Website review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2020

Glose for Education

Interactive ebooks and web content make reading a social experience

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Grades
6–12
Subjects & Skills
English Language Arts, Communication & Collaboration, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Teachers can upload content from the web or can add books from a vast online library of free or paid downloads.

Cons: Kids may not be interested in the choices available in the free library of classics, and there's no way to individually assign content to students.

Bottom Line: Build collective reading experiences to make challenging texts more approachable and get kids excited about books.

Using Glose for Education, you can start a virtual book club with your students, posing thoughtful questions and highlighting meaningful quotes that kids can discuss. Then teach students how to paraphrase and annotate by highlighting excerpts from books or articles, and have them practice via a discussion thread. Let students create and share their own book cards with questions or excerpts from the shared reading selection, and encourage them to react and respond to each other's cards. Support struggling writers or gauge reading fluency by asking kids to submit voice recordings -- just be aware that anyone in the class will be able to listen to them.

Looking for new ways to teach information literacy? The Chrome extension is a neat feature here. Upload two articles on the same topic from different sources, and start a discussion about bias. Alternatively, post a factual account and an op-ed to spark debate about fact versus opinion. Encouraging kids to engage in deep analysis and point out inconsistencies in both fiction and nonfiction texts will give them a skill that will benefit them for the rest of their reading lives.

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Glose for Education is an online e-reading platform where teachers and students can independently or collaboratively read and interact with texts. Teachers invite their students to join via a class code and choose from a library of over 4,000 free classics or a selection of paid book purchases. Teachers share books with their classes, and students interact by highlighting text, annotating, starting discussions, asking questions, or posting emoji reactions. Multiple font and background options allow users to customize their reading preferences, and there's an option to create voice recordings as well. Teachers who want to share web content with their students can install a Chrome extension that lets teachers clip and share webpages, an especially useful feature for collaborative research projects or companion texts. 

Students may choose to engage in some of the additional features, such as writing book reviews and creating reading lists. Teachers can also view reports that provide snapshots of how students are interacting with the books and web content. Note that it can be a challenge to keep up with all of the students' comments, especially if teachers assign multiple books or articles. There is a Report option to flag inappropriate comments, should they occur, but there's no way to message students privately on the platform. Also, since the platform doesn't allow for comparing texts side by side, teachers wanting to do so will have to find a workaround.

Glose for Education offers the novelty of shared reading experiences, which may excite learners, whether they are schooling remotely or in person. The platform presents opportunities to learn basic skills, such as text features and vocabulary acquisition, as well as more advanced research and annotation skills. In addition, depending on the text chosen, it's possible to engage readers in in-depth analysis, especially if teachers add related articles or companion texts to supplement instruction. 

There's no way to share books with individual students, so teachers will need to be creative in order to meet learners where they are. Some of the student interaction and accessibility features -- such as voice recordings, Dyslexia font, and the ability to change text size and contrast -- solve some common problems struggling readers face. However, some of the more fun features may make it tough to create sustained collaborative reading experiences and may distract readers from making meaning from the content.

Overall Rating

Engagement

It's a nice balance that's likely to satisfy both kids who like to be social and interact and those who just like to observe what others are saying. 

Pedagogy

The ways in which kids can interact with text and with each other make for a cool collaborative experience, but assessing comprehension for every student may be tough.

Support

There are some excellent accessibility features to support struggling students, and teachers can differentiate by varying text and question complexity.


Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

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