Writing in Response to Reading: Tech Tools for Letters to the Editor

By Monica Burns 09.28.2015 blog
Micha Klootwijk/Bigstock

Current events news articles inform readers about a notable events, people or ideas. They often compel people to share the story or take action to increase awareness around a particular issue. They may include a specific call to action, such as a link to learn more or the name of an organization involved with a certain event or campaign. Once informed, a letter to the editor is common response when people, including your students, want to share their concerns with a broad audience.

Writing in response to reading is an essential real-world skill that has a clear place in the classroom. Students should be able to support an opinion with information they have acquired through reading. A letter to the editor is a specific type of persuasive writing created in response to an article published by a news organization on an issue that is important to the readership of a particular publication. A letter writer may directly respond to a position taken by a journalist or react generally to an event happening in the world. It will include some of the key features familiar to persuasive writing, including making a claim and supporting an argument with evidence.

If you are teaching the skill of writing letters to the editor, these mobile and web-based tech tools could support learning this type of persuasive writing:


Pages for iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) and Mac computers is a powerful publishing tool. It offers templates that allow students to format their writing to emphasize text or to add powerful images.

Google Docs

This fantastic collaboration tool is a good choice for group assignments where students can work together and comment on each other’s work. If students are submitting a letter to the editor as a group, Google Docs can help them combine their thoughts and create a seamless piece of writing. Google Docs is one of my favorite technology tools because it works so well on multiple technology platforms.

Voice Recorder

A voice recorder app (like this one) can help students gather ideas and conduct interviews as they refine and support their viewpoints through research. Students on the go can collect their own thoughts, speak with their peers or interview experts on a topic to strengthen their argument.


Writing for an authentic audience helps students develop a clear sense of purpose. Not all letters to the editor are published by the news organization to which they are submitted, so online publishing offers students another opportunity to make their voice heard. WordPress is a content management system that writers use to manage blogs. WordPress can be used via a desktop browser or on mobile devices as well.

Monica Burns is an EdTech & Curriculum Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.




  2. Valerie g

    This is a bad idea cause this is reducing the amount of exercise that people need.

  3. Valerie g

    This is a bad idea. It could cause a really bad injury.

  4. Valerie g

    This is a bad idea. It could cause a really bad injury if something goes wrong

  5. Valerie g

    It can be dengerous if there is something wrong with the wheel. You can get hurt really bad.

  6. TyleeJeanTurner

    Ya I agree! A lot of people use tech this days we want to write in cursive or just print we don’t need high-tech.

  7. Tamya

    Yes I think it should be the next big thing because it keeps you going when you get tired

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