Keys to Literacy Newsletter
Message from 
Joan Sedita
Joan's picture

Sharing research, ideas, and resources about best practices for literacy instruction has been a personal mission for me since I started in education over 35 years ago. That mission was adopted by Keys to Literacy when I founded the company in 2007.


One forum for sharing information has been our newsletter, which was first published in April, 2008. The topic was Summarizing and Comprehension Teaching Tips. The first issue was emailed to 1,000 subscribers. Since then, our newsletters have covered many timely literacy topics. Readers have reacted very positively, saying they appreciate our focus on instructional resources and asking for the newsletters to be published more often.


We now have a list of over 12,000 educators who have requested to receive our newsletters, and many more have visited our newsletter archive.


We realized that a blog modeled after our newsletter would be another forum for sharing new resources, instructional tips, and our experience "in the field". Also, blogging enables us to share on a more regular basis, and allows educators to then share the information with their colleagues. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I announce the launch of our blog, Literacy Lines. We hope you will sign up to follow our blog and forward posts to your colleagues.


For those of you who like receiving our newsletters - we will continue to publish these as well! 




Joan Sedita

Founding Partner & Program Author

Quick Links

Volume 13Fall 2014

In this issue, the focus is on 

Online Literacy Skills


We have chosen "online literacy skills" as the topic for our 
Fall, 2014 newsletter to coincide with the launch of our blog, Literacy Lines.

University of Connecticut's New Literacies Research Lab

Dr. Donald Leu and his research team at The New Literacies Research Lab are conducting cutting edge research on what they call the "new literacies" - that is, the literacy skills required by the Internet and other emerging information and communication technologies.


New literacies are different from traditional literacy skills because they involve new tools, technologies, and social practices. Online research and comprehension involves the use of offline reading comprehension skills (i.e., the skills students need to read and understand books), but it is more complex and includes a number of additional skills such as how to search for information, read search engine results, evaluate information found on websites, and share online resources using email and weblogs.


The key to helping students develop new literacy skills is to provide Internet access AND explicit instruction of these unique online reading comprehension skills into regular classroom instruction. Access a related research study


The New Literacies Research Lab has developed an online reading comprehension assessment system (ORCA) that can be used to measure student proficiency with online reading skills. Learn about this project and read a related article by Julie Coiro.

Online Reading Skills - Recommended Resources

New Literacies and the Common Core, by William Kist, Educational Leadership, 2013.


International Reading Association: New Literacies and 21st Century Technologies - A Position Statement


International Reading Association: Readingonline.org: Toward a Theory of New Literacies Emerging from the Internet and Other Information and Communication Technologies


Risks, Rewards, and Responsibilities of Using New Literacies in Middle Grades, by M. Hagood


Podcast of Julie Coiro "How offline reading, online reading, and prior knowledge can help predict students abilities to understand what they read online.


Podcast of Julie Coiro " Online Reading Comprehension with Dr. Julie Coiro" 


Video of Dr. Leu "What Are New Literacies and Why Are They Important?"


Video of Dr. Leu "New Literacies of the Internet" (WGBH/PBS/Annenberg video series)


Writing Research from a New Literacies Lens, Leu et al, in press.


The New Literacies of Online Research and Comprehension: Rethinking the Reading Achievement Gap, Leu et al, 2014


Access a large list of resources available from The New Literacies Research Lab

Keys to Literacy News
Close Reading
Blog Post

We recently launched our blog, Literacy Lines. Each week we post pieces that focus on best instructional practices for teaching reading and writing to students of all ages. Literacy Lines bloggers include Keys to Literacy trainers and guest educators. Topics include new resources, instructional tips, latest research, and stories from the field.


Professional Book Discussion Guides for all of our program training books are now available. These are ideal for teacher discussion groups as a way to revisit important topics covered during initial training for our programs. They can be accessed on our website under ResourcesWorksheets and Templates