Sep 12 2017

Research-Based Strategies Use Technology to Create Better Readers

Classroom tech boosts reading fluency and comprehension.

Researchers know that in most cases, comprehension problems stem from weak reading fluency. Previously, educators were interested with students’ ability to decode words accurately. Now, the focus is on decoding accurately and quickly.

A quick look at the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) website shows there are many ways to increase fluency, such as repeated reading, buddy reads, choral reading, drop reading, and echo reading among others. All are research-based and proven to increase fluency over time, but what strategies should you use for your students?

In education, it is extremely important that the correct strategies and activities, proven by research to work time and again, are used in and out of the classroom. Powered by technology, research-based strategies can improve reading fluency.

Interactive Games Take Phonemics to the Next Level

Technology is part of a proper 21st-century education. Schools have been making huge upgrades in order to create high-tech classrooms. More schools than ever have the internet connectivity necessary to support digital learning.

Technology can be harnessed to help teach students phonemic awareness and letter knowledge. The National Reading Panel has long indicated that these two skills are the top predictors for how well a child will learn to read. That means children need to know the name of the letter and what sounds that letter can make. There are numerous websites, like PBS Kids, that teach this. The websites usually have colorful graphics and accompanied sound and require active learning.

Not all words can be deciphered using phonemics skills, though. Flashcards using Fry’s sight word list would be beneficial. These are the most commonly used words in the English language. Reviewing sight words used to require an adult to work with the student on flashcard activities, but these interactive games allow kids to have fun, learn and work on their own at the same time.

Chrome Extensions Boost Reading Improvement

Using these research-based strategies and activities will improve a student’s reading ability. But how do you measure that improvement?

One way to do this is to leverage the most popular classroom device, the Chromebook. By using G Suite for Education tools, educators can give more real-time feedback and help students learn to track their own progress.

With the popularity of Chromebooks, Google Chrome is becoming the most prevalent internet browser in schools. 

A Chrome extension, Stackup, allows the teacher to easily measure the time each student spends reading and determine the online reading level for each child. It is extremely easy to use.

Reading difficulties will not fix themselves. But remember this advice: “Work smarter, not harder.” Using technology combined with research-based strategies is working very smart.

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