eReaders & eBooks in the Classroom

What am I going to do with an eReader in my classroom?!

eReaders and Dyslexia

Are eReaders Helpful for Dyslexia?” an article written by Sara Benard on Mind/Shift poses the question whether eReaders can help students with Dyslexia become successful readers. An article by Annie Murphy Paul, “Can eReaders Ease reading for Dyslexics?” (also on Mind/Shift) offers insight into how eReaders and the accessibility features can help children with Dyslexia improve their reading abilities. Besides the obvious text-to-speech capabilities offered on most tablets and eReaders, there are other accessibility features that can be set that are found to help with reading:

  • “…a team of researchers from the University of Padova in Italy reported that extra-large spacing between letters allowed a group of dyslexic children to read text significantly faster and with fewer than half as many errors as when they read passages with standard spacing.”
  • …”the size of the letters themselves affects how quickly and easily dyslexics read.”
  • “Even the font in which a text is printed may influence how readily a dyslexic is able to read.”

The article provides two research studies where text spacing and font sized were the variables for studying ways to help Dyslexics read more successfully.

I think this is a very timely and interesting article where many people are looking to invest in eReaders because of the accessibility features that would help the diverse student populations with in our schools.

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Audio + eBooks = Help for struggling readers

I stumbled upon Librivox while searching for Social Studies resources, but it’s a wonderful tool — especially if you have an eReader that does not have a text-to-speech capability. The books are in audio format and are free because all the books are consider part of the public domain.

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How can eReaders help my students?

Here is a few thoughts as to why eReaders, eBooks, or digital texts/content can help your students:

Accommodations:

  • Text-to-speech capabilities
  • Large print
  • contrasting on eInk & backlit devices
Will eReaders excite students to read or read more? Probably not, but it might encourage those who do not like to read. It might excite those who are on the edge of liking and not liking to read. You never know.
Another perspective, from the library, some students read off-grade level and are embarrassed to get the correct leveled books because other students may make fun of them. On a digital device or computer, no classmate would know what he or she was reading just by the cover. It could help give that push of confidence. Who knows, but it’s worth a try, right?

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