Thursday, July 2, 2015

Actively Learn - Create, Distribute, Assess Reading Activities

Actively Learn was one of my favorite discoveries at the ISTE conference this week. Actively Learn provides teachers with a platform through which they can create, distribute, and assess reading activities.

To get started on Actively Learn first register for an account then create your first classroom within your account. Students join your Actively Learn classroom by entering a class code at After creating your classroom you can begin adding reading assignments to it.

To create an assignment in your Actively Learn classroom you can select from thousands of articles arranged by topic, grade level, reading level, and length. Some articles have comprehension questions built into them while others do not. You can add reading comprehension and or discussion questions to any article that you select from the Actively Learn library. You can also upload your own articles as PDFs.

Once you have selected an article and added questions to it, distribute it to your students through your Actively Learn classroom. Students can read and respond to questions directly within the Actively Learn platform. You can require students to answer questions before the next section of an article is revealed to them. In addition to responding to your questions, students can flag sections of an article with "I don't understand." As the teacher you can see those flags and respond to them in your Actively Learn classroom.

Actively Learn has free and paid plans. The free plan includes unlimited assignments and unlimited access to a gradebook. The paid plans provide more tools for analyzing how students work with text beyond responding to your questions.