Using Free Digital Tools to Transform Your Virtual Reading Instruction

Session 5: 8:30–10:00 AM, Zoom Room 9


While a successful ESL reading class benefits learners by increasing their self-confidence and satisfaction, creating an interactive and motivating online reading class is extremely challenging these days. This presentation will demonstrate how integrating interactive digital tools, such as Jamboard, Google Sheets and Google Slides, and Canva, in virtual classes will help students develop their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and 21st century skills, including collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Digital tools promote engaging and student-centered pre-reading, during-reading, and post-reading activities. Jamboard transforms the process of activating prior knowledge into a collaborative and visual experience. Similarly, while reading, shared digital dictionaries using Google Sheets and Slides promote autonomous learning while building vocabulary. To assess students’ knowledge after reading, Canva can be used to create digital posters to show reading comprehension. In our presentation, we will show how to leverage these tools to have students complete specific and original reading tasks, often in collaboration with other learners, and hence keep them actively involved in class. Opportunities for small-group discussion and experimentation with the tools will be available. Best practices on selecting linguistically relevant and diverse reading content, as well as considerations for effective lesson design will be discussed.


Grazia Mora

California College of Communications

Celine Signorini-Bakan

California College of Communications

Jennifer Bean

California College of Communications

Type of Presentation

Demonstration (90 minute)



Program Strands

  • Adult Basic Education
  • English as a Second Language

Category Strands

  • Blended Learning
  • Distance Learning
  • Technology Integration
  • Online Engagement and Assessment