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I have spent some time and gone through this application.  This application reminds me a little bit like Pinterest.  This can collect all things you find interesting on the internet.  It allows you to organize them into "pearls" that stack like a mind map.  Students can use this tool to create online portfolios.  They can upload files as well as type text or bookmark websites.  Their ideas can be organized in any way they see fit.

The price is right for this app.  Free.  There are paid plans that give you more options but you get plenty for free.

So I was reading this morning and came across this article.  Literacy is important for all students.  It opens doors for children and it opens them wide.  We are teachers who teach kids.  We DO NOT teach subjects.  "I am a band teacher!"  WRONG!  You are a teacher of children, not a teacher of a subject.  We are all charged with giving kids skills to take action in the 21st-century global community and in order to do just that, they need literacy skills.
 
If you want kids to get good at writing, have them write.  If you want kids to get better at reading, have them read.  But have them read and write about things they are interested in.  Yes, Hamlet is important, but so are things students are interested in.  
  • The Most Important Lesson Schools Can Teach Kids About Reading: It's Fun - Jeffrey Wilhelm & Michael Smith - The Atlantic

    Reading is indeed crucial to success in school and in careers.

    tags: reading literacy education

    • “The kind of literacy necessary for 21st-century employment requires detailed understanding and complex comprehension.”
    • “If America's students are to remain competitive in a knowledge-based economy, our public schools must greatly accelerate the rate of progress of the last four years and do more to narrow America's large achievement gaps. It is an urgent moral and economic imperative that our schools do a better job of preparing students for today's globally-competitive world.” 
    • Reading is indeed crucial to success in school and in careers.
    • In our study of the out-of-school reading lives of 14 eighth graders who were avid readers of texts often marginalized in schools
    • We found that our participants were remarkably articulate about why they read what they read.  Here’s what they taught us.
    • One reason our participants read was to experience the pleasure of entering a story world.
    • Perhaps our most striking finding is that our participants drew pleasure from using their reading to help them become the kind of people they wanted to become, a kind of pleasure we termed “inner work.”
    • “[Reading’s] like being a detective almost. It’s taking the evidence and the information and everything that’s happened, taking all that and putting it together. Processing through it and seeing what ends connect, and then finding, once all those ends connect, what that last piece is.” 
    • We’ve come away from our study thinking that teachers of reading and literature need to make pleasure more central to our practice. 
    • instructors should be mindful of the variety of pleasures that readers experience and not privilege intellectual pleasures, the characteristic province of school.
    • If we want students to embrace reading now and always, then we need to keep at the forefront of our attention the rich, complex, and profound pleasures of reading