When I was eight years old, I was not a good reader. Comprehension was difficult because I couldn’t concentrate well enough to retain what I’d read, and I didn’t understand how becoming a competent reader was important for my future.

I wish my teachers had had a tool like ReadTheory.org. This free online program helps struggling readers get excited about reading and gives them the support to improve their skills. It’s a great example of the kind of technology that can satisfy technology integration demands at a growing number of schools.

Using results from a ten-question pre-test, ReadTheory places readers at the appropriate grade and reading complexity (lexile) levels and then guides them through passages and exercises to demonstrate their understanding. Students earn points and get specific feedback along the way—more than just “You’re getting better.” They can see exactly how they’ve performed (they have to earn 100 percent on a quiz before they can move to the next exercise) and when they’re ready for more a more challenging lexile.

At every step, students see what it takes to “level up,” which is a big motivator for many students. Of course, teachers have access to all of the students’ ReadTheory data, too, and can use it to differentiate their instruction. This is technology integration at its best—educators using a tool to augment what they’re already doing to help students achieve.

“Technology will never replace great teachers,” says author and learning consultant George Couros. “But technology in the hands of great teachers is transformational.”

Vartek has been helping schools enhance technology in the service of the teaching-learning environment for nearly thirty years. Click here to let us know you’re interested in taking technology integration to the next level in your classrooms.