I take the rest of the week off. While I’m away, I’m going to republish some of the most popular posts of the year so far.
Every now and then there comes a new edtech service that as soon as I try it I know it’s going to be a hit. That’s exactly how I felt when I first tried Readlee last month.
Readlee is a new service that allows you to 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 found in how your students complete assignments and how you can see their assignment completion.
The Readlee concept
The basic concept of Readlee is that you give students a reading assignment and they complete it by reading it aloud on their computers. Readlee then uses AI to analyze how well your students read the assignment. That analysis is provided for you in a short report that is displayed next to all of your students’ submitted assignments.
The student reading analysis that Readlee provides you with includes time spent reading, total words read, unique words read, reading speed, and how much of the assignment was read. In addition, Readlee provides a written transcript of the words spoken by students compared to the words written in the assignment. Last but not least, you can hear a recording of your students reading aloud. The analysis, transcription and recording are available for all assignments, regardless of length, reading complexity or content.
Watch this thirty second video to see a bit of Readlee in action. My longer video review is included at the end of this post.
How to start using Readlee
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 Clever account or with an email address. After registering, you will create a classroom within Readlee. It is in your classroom that you will create assignments for your students (if you need multiple classrooms, you can create more than one).
To get your students into your Readlee classroom, you have two options. The easiest option is to sync a Google Classroom or Clever grid with your Readlee account. The other option is to give your students a class invitation link that Readlee generates for you. They will then enter 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 has been created, it’s time to create your first assignment. There are a handful of ways to create an assignment for your class. You can import a PDF, you can copy and paste a piece 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 in which your students can read anything of their choice.
Readlee’s library of books, poems and short stories provides a convenient way to create a reading assignment without having to access the material elsewhere. Simply select an item from the library and then choose which page (s) you want to include in your assignment.
After you have selected or entered the item you want your students to read aloud, you can then add some written instructions for your students. For example, when I created an independent reading assignment, I added an instructional note that reads “Please read two pages from your March independent reading book.” The last step is to then give the reading assignment to the whole class or to individual students within the class.
The student side of Readlee
Students gain access to their assigned reading by logging in to Readlee and then selecting the assignment they want to complete. Once they do, a new screen will appear with the text they need to read. Students then simply click on the microphone icon at the bottom of the screen and start reading aloud. When they are done, they stop recording and click “submit command.” I should note that students may interrupt the survey in progress if necessary and resume it to complete the assignment. In fact, I did it while testing the student perspective because I had a little tickle in my throat and took a sip of black cherry seltzer to erase it.
In addition to the assignment list, students will find in their Readlee classrooms a running count of the number of words they have read aloud, their time spent reading, their average reading speed and the total unique words they have read.
Readlee benefits for teachers, students and parents
If you made it this far in the mail without clicking away to create your Readlee account, here are some benefits of using Readlee that are remarkable.
Readlee gives you an easy way to consistently measure your students’ reading fluency and progress.
Readlee is a time saver compared to manually checking reading journals or logbooks.
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 focused on the features of Readlee that are free and open to all teachers to use for as long as they wish. There are additional premium features that can be purchased. I will start by trying the free version. Watch my tutorial video embedded below to see everything you and your students need to know to start using Readlee today.
Disclosure: Readlee is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com