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Engaging Today’s Learners with Technology

Course Objective: By the end of the course, teachers will design and share two lessons that make effective use of technology to engage students in dynamic discussions and encourage both a close reading and critical analysis of an informational text. 


Course Description: 

Lack of student engagement is a frustrating reality for many teachers. This course will focus on two aspects of learning where lack of engagement is particularly prevalent: discussion and reading/analyzing informational texts. 

This summer, we will explore how online discussions can be used to give every student a voice. We’ll delve into question design, strategies aimed at helping students to say something substantial online, and methods for weaving online conversations back into the classroom. 

In addition, the course will explore strategies to help students actively engage with informational texts online. As students read more text online, it’s crucial that educators teach them how to transfer their active reading strategies to the digital environment. We’ll examine how technology can be used to pair texts with students at different reading levels, and we’ll explore creative strategies for driving analysis around informational texts using technology tools.  

Participants will leave with a firm understanding of how to design dynamic online discussions that will enhance real time conversations in the classroom. They will build toolkit with a collection of online resources they can use to connect students with informational texts at their reading level and drive creative analysis of those texts.

Keywords: education technology, edtech, Common Core, student engagement, online discussions, informational texts, close reading, technology integration, web-based technologies, technology toolkit, classroom applications

Audience: Designed for grades 6 - 12 Cross Curricular  Dates: August 1 - 5; See Festival Schedule for times
Format of Course: In-person at Stanford University, part of the Stanford Teaching Festival Cost*: $550 - groups of 3+ paid by school, and international participants
$600 - individual
Units: 2 Status: Open

*Please note: The cost for this course includes parking, a light breakfast, lunch, and reception. This cost does not include lodging or transportation. Please see the Festival Location, Lodging, & Transportation page. 

Course Facilitators: 

Catlin Tucker is a Google Certified Teacher, bestselling author, international trainer, and frequent Edtech speaker, who currently teaches in Sonoma County where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2010. Catlin’s first book Blended Learning in Grades 4-12 is a bestseller and her most recent book Creatively Teach the Common Core Literacy Standards with Technology was published in June 2015. Catlin writes the “Techy Teacher” column for ASCD’s Educational Leadership as well as an internationally ranked education blog at 

Catlin has been teaching for 15 years and training teachers for 7 years. She earned her BA in English from the University of California, Los Angeles and her MA in Education from the University of California, Santa Barbara.