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7 New Apps to Take ELA Digital

Adding a little spark to a tired ELA curriculum is as easy as a trip to the App Store.

By Lani Aquino

Spend any time in an ELA teacher’s classroom, and one big, standout element will be all of the tools used for teaching. A large number of the tools used are books, lots and lots of books. While nothing can replace cracking open a book and rifling through the pages of a favorite tale, there are some equally engaging tools that can be accessed by powering up a device and navigating some of the newer apps for ELA. These are 7 newcomers that can help refresh a tired resource toolkit.

Reading Habit- Looking to get older readers exposed to more informational text? Reading Habit curates engaging long-form articles that offer students some more in-depth reads. This $3.99 app allows users to choose topics of interests and dive into 15-30 minute reads. A great way to amp up some reading time and move students away from the constant abbreviated text that is so often the norm in their social media endeavors.

Mulberry Street- Read & Play- Take the first book of beloved Dr. Seuss, add a digital component, and get young readers engaged with reading in a new way. For just $2.99, And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street comes to life in a new and engagingly interactive format! There are surprises and hidden activities found throughout the book as students read along with narration or silently read the text. Students are able to explore vocabulary, and the app will even track time spent reading and pages read.

Oldio- Audiobook Classics- ELA and classics go hand-in-hand. This audiobook app lets users listen to thousands of classic books from a variety of genres, and it’s free! Favorites can be saved, and selections for offline reading can easily be downloaded. A wonderfully affordable way to get students exposed to more classic literature.

I Didn’t Like Hubert- This interactive story takes readers on a journey about seeing past differences and accepting others. Students follow Hubert as he forms an unlikely friendship and teaches a grayscale girl how to explore her uniqueness and come to life in a world filled with color. The book offers some excellent SEL takeaways interspersed with interactive elements that bring the story to life. Well worth the $1.99 price tag.

Reading Game & App for Kids- This $3.99 app can unlock reading for struggling readers and/or ELLs. The innovative app contains a step-by-step reading program that students can work through on their own. The 70-page motion comic tells an engaging tale and exposes students to unique decoding lessons along the way. This is a great find for a variety of age groups. It can be used to help students with learning disabilities or those newly navigating the English language; it’s also a perfect selection for getting new readers started.

Khan Academy Kids- For years, teachers and parents have been turning to Khan Academy to help students learn and navigate a variety of concepts and subjects. The new Khan Academy Kids is all that wonderful content in an app designed for younger learners. Language, Reading and Literacy, and Executive Function and Logic are skills to be explored through engaging interactive activities that align to both the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework and the Common Core. This is a must-have, free download!

Dialogue: Screenplay Writer- With a free preview and only a $2.99 purchase price, this digital screenplay writer is worthy of a trial. Dialogue can be one of the trickier writing hurdles to master, and this app allows students to master the flow of written conversation. Writers can compose text with a speech-to-text function and easily reorder the chat bubbles. An engaging way to delve into creating screenplays or simply share the nuances of dialogue with students.

The beginning of the year or any time of year is a perfect opportunity to expand a resource collection. A quick trip to the app store can be just what’s needed to enliven the teaching repertoire with some new tools. Students will love the digital component and teachers will love the ease of storage and accessibility of these 7 new ELA apps!

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