Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cool and Useful Website: ActivelyLearn.com

I recently became aware of ActivelyLearn.com at the Clark County School District Blended Learning Mini-Conference at Valley HS. I attended a session by @chclteteacher and @weberswords who showed how easy the site is to use to practice close reading skills. Two teachers from one of my schools attended the same session and decided they wanted to share the site with the entire school staff. They asked me, their Digital Learning Coach, to demo the site at our upcoming Staff Development Day. So this week I've been learning everything I can about Actively Learn.

ActivelyLearn.com is a website that lets teachers create reading assignments that have stopping points throughout the text. At these stopping points, teachers can embed questions, notes and videos directly to the text. Students must think and write before moving ahead in the text. Teachers can also embed additional content to enrich the text and to connect the text more closely to what students find compelling.

Watch this 2 minute video to get an idea of what ActivelyLearn can do.

Actively Learn is a free website. A Pro version is available with additional features, such as sharing assignments within a school and centralized viewing of student progress within the school. An email address is needed for teacher signup, but not for students.


Click View Classes to create and manage your classes. You will be given a class code. Students go to http://www.activelylearn.com/signup and enter the class code to create their account. An email address is not required for students.

Create an Assignment

  1. Click Create Assignments, then Add Content. You can search for articles in the Catalog or add your own text through a URL to an article or upload a PDF. Items in the Catalog can be filtered by grade level (Lexile) or category (subject).
  1. Embed your instruction into the text: highlight the text and insert a question, note, or link to image or video. Inserting a question will let you select a standard to assign to that question. Questions can be either short answer or multiple choice. Notes help provide more information to the reader. Notes can be tagged with text elements. Links can take the reader to other sites for more information.

  1. To assign the text to a class by click Create Assignments, then Assign to Classes, and click Next. In the pop up select the class(es) and click Assign.

Student Work

Students begin working on assignments by first selecting a class and choosing the assignment. They can begin reading, taking notes, answering questions, and defining words.

Download my Tech Integration Challenge for Actively Learn and see if you are up to the challenge!

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