Although I have always preferred real books to the e-versions, as a middle school English teacher, I have incorporated a lot of technology into my classroom including Newsela and Google Classroom. However, with the upcoming SBAC state testing coming up in April and May, I see that sometimes my students struggle with reading digital versions of material. They are more likely to skim and not take the time to highlight and annotate their reading. In addition, it is more difficult and time consuming to go back to pages when answering comprehension questions.
Newsela.com is a great news website that can give students the ability to practice reading nonfiction news articles digitally. Students can annotate and highlight online with 4 different colors. They can also take quizzes that follow the article which ask students to go back in the passage and highlight certain things as well as answer inferential questions.
Another website that allows students to practice reading a wide variety of texts is called StudySync.com. This site includes a large digital library of literature, poetry, short stories, speeches and nonfiction texts. Students have the ability to highlight and create notes that they can store in a virtual binder. StudySync is Common Core aligned and offers writing prompts that allow students the opportunity to read carefully and apply what they have learned to write a paragraph or essay. The writing component motivates students to read more closely as they will have to apply their knowledge rather than just spit back information in a multiple choice format.
I think by using these websites at home and in the classroom students can learn to feel more comfortable and confident with digital reading that will not only prepare them for online state testing but also for digital reading in their future careers.