Reading is a critical skill that each and every one of us must develop splendidly as we go on with our lives. Incorporating the love of reading in a child is one of the best gifts you can ever give them.
But with the introduction (and constant existence) of technology in our daily lives, are we still capable of persuading our children to pick up a book and indulge in the words found within?
A lot of avid readers can agree that no technology can ever replace the feeling of a book in your hands. Immersed in the pages, you flip through page after page, from one chapter to the next. But that doesn’t mean technology doesn’t have a place in the world of reading.
On the contrary, teaching children how to read with the aid of technology and human educators make things infinitely more interesting.
And in the end, don’t we all just want the child to enjoy reading? To boost their confidence and their love for words? (It’s no different from the methods of Dicker Reading).
3 Tips for Teaching Reading Using Technology
The practice of reading draws on many different and simultaneous processes. Readers need to decode words and know what they mean.
It involves understanding words as they’re strung together in sentences, knowing the use of pronouns, and making connections between ideas with relationship markers. There’s so much involved in the process of learning how to reach and widening a child’s vocabulary.
Introducing new and the right technological tools in the teaching sessions get pupils excited. They may even want to read more, and that grants you greater access to student data — which you can, in turn, use to further enhance your teaching.
These tools, however, won’t teach your students for you. In order to be effective, it needs a learning-first attitude. The technology you use is present to drive and maintain interest.
Tip #1: Knowing your technology needs
You can find dozens of tools available that will help you teach reading using technology. They all vary in one way or another. So before you make decisions about getting that tablet or using that smart TV, take a moment to consider what you and your students need. This way, you narrow down the options first.
A few questions you need to ask include:
- What’s my goal?
- What’s the goal and purpose of this tech product?
- Do I need the product be core-aligned?
- Will this piece of tech let me monitor my child’s progress?
For instance, you may set a goal where the child will see reading as a fun activity. The main goal of the product is to build a community around reading with other children. You need something that comes with built-in comprehension questions. And finally, you need to be able to check-in whenever to see if one child is excelling or falling behind.
There are plenty of reading technologies out there. And anyone of them can either encourage kids to read more, make loving books easy, etc.
Tip #2: Gather useful data for future lessons
One of the best benefits of using technology is that it makes data-collection far simpler. For the most part, your access to accurate data is just there. Rather than having to go through the trouble of extracting it yourself manually, you can find ample aid in the use of technology.
Use the data you find to make improvements to your lessons or teaching methods. If needed, offer personalized learning opportunities (if you’re a public educator, that is). Plus the data you gather also offers insights whenever you meet with parents in grading or reading homework.
Tip #3: Do offline activities too
Learning and teaching a child how to read doesn’t have to rely solely on technology. In fact, organizing offline opportunities to discuss and reward reading can make the work your students do within the tools that much better.
Some activities you can try after a long day of using technology are:
- Reading parties: Hold a reading party. It’s just an event where kids gather in one place to read their favorite books while eating snacks and talk to each other about whatever they want. But the main focus is on the reading, of course.
- Arrange for book swaps: Kids that books finish are the ones that they love and pick out for themselves. Book swapping encourages kids to choose books they actually are interested in reading.
- Hand out reading certificates: Recognize a reader of the week, or award someone who has the best comprehension skills so far, for instance.
- Host competitions: It doesn’t have to be a grand gameshow. Something as simple as a challenge can get kids going. Throw up a challenge to see who can read the most this upcoming weekend? Or who can finish their new book by morning.
Don’t be so quick as to write technology off as something that disrupts learning experience. Contrary to what you may think, technology can actually make reading more fun and more accessible for children.
In addition, you also get accurate data that will help you improve the way you teach these kids.
It’s a win-win situation.