Do you guys remember Citelighter? We mention it here from time to time because we think it is a pretty awesome tool that can be useful in many of your classrooms. They started out as a pretty simple tool to help students build bibliographies. Then they added Cognitive Prints to help teachers analyze students’ research and writing process.
Well, they’re still going at it – they continue to build on their already-great tool and add more features.
Today, they’re announcing a new teacher template creator, student outlining tools, and a teacher assessment platform.
Not only that, but because the guys over at Citelighter know that Edudemic readers are at the top of their teaching game, they’re offering a freebie to Edudemic readers only!
Citelighter will spend an hour with you showing you how to set-up your classes, and even show you what they are building over the summer. So you don’t have to have used Citelighter’s tools in the past to make this work in your classroom -they’ll help you! Give them a shout and try it out!
Citelighter knows how important it is for students to learn how to organize and effectively communicate their ideas. It is the cornerstone of 21st Century skills. They also understand the struggles associated with teaching students how to write well, especially considering the complexity of new writing standards. After spending thousands of hours with teachers and students, Citelighter is excited to release their newest installment of student and teachers tools. This new all-purpose writing platform adds even more to an already impressive six-time award-winning research and writing tool.
The team doesn’t view writing instruction as a set of discrete processes, but rather a continuum where teachers must engage with students at the moment they are struggling. The new platform supports teachers and students alike with tools to create, draft, and edit writing tasks, which provides guidance, a sense of transparency, and collaborative opportunities throughout the entire writing process. This makes Citelighter the most comprehensive assessment platform available. The new tool includes:
Teachers can choose from over 300 Common Core-aligned writing templates for grades 3-12 that scaffold student writing across multiple genres (narrative, expository, argumentative, etc). The templates also include practice activities for PARCC and Smarter Balanced writing exercises. Teachers can drag and drop to customize their own outline, making the template creator flexible to suit all teachers’ needs. Imagine a library of digital worksheets that you can quickly customize with a few clicks.
The teacher-assigned templates help students organize their thoughts during the pre-writing phase, while also providing them with their own set of tools to expand their outline as they formulate their own thoughts. This allows students flexibility and creativity to digitally organize their thoughts before they write. And for research based assignments, students can take advantage of the Citelighter content capturing tools with auto-bib functionality. Once students are ready to turn their outline into a written document, they can either export to Word or GoogleDocs. The GoogleDocs integration creates a clipboard within their students’ GoogleDocs account so they can view their outline as they begin writing, making the transition from drafting to composing a breeze.
As students go through the pre-writing and writing process, Citelighter tracks and aggregates their behaviors. Citelighter gives teachers both high-level data on how their class is progressing and student-specific data in the form of Cognitive Prints. Cognitive Prints are color-coded maps of the steps students take as they go through the research and writing process. Now a teacher can see when students are capturing facts, how they are assessing them, when they begin organizing their thoughts, how students are making correlations, when and for how long they are writing, and more. It is the equivalent of sitting next to every student as they write to provide necessary guidance and feedback–only the teacher can help them from anywhere, inside or outside of the classroom.
Based on the passionate stance of members from Citelighter’s academic advisory board (Dr. Tanya Baker, Dr. Kristen Turner, and Dr. Troy Hicks) this all-inclusive writing platform is also making more tools free for students. Yes, you read that right, both new student outlining tools and GoogleDocs integration are completely free.
“Citelighter is all about opportunities!! This tool provides a platform for teachers to design lessons with real, relevant, multimodal texts. It creates opportunities for students to creatively engage in materials in such a way as to validate every student’s unique thought process by reducing the cognitive load experienced and focusing time and effort on deeper level critical thinking skills. Citelighter opens a window for teachers to see into a student’s thought process and writing practice through their cognitive print. This unprecedented access into the students’ experience with reading and writing allow teachers a chance to seize educational opportunities which encourage maximum learning and growth. Citelighter encourages quantified analysis of student thinking and writing, which helps students understand not only what they are doing wrong, but what they are doing right – students have the opportunity to really understand, maybe for the first time, how they can improve. I really love Citelighter because at its core, this tool empowers students, at every level, to engage in the world around them with individuality and creativity.”
-Carla Truttman, National Writing Project Fellow, 10th grade English Teacher, Yreka High, CA
“Over the past two years, I have been very selective about what edtech tools to use with my high school English students. After feeling overwhelmed by Curriculum revisions, CCSS implementation, new evaluation systems, and learning management tools, tackling one more thing like learning how to navigate a digital platform and encourage my students to use it seemed crazy. But I’ve never been known to proceed with caution… I’m a follow the path less taken type. So when Citelighter offered me a streamlined writing platform that could assist in my planning and assessing of student writing while simultaneously guiding them through the writing process, I knew the path I was traveling on was the right one. I’ve been using Citelighter with my high school students for a second year now, and can honestly say that Citelighter has helped me engage my students in meaningful, process driven writing skills that teach them about integrity, organization, analysis, and the value of focusing on work in steps that help produce better final products. Citelighter has helped take the stress out of academic writing for my students, and it has drastically reduced the amount of pressure I often feel as an educator to differentiate, scaffold, provide individual feedback, and assess formatively. I can’t imagine going back to using pen and paper alone. Citelighter has transformed how to teach writing and how to succeed at writing. And isn’t that what every English teacher wishes for?”
-Natalie O’Neil, National Writing Project Fellow, Google Certified Educator, 12th grade English Teacher, West Morris Regional High, NJ