Cutting to the Common Core: The Positive Side of the Digital Divide

Thu, 07/24/2014


Judith Zorfass, Tracy Gray

In this article published in Language magazine, the authors suggest that teachers draw upon digital text, also known as "etext," to differentiate language instruction to meet students' diverse needs. They discuss four clear benefits to using etext, in addition to hearing the text read aloud—the ability to mark text, enhance the content, annotate the text, and draw upon embedded agents and tutors—and describe each of these features.

Cover of Language Magazine

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Developing a Writing Instruction Observation Protocol: Implications for Practice, Research, and Policy

Thu, 07/17/2014


Andrea Winokur Kotula, Cynthia Mata Aguilar, Terrence Tivnan

This article describes EDC researchers' development of a Writing Instruction Observation Protocol that captures the details of writing lessons; the components of effective writing instruction, as indicated by research; the practices that teachers use when they teach writing; and the effectiveness of those practices, as documented by classroom observers using the protocol.

Boy writing



51 pp.

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Christina Silvi

Email Christina Silvi

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Christina Silvi

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Christina Silvi brings expertise in early literacy, child development, evidence based practices and research, and technology based professional development. She designs and provides accessible, research based professional learning that aligns with state and national standards and quality improvement initiatives for the Rhode Island Center for Early Learning Professionals co-led by EDC. She also collaborates with program administrators through technical assistance to strengthen program quality, increase access to resources, and build systems for continuous quality improvement.

Previously, Silvi led the development and delivery of high-quality professional development sessions, funded through the Rhode Island Department of Education, that helped PreK teachers translate the CLASS and ECERS research measures into classroom practice. In addition to her training and technical assistance work, Silvi has managed quantitative and qualitative data collection efforts for several Early Reading First research projects.

Silvi is the developer of several Web-based curricula and online resources, including early childhood online courses for the E-Learning for Educators initiative, and the content for Bookfinder, a searchable database of over 700 children’s books on the PBS Parents Web site. She is the co-author of several articles and reports, including: “Why Wordless Books?” (Early Childhood News) and Massachusetts Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Pilot: Final Evaluation Report.

As a curriculum developer, Silvi contributed to Steps to Success, a four-unit multimedia training package for Head Start mentor-coaches nationwide. The instructional design prepares mentor-coaches to guide Head Start teachers in adopting research-based practices that foster young children’s language and literacy development.

Silvi began her career as a preschool teacher, working in mixed-aged classrooms with children and families from a broad range of backgrounds, languages, and special needs in both rural and urban settings.

She received her BA from the University of Vermont in early childhood development and an MA in child development from Tufts University.


Non-Staff Profile

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Training and Technical Assistance Associate II


Early Learning and Development

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535 Centerville Road, Suite 201
Warwick, RI 02886



Research Brief: Implementing LEEP in West Virginia's PreK System

Tue, 02/12/2008


Nancy Clark-Chiarelli, Barbara Helms, Jess Gropen

This research brief highlights the results from the first two years of a four-year, U. S. Department of Education-funded study, Examining the Efficacy of Two Models of Preschool Professional Development in Language and Literacy. The study examined the effectiveness of two versions of EDC’s research-based Literacy Environment Enrichment Program (LEEP). One version uses traditional, face-to-face delivery (LEEP) and another employs distance-learning technology (T-LEEP).

Brief Cover



17 pp.

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Riordan Selected to Serve on SRCL Evaluation TA Technical Work Group

Julie Riordan

Following Julie Riordan’s well-received presentation on the use of data to guide decision-making at the 2013 Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) program director meeting, the U.S. Department of Education has invited Riordan (shown at left) to join the SRCL Evaluation TA Technical Work Group (TWG).

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TV411 Adult Education Resources

Fri, 10/11/2013


Education Development Center

EDC’s TV411.ORG is a free, multimedia, interactive “self-service” hub of hundreds of educationally sound and engaging materials that build the reading, writing, science, and math skills of adults with low literacy and provide adult educators with resources to enhance their instruction. The website is the online component of EDC’s award-winning TV411 public television program. To date, 61,568 people have created accounts to access TV411.ORG’s free resources, which include videos and lessons, adult educator resources, and personal portfolios.

Adult basic education and literacy

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Basic Literacy Skills for Adults Via Video Clips

This feature story spotlights EDC's TV411 website ( and praises TV411's skillful use of video clips and interactive lessons to provide high-quality informal education opportunities for adults: "This literacy project produces short videos that embed basic skills such as reading, writing, math, science, and personal finance in really entertaining and sometimes funny scenarios as well as examples and case studies of peers acquiring those skills themselves. The videos are accompanied by interactive lessons that teach and reinforce specific points related to the video's teaching goals."


Reading Worldwide

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Wed, 10/09/2013

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Common Core ELA and English Language Learners: Instructional Strategies for Middle School Teachers

Fri, 05/10/2013


Cerelle Morrow, Maria-Paz Avery

This series of short videos was created through a partnership between the New England Comprehensive Center, with whom EDC was a subcontractor from 2005 through 2012, and the Connecticut Department of Education’s Bilingual and English language learner department. The authors developed the series of four screencasts to provide instructional strategies for middle school teachers to use in helping English language learners engage successfully with the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects.

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EDC to Create Digital Tools to Enhance History Teaching, Foster Literacy Learning

Bill Tally

EDC has received a three-year, $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the Zoom In! Tools for Teaching Literacy in the Social Studies project. In Zoom In!, a team led by Bill Tally (shown at left) will develop, test, and scale a suite of digital tools that will help middle-school history and social studies teachers make better use of primary sources to deepen students' understanding of history and build students' literacy skills.

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