Common Sense

TOP PICKS | 16 TOOLS

Best Digital Reading Apps and Websites

Digital technology makes it easier than ever to help students connect with and understand what they're reading. These picks -- our favorite e-reading platforms -- let students read at their own pace and level, engage in discussions in the margins, or answer questions and prompts as they read to guide and gauge learning.

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Top Picks

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Raz-Kids

Solid choice for leveled readings and progress-tracking

Bottom line: Trusty -- if a tad dated -- tool for helping younger students become proficient in many aspects of reading.

LeVar Burton Kids Skybrary School

Thorough lesson plans help teachers utilize an amazing digital library

Bottom line: Though it could use some updates, Skybrary School has a set of top-quality resources with great value worth checking out.

Lexia Reading Core5

Interactive reading program promotes targeted, individualized growth

Bottom line: A good blended reading platform that offers students some choices, and teachers actionable data and useful offline resources.

Epic! - Unlimited Books for Kids

Free, expansive digital library unlocks treasure trove of books

Bottom line: This large collection of books and videos on a wide variety of topics is an easy -- and free -- enhancement to any classroom library.

NowComment

Rich collaboration and discussion site engages students and teachers

Bottom line: It's a versatile discussion platform for teaching, peer reviewing, and fostering active reading, and offers much more than traditional word processors.

Read&Write

Useful text-to-speech app and extension unlocks the written word

Bottom line: A valuable tool to make classroom use of websites and digital documents more accessible to all students.

LightSail

Robust, full-featured reading app measures meaningful literacy gains

Bottom line: A powerful, well-designed literacy platform for developing engaged readers.

Newsela

Absorbing daily news stories offer kids just-right learning content

Bottom line: Up-to-date, high-interest articles meet students right at their level: Use this robust tool to bolster students' nonfiction reading practice.

Accelerated Reader 360

Boundless, flexible tools promote instructional, independent reading

Bottom line: A stellar literacy platform for assessing student reading levels and promoting further reading.

Rewordify

Text-leveling tool gives every student access to complex readings

Bottom line: This utilitarian differentiation tool is useful enough to be in every teacher's toolbox.

StudySync

Superb ELA resource has comprehensive coverage, tons of supports

Bottom line: StudySync offers a complete core literacy program for secondary schools, making it easy to recommend, especially for teachers new to digital platforms.

Actively Learn

Empowering social ereader keeps kids actively, independently engaged

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

ThinkCERCA

Well-structured lessons encourage deep analysis, thoughtful writing

Bottom line: This is a ready-to-go, research-backed resource that focuses intently on CCSS-aligned and AP-level critical reading and writing skills.

CommonLit

Feature-rich literacy resource offers superb support for readers

Bottom line: Access a hefty collection of reliable, ready-to-print, leveled passages that allow you to tailor lessons, assign online reading, and track progress.

InsertLearning

Useful Chrome extension lets teachers add interactivity to websites

Bottom line: A potential go-to tool for teachers focused on building critical reading skills, especially those in Chromebook classrooms.

Serial Reader

Literary app chunks out classic texts for on-the-go reading

Bottom line: Useful if pedagogically limited option for teachers to introduce students to the classics, or prep for future units.

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