I love the highlight and collect highlight feature in Read and Write for Google. Please view the two-minute tutorial on how it works. It’s well worth the time. There are many, many ways to use this tool that align with instructional best practices. In fact, I’ve started using it in PL whenever it’s possible and appropriate.
The highlighter tool is so simple and yet it’s an incredibly powerful tool for processing any text-based content. So, it’s not just for literacy. It’s great for all nearly all contents. Here’s what’s cool about it. A teacher can direct learners to highlight the text in different colors (there are four choices). For example, highlight evidence in the text you agree with in green and highlight evidence you disagree with or have questions about in yellow. That in and of itself is pretty cool — it gives learners a way to more deeply process the text. But, the really cool part is using the “collect highlights” tool. When that’s selected all of the highlights are gathered up, sequentially, and placed in a new Google Doc that’s automatically created. This Doc includes all of the highlights, a link to the source material, and the email address of the owner of the Google account.
There are so many possible, powerful uses for this tool! Learners can quick write about the highlighted text in the new Doc to capture reflections. The selected text can be further organized and expanded upon for a larger writing project. The highlights can easily be shared and students can collaborate on the selected text. If you are regularly having kids (or adults) process text-based content, this is a tool you should check out.
As always, I’d love to hear stories about how you might be using this or any of the features in Read and Write. Please send me a note or make a comment here to share your experience.