Friday, October 30, 2015

Fluency Tutor for Google



Why Fluency Tutor?

Fluency Tutor for Google is free resource that provides a variety of great opportunities for students in building fluency.
  1. It creates a nice clean version of a website that makes it easier for students to read without the distractions typical websites hold
  2. Fluency Tutor will read the text aloud at an adjustable rate
  3. Integrates with Google Classroom
  4. Allows students to make a recording of the text that appears in the teacher's account 
  5. Provides a dictionary through the highlighting of words (picture or text dictionary)

Student Side

I was introduced to Fluency Tutor by Kristin Sheets at Ryan Park Elementary. It can be accessed through the Chrome App or Google Classroom. When a student access an article or website posted in Fluency Tutor, the student receives a distraction-free version, the ability to hear the text read aloud, a readily available dictionary, and the option to make a recording. In this video, Mrs. Sheets had a student demonstrate how to use Fluency Tutor. 


Teacher Side

For a teacher to use Fluency tutor, they will need to create an account, get a class code for his/her students to use to connect, and verify his/her Google Drive/Google Classroom account. For more specific directions, view my slideshow at the top of this post.

Teachers will also want to use the Share with Fluency Tutor Chrome Extension. By using this extension, the teacher can be on an Internet resource, click the extension, and push items to Google Classroom as an assignment. Then when the students click on the link provided in Google Classroom, they can instantly start to work on the resource.



Students Using Google Classroom

To turn in an assignment with Fluency Tutor, students have several options.

  1. Students can indicate that they completed the task by choosing "mark as done". This is typically good enough as the teacher will see whether or not it is completed when they access their Fluency Tutor account. Either the recording will be there or not.  
  2. Teachers could require a screen-capture to turn in as evidence by using a tool like Nimbus. Students could capture the screen indicating that they have completed the assignment, then upload it into the Google Classroom Assignment. For more detailed directions for options one and two, see the video below.
  3. The third option would be for students to download their recording as an MP3 and upload it into Google Classroom. This was a feature I missed the first few times I looked at this tool. This would allow the teacher to listen to the recording directly from Google Classroom.


Not Using Google Classroom?

If you are not using Google Classroom, have no fear. You can still assign and listen to Fluency Tutor passages through it. When the students log into Fluency Tutor, they can find any assigned passages in the "assessments" section of their dashboard.