Free Digital Literacy Resources for Your Classroom

Listed below, you will find a growing list of online resources related to the integration of technology and literacy in school classrooms. For now, the resources are arranged alphabetically.


  • Awesome Stories.com, The Story Place of the Web provides a free and interactive online learning experience designed to facilitate the use of primary source material in your classroom. The searchable database contains links to primary source documents and informational websites framed in the context of cohesive stories and/or summaries of science, history, and social studies content. Educators are given free access to the information. To learn more, visit http://www.awesomestories.com/
  • Center for Implementing Technology in Education includes a Moving Forward with Technology Webinar Series, a technology matrix of assistive technology supports, an online research center, and a Learning Center with “Learning in Brief” articles for guidance on specific topics from the research literature.
  • Digital Directions is a new publication from Education Week. The quarterly magazine focuses on trends and advice for K-12 technology leaders with a goal of making each successive issue more useful than the last one. A perusal of the articles in the first two issues leads one to believe that the editors are well on their way towards this goal. Topics include practical classroom applications and issues of concern for technology educators alongside trends and new ideas within the field of educational technology. In the fall, 2007 issue, topics include wikis in the classroom, interactive whiteboards, email overload, and digital equity. Online versions of the magazine are currently available free at http://www.edweek.org/dd/toc/2007/09/12/index.html. Paper copies of the first two editions are available for purchase online at www.edweek.org in the product webstore.
  • Ed/ItLib Digital Library for Information Technology and Education is a digital library of tables of contents for peer-reviewed and published international journal articles and conference papers on the latest research, developments, and applications related to all aspects of Educational Technology and E-Learning. This resource helps you quickly locate items to access through your local university or town library services.
  • Free-Reading Net is an “open source” instructional program designed to help teachers teach early reading. It contains a growing scope and sequence of activities that can support and supplement an early reading program. The state of Florida recently adopted this resource as an approved reading curriculum in their schools.
  • Global Virtual Classroom is a free online educational program designed to promote communication, collaboration and understanding among students around the world. Each year, students from 7 to 18 years old and their teachers are invited to join a contest in which schools from around the world build websites judged on their content and presentation. Contests run from October through April and include both a primary school and secondary school category.
  • Horizon K-12 Project wiki is the workspace for the annual report focusing on emerging technology and its applications for K-12 education. Members of the K-12 education community are encouraged to follow the Advisory Board's progress as the discussion unfolds and to use the wiki as a resource and reference tool. You can also download each year’s annual report that has a wealth up visionary information about up and coming technologies and their potential for learning in classrooms.
  • iCue: (Immerse, Connect, Understand, and Excel) is a fun, innovative learning environment built around video from the NBC News Archives. It was developed by the MIT Education Arcade and includes thousands of videos, games, and activities correlated to courses in U.S. History, U.S. Government and Politics, English Language and Composition, and more. Students can explore and collect cue cards, view multimedia resources, use the digital note taker, and exchange ideas on the discussion board. The site is reserved for learners who are at least 13 years old, but students and teachers can register for
    free. Take the short tour to learn more.
  • Internet in Education is a blog maintained by Julie Coiro that links to ideas, resources, and research studies that focus on issues related to using the Internet in schools.
  • IRA Reading Radio was added to IRA’s website in 2010 to air monthly on a radio website for the education community. In each installment, IRA Executive Director William Harvey interviews an expert on a key topic relating to reading education. For December 2009, the Dr. Harvey interviewed Peter Johnston about Literacy 2.0: Rethinking Teaching, Learning, and Assessment in the Digital Age. In January 2010, IRA’s President Kathryn H. Au will share her views about Culturally Responsive Instruction.
  • Jing is a free online tool to easily and quickly capture anything you see on your computer screen and/or make a movie with your own voice and share it instantly in an image or short movie. There is a companion Help Center and Jing Blog to provide tech support or exchange ideas for sharing your work with others.
  • Juicy Studio Website Readability Tests. This resource lets you input any website address (URL) and calculate an estimated readability of the site using one of three popular readability formulas. It also provides a link to an informative review titled “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Readability Tests.”
  • Model Intelligent Classrom is a joint venture between Dell and Intel, is designed to demonstrate the ways in which technology is effective in enhancing student learning. Explore information about upcoming grants, case studies about best practices, Intelligent classroom blogs, succinct integration tip sheets, and much more.
  • Official Kid's Portal for the U.S. Government is an incredible up-to-date database that links to over 1,200 web resources from government agencies, schools, and educational organizations – all geared to the learning level and interest of kids. Links are organized for Grades K-5, Grades 6-8 and Educators and points students and teachers to some of the best educational websites on the Internet.
  • Route 21 - This online interactive tool aligns with the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework. It is a continually growing database of resources that demonstrates how 21st century skills and knowledge development can be supported through standards, professional development, assessments, curriculum, and instruction.
  • Teaching with the Internet K-12: New Literacies for New Times - Companion website to the book by the same title by Donald J. Leu, Deborah Leu, and Julie Coiro
  • Wordle is an online tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. Simply enter in single words, change the font, color, and organization of the words, click go, and magic! Learn how teachers are using Wordle at http://www.techedknow.com/?p=56

