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Knowledge From the Field

WordSift: Supporting Instruction and Learning Through Technology in San Francisco

Published: April 2011

Publisher(s): Council of the Great City Schools

Author(s): Hakuta, Kenji

Funder(s): Carnegie Corporation of New York, Institute of Education Sciences

View Report (40 pages; 2.30MB; PDF)

Area of Focus: Digital Learning


The report describes the development and implementation of WordSift, a Web-based language development tool to help K-12 teachers teach academic vocabulary through visual, interactive representations of text. The report also presents findings from a preliminary research study on whether previewing science text with WordSift improved the reading comprehension of students.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=Teacher collaborators, who played an active role through every phase of the project, identified a number of potential uses for WordSift, including lesson preparation, the development of group activities, and literacy support for students.

=WordSift did not have a significant effect on studentsí reading comprehension.

-/=There was a significant negative treatment effect for girls and a slightly positive, though not significant, treatment effect for boys.

Focus: San Francisco

Subjects/Keywords: Adolescent; Children and Youth; Content Teacher; Elementary and Secondary Education; English Language Learner; High School Education; Language Development; Reading Comprehension; Science; Urban; Technology

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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