is planning additional professional development activities, like a book study. More on this soon.

Would you like to suggest a book study for the PLN to run? Or perhaps help run it? Would you care to help create a Literacy Instruction Webinar with the PLN?

We’d be very interested in your participation in helping the Leadership Committee produce an event.


You’ll find a podcast, along with some text-based info, on the PLN’s Birds of a Feather session held at the ISTE Conference this past June. For this session the PLN partnered with CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) to highlight CAST’s new resource UDIO. UDIO promises to be an important resource to promote and improve Middle School Reading and Writing Skills (with applications for lower and higher grades, as well). Follow this link to the PLN’s blog post detailing the session and providing a link to the session’s Podcast >>>

The podcast features an in-depth interview with Graham Gardner, Research Associate at CAST, who describes UDIO and how teachers can become involved in using it.

Please check the PLN blog ( ) for future podcasts and other special items from the PLN.
The PLN has applied to the ISTE Conference Committee to present a special session at the upcoming ISTE Conference in Philadelphia this coming June.

Hopefully, an upcoming issue of this newsletter will carry information about the session, its time and date, and inviting you to attend.

Connect with the Literacy PLN: +

#ISTELitChat   +    


Literacy Professional Learning NETWORK Leadership Committee:

Mark Gura 
Suzanne Buhner
Michele Haiken, Ed.D.
Sharon Kinsey
Ashley Kemper
BJ Neary
Evelyn Wassel, Ed.D.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Special Podcast Episode: UDIO, a New Literacy Resource from CAST

Graham Gardner, Research Associate at CAST
(Center for Applied Special Technology)
This episode features an interview with Graham Gardner of CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology). At the recent planning and visioning meeting of the Literacy Professional Learning Network at the annual ISTE Conference, Graham made a presentation about UDIO, CAST's new Literacy resource directed at Middle School Reading Instruction. Graham and podcast host, Mark Gura, recorded this in-depth discussion about UDIO shortly after the meeting.
Click the arrow above to listen to this Special Episode 
(player may take several seconds to begin)
Direct link:


Links for UDIO and CAST

Want to get involved with UDIO? Email:

Care to share a comment with Graham or the Literacy PLN about UDIO?
Either use the "Comments" feature of this blog or email the podcast at:
National Center on the Use of Emerging Technologies to Improve Literacy Achievement for Students with Disabilities in Middle School
Article:  All Along
Ed. The Magazine of the Harvard Graduate School of Education



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Joint ISTE's LITERACY Professional Learning Network for a special session at the 2014 ISTE Conference in Atlanta and see a demonstration by CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology - source of Universal Design for Learning) of its new resource UDIO created specifically to improve Literacy Learning.

Want some quick background on all of this? See this short article just published in EdTechDigest:

Every Student Can Learn

Students aren’t defective, materials and resources are.
GUEST COLUMN | by Mark Gura

This past semester I taught a required course for Instructional Technology majors. Trust me, there’s nothing like swapping ideas with 30 early-career technology teachers to give you a good snapshot of the state of thinking in this field. This was a great learning experience for me as well as the students and chief among its many strong points, this was my first opportunity to use the Center for Applied Special Technology, or CAST’s, ‘Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning’ as the keystone text in a graduate level Education course. I, of course, had been familiar with this important work previously, but this was a great opportunity to look at it with fresh eyes — those of my students. And wow! It proved to be not just the good, informational text I had hoped for, but a truly transformational one.
I’ll paraphrase this book’s very wonderful, central idea:
Students who don’t succeed in learning through traditional instruction don’t do so because of some defect or deficit or learning disability on their part, but rather, because the materials and resources they are presented with are inflexible and unsuitable to meet their particular, personal needs as learners.

Read the full article at its source:

Friday, May 30, 2014


 The Journal of ISTE's LITERACY Professional Learning Network Version:
Read or Download as PDF (requires free registration)

Table of Contents
Editor, Mark Gura Page 4

Text Meets Video in the Blogosphere: Complex Informational Content for Today’s Students by Dr. Rose Reissman Page 6

Using Creative Technology to Engage Struggling Readers and Writers as Producers of Literature by Melinda Kolk Page 12

The Future Is In Their Hands: Using Cell Phones for Literacy Learning by Lisa Nielsen and Willyn Webb Page 21

Boosting Oral Language Fluency through Technology Intensive Literature Exploration (TILE), a Learning Centers Approach by Kevin Amboe Page 32

Learning to Teach with Edmodo: Social Networking-based Activities by Kathy D. Shields Page 44

Using Online Discussions to Develop Literacy Skills and Integrate the NETs by Sandra Wozniak Page 54

Student Led Podcast Projects Make Common Core Literacy skills Come Alive by Dr. Rose Reissman Page 64

Using Technology To Enhance Reading Skills For English Language Learners by Kimberly M. Thomas Page 74