TILE-SIG's Educational Blog Watch
  • Spring 2010: Langwitches Blog: The Magic of Learning - http://langwitches.org/blog/ - This blog contains a wealth of thoughts, ideas, and projects developed by Silvia Tolisano, a technology integration facilitator and 21st century learning specialist. Ms. Tolisano’s blog points you to rich interactive online resources on a daily basis, which earned her a 2009 Edublog Award for “Best Educational Tech and Support Blog”. In addition to the daily blog posts, the menu items along the right side of her blog point you to amazing resources on digital storytelling, blogging unit plans, and many ideas for global collaboration with students around the world. The Portfolios tab contains inspirational examples of what students can do with the digital tools while learning and other sections of her blog are devoted to videos and educational articles she has written and compiled to share the excitement of online learning with others. You’ll want to visit this blog often!
  • Summer 2009: 23 Things on a Stick: A Library Learning 2.0 Program - http://23thingsonastick.blogspot.com/2007/12/what-are-23-things-on-stick.html
    Why not use some time this summer to catch up on all of the innovative new technologies emerging for use in school! This blog has been set up by the state of Minnesota to encourage educators to experiment and learn how new technologies change how information is used and created on the Internet. It is structured as a self-discovery online learning program with some portions reserved only for Minnesota library and media educators, but most of the 23 lessons and hyperlinked resources are accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, this is one blog you won’t want to miss! You will surely find something worth using in your classroom next fall.
  • Fall 2008: Just One More Book: A podcast about children’s books and why we love them - http://www.justonemorebook.com/
    Just One More Book began in 2006 as the brainchild of Andrea Ross, a long time children’s literature enthusiast, and her husband, Mark Blevis, a social media strategist and podcasting expert. The website integrates discussions and listener-submitted audio reviews of their favorite children’s books and weekly podcast interviews with authors, illustrators, and enthusiasts in the areas of children’s literature and literacy. The website promotes literacy and and a lively, interactive community linking authors, readers, and publishers with parents, educators, and librarians. This would be a great resource to share with families seeking to explore safe and innovative ways of using new technologies (e.g., blogs and podcasts) with their children.
  • Summer 2008: Snapshots of Technology Integration - http://snapshots.techforschool.org/
    In this blog, MaryAnn Sansonetti, a technology integration specialist from Columbia, South Carolina, shares a range of insights about how to merge technology with education. In many of her posts, MaryAnn reflects on the sessions she has attended at several conferences throughout the year, and she often embeds links to related resources and handouts within her postings. MaryAnn also relates her discoveries with Web 2.0 tools like blogs, wikis, ipods, and social networking to the opportunities students have to learn with these tools. The posts found here offer a refreshing chance to peek into one teacher’s ponderings about the potential values inherent in using new information and communication technologies in your classroom. This blog is a great place to enjoy an afternoon of relaxing summer reading!
  • Spring 2008: Rachel Boyd’s Room 9 at Nelson Central School in New Zealand - http://room9nelsoncentral.blogspot.com/
    Rachel Boyd, the creator of this blog series, is a primary school teacher of 5-7 year olds in Nelson, New Zealand. Her classroom blog chronicles the literacy development of her students and provides a window into their reflections on a range of learning experiences, their exploration with digital photography skills and writing for different purposes, and their thoughts about classroom life from their perspective. You can also link from her blog to their class podcasts, wiki, collection of Flickr photos, and lists of collaborative classroom buddies to begin to understand the benefits students gain through the integrated use of information and communication technologies. Visit her Blogger homepage to access the entire classroom blog series from 2007 and 2008.
  • Fall 2007: Sandaig Primary School in Glasgow, Scotland - http://www.sandaigprimary.co.uk/pivot/index.php
    If you are wondering how you might begin to use blogs with young children at your school, this is a great site to explore!! The Sandaig Primary School in Glasgow Scotland hosts a number of blogs that were created by young students and their teachers to exchange and comment on book reviews, poetry, ecological news about their community, classroom projects and much, much more. A special “Radio Sandaig” blog features student podcasts on a range of activities including reports, articles, and special school performances. Surely something here will spark an idea for your own classroom adventures with blogging!