By Jessica Sanders
The more students read, the higher their reading scores, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Unfortunately, with iPads, cell phones and computers, it’s harder than ever for them to sit down with a book—so old fashioned, right?—and take a few minutes to read.
Luckily, the technology that keeps them from picking up a book can help inspire to do just the opposite. Use these tools, both traditional and non-traditional, to inspire your students to read more.
Footsteps to Brilliance
Cost: Contact for pricing
Gaming and cognitive research come together in the Footsteps to Brilliance app, which helps inspire kids to read more, both at home and in the classroom. There are a number of features that make reading exciting, including “talking books” that come to life with animated characters, literature games and story writing. This is a reading suite sure to inspire even the most modern children.
Learn more at Footsteps2Brilliance.com
Designed by educators, and loved by children, this program empowers kids and makes reading time the most entertaining part of the day. Children can listen to books read by other kids and record their own versions of the story. Read-along mode highlights tappable words as they are read to help strengthen vocabulary too. This user-friendly program makes for a worthy addition to any classroom.
Learn more at Imaginelearning.com
This relatively new online program has been wildly successful with children and teachers. After setting up an account, teachers create their class and invite students to do the same. From here children can log their reading, earning wisdom points for both books and minutes read—children can purchase accessories for their owlvatar with the wisdom points earned. The kids can also comment on and like books their peers have read via the in-platform newsfeed. Finally, teachers can assign pre-written Common Core aligned questions for students to answer after finishing a book to increase reading comprehension.
Learn more at Learn2Earn.org
Cost: Contact for pricing
This is the oldest reading tech tool on this list; Achieve3000 has been a popular reading tool for more than a decade and for good reason. KidBlitz and TeenBlitz use Lexile scores and reading levels to deliver reading and writing opportunities for every student. Kids earn achievements and points for using the program, which encourages them to read and interact more often.
Learn more at Achieve3000.com
This free tool can be used as a way to host guest readers who may not be in the local area. Reading out loud to students enriches the content, models a love for reading, and helps expand their vocabulary, making Skype—and reading out loud—an effective tool to inspire more reading. Not to mention, the reader can animate the story in a way that’s entertaining to children of all ages. Use this tool to host authors or coworkers and don’t hesitate to invite parents too; they may appreciate the opportunity to be involved, even if only from the office.
Learn more at Skype.com
About Jessica Sanders
Jessica Sanders is the Director of Social Outreach for Learn2Earn. She grew up reading books like The Giver and Holes, and is passionate about making reading as exciting for young kids today as it has always been for her. Follow Learn2Earn on Twitter and Facebook, and send content inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terry says: You may be interested in a couple of reports into reading and technology. This report The Impact of ebooks on the Reading Motivation and Reading Skills of Children and Young People says that children read on-screen more than on paper, and this one Disadvantaged boys learn to pick up an ebook found that touch-screen devices encouraged boys to read.