Free technology for teachers: The best of 2022 so far

I’m taking the rest of the week off. As I leave I will republish some of the most popular posts of the year so far.

Every once in a while a new edtech service comes along that as soon as I try I know it’s going to be a hit. This is exactly what I felt when I first tried Ridley last month.

Readlee is a new service that lets you create online reading assignments for your students to complete in your classroom or at home. That’s not what makes it great. What makes it great is how your students complete assignments and how you can view their assignment completion.

Ridley idea
The basic idea of ​​Readlee is that you give students a reading assignment and they complete it by reading aloud on their computer. Readlee then uses AI to analyze how well your students read the assignment. This analysis is provided in a brief report appearing next to all assignments submitted by your students.

Readlee provides you with reading analysis that includes reading time, total word reading, unique word reading, reading speed, and how many assignments have been read. Additionally, Ridley provides students with a written transcript of spoken words rather than words written in the assignment. Last, but not least, you can listen to a recording of your students reading aloud. Analysis, transcripts and recordings are available for all assignments regardless of length, reading complexity or content.

Watch this thirty second video to see a little Ridley in action. My long video overview has been included at the end of this post.

How to start using Ridley
It only takes a few minutes to get started with Readlee. The first thing you need to do is sign up for a free account You can do this with your Google Account, with your smart account, or with an email address. After registration you will create a classroom in Readlee. This means you will create assignments for your students in your classroom (if you need more than one classroom, you can create multiple).

You have two options for taking your students to your Readlee classroom. The easiest option is to sync a Google Classroom or Clever roster to your Readlee account. Another option is to give your students a class invitation link that Readlee creates for you. They will then write the class code to join your class. Either way you create your Readlee classroom, students can use Readlee with or without an email address.

Once your Readlee classroom is ready it is time to create your first assignment. There are several ways to create an assignment for your class. You can import a PDF, you can copy and paste a paragraph of text, you can import an article from the web, or you can use one of the articles, poems or books available in Readlee’s library. There is also an option to create an independent reading assignment where your students can read aloud anything they like.

Ridley’s library of books, poems, and short stories provides a convenient way to create a reading assignment without having to source material elsewhere. Select only one item from the library and then choose which page (s) you want to include in your assignment.

After selecting or importing the item you want your students to read aloud, you can add some written instructions for your students. For example, when I created an independent reading assignment, I added an instructional note that said, “Read two pages from your March Independent reading book.” The final step is to assign reading assignments to individual students throughout the class or within the class.

Readlee’s student side
Students sign in to Readlee and then access their assigned reading by selecting the assignment they want to complete. As soon as they do this a new screen will appear which they must read. Students then click on the microphone icon at the bottom of the screen and start reading aloud. When they are finished, they stop recording and click on “Start Assignment” I should keep in mind that students can pause the recording process if necessary and resume it to complete the assignment. In fact, I did it while testing the student’s vision because I had a slight tingling in my throat and sipped a black cherry selter to clear it.

In addition to the assignment list, in their Ridley classroom students will find a moving table of the number of words read aloud, the time they spend reading, the average speed of their reading, and the total number of unique words they read.

Ridley benefits for teachers, students and parents
If you’ve reached this point in the post without clicking to create your Ridley account, here are some benefits to using Readlee that are worth noting.

  • Readlee gives you an easy way to consistently measure your students’ reading fluency and progress.

  • Readlee is a time-saver compared to manually reading journal or log checking.

  • Readlee shows students their progress in a way that is easy for them and their parents to understand.

Try Readlee today!

In this post I have focused on the features of Readlee that are free and open to all teachers to use as long as they want. There are additional premium features that can be purchased. I want to start by trying the free version. Watch my tutorial video embedded below to see what you and your students need to know to start using Readlee today.

Published: Readlee is currently an advertiser for

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