I just got off a technology webinar, and we discussed the concept of what a teacher would rather do…….read from text or view a video. So my question to you would be, “Does more technology in the classroom mean less reading, and if so, is this a good thing? I am talking both from the students' and teachers' viewpoint.
I personally feel technology in the classroom can only improve reading. Students need to figure their way around the material and READ directions; in addition, for projects etc... they will need to still research which involves reading. In my children's school they have a reading program- accellerated reader which they read a physical book and then they take a quizz on the computer.
On the teachers side I feel it is a good tool to use because it is teaching the students the future. If a teacher doesn't incorporate "real" reading then that is not a good teacher. They can't use technology as a babysitter but as a tool to enhance the learning experience.
Rebecca, well said. I agree with you totally. I think technology definitely can improve reading. We need to use tools which interest students and technology is certainly their focus at present. You are right that students have to read directions and even video games require reading. I'm all for encouraging students to read anyway we can. Your comments about teachers preparing students for the future is also very important.
Thanks for sharing your comments.
Video games not only require reading but the reader must be able to read, analyze the information and make decisions as a result of those conclusions; all of which must happen as quickly as possible. I believe some of these games hone the player's ability to zero in on pieces of information and apply them in critical analysis. This skill is exactly the skill we taught in the writing program at Rutger's University. Helping students learn how to identify the important elements of a piece of writing and apply it in a critical way to their own analysis and conclusions. The kick is trying to get the student to care/invest in their reading with the same passion and energy that they invest in these games and the volume of details needed to play them successfully.
I also think that technology doesn't mean reading less because classrooms will always be assigning literature, chapters of bio and history and to me it doesn't matter if you are reading The Road on a tablet or in a paperback - it's still reading. One can imagine a reading experienced enhanced by technology because the student is able to read the same text w/ embedded video clips from the movie or with interviews with the author or some such thing.
At my high school, which is in Georgia, we have a technology-rich environment. We were awarded a grant to provide netbooks with broadband service to many students, which gives our school a real boost in an area where not many homes are able to even get DSL. We also have a literacy program to encourage our students to read 25 books a year, and in January we have celebrated Literacy Month since 2006. The technology grant has not changed our focus. We access Librivox online, I am ordering ebooks for my media center, and I subscribe to Tumblebooks for our students to access books online. The emerging technologies are simply tools that continue to help us grow and learn. Reading will always be an essential skill we must address. Why not embrace the technology to help us improve literacy?
Cathy - Thank you so much for sharing such exciting and positive signs of healthy technology integration in the classroom. I truly do believe that the classroom you describe is exactly where schools all around the country are headed. It is so wonderful to hear accounts of districts who are not only given access to the technology but who are actually using the technology exactly as it is intended - as a tool to improve and enhance every child's education. I agree completely, technology should be embraced as a resource, not seen as just one more initiative teachers have shoved down their throats.
I spent 12 years teaching grades K-2 and have recently moved on up to 5th grade Science. Meshing literacy with STEM is critical. I love using web quests with my students because it has a game like quality while forcing students to read research, sift through audio/visual clips, and basically learn on their "turf". Even my struggling readers (ESL and SWD) feel some sense of confidence using the web versus having to read out of a text book on their own. I do my best to blend technology into my class, but I truly do not feel that it diminishes the time spent actually reading.
Free TV Captions for Practicing Reading
Don't think technology in classrooms means less reading, kids can practice reading with TV captions.
Schools Need Help In Teaching Children To Read The deficiency in reading in our country is underscored by the National Assessment of Education Progress’s recent finding that more than a third of 4th graders cannot read at the basic level. When NAEP measured by race or language, over 50% of black or Hispanic students fail to read at the basic level by the 4th grade.
How TV Captions Help Learning To Read Free and available TV captions create an unrivalled opportunity for a learner to connect the sound of the spoken word with the sight of the printed word in the context of the picture and the action unfolding on the screen to explain and reinforce the meaning. Opening the ordinarily closed TV captions transforms the television set into a free reading practice resource that provides help to learners for thousands of hours all year long.
Many Parents Need Help Too There are many literacy organizations dedicated to the invaluable work of involving families with their children’s access to print and learning to read. This is most useful when there is a dedicated and literate family to call upon. But where there is only a single parent with two jobs and little free time or where a foreign language is spoken at home because the adults are not fully fluent in English or where the reading skills of the family are shaky, other sources of help are badly needed. TV captions can provide that help at home tirelessly and free for viewers.
Not More Television, But Better Television With TV Captions We are not recommending more time in front of the TV set, but when the average child watches television 5 to 7 hours a day, turning on the free TV captions provide thousands of hours each year for struggling students to enhance their classroom learning by practicing reading at home.
The Federal Legislation for TV Captions Is In Place We’ve seen captions on television since 50 years ago when we learned to follow the bouncing ball to sing along with Mitch Miller. Now, by two statutes in 1993 and 1996, lobbied for by organizations for the deaf, federal mandates require TV captions since January 2006 to be available 20 out of 24 hours a day (generally not between 2am and 6am) on virtually all programs.
The Research On TV Captions Has Been Done For a recent summary of the value of TV captions by the National Center for Technology Innovation, see Captioned Media: Literacy Support for Diverse Learners, available on line at www.readingrockets.org/article/35793. For a listing of over 25 years of rigorous scientific research, validating the effectiveness of TV captions for learning to read, see research studies listed on the website www.captionsforliteracy.org. Unfortunately many of these studies are published in journals of limited and specialized circulation.
TV Captions Can Help Learners of Many Backgrounds TV captions are not just for the deaf or only for airports and bars. Free TV captions can provide practice at home for anyone learning to read or read better from toddlers preparing for kindergarten, struggling students, older kids thinking of dropping out because it’s too difficult for them to read high school level texts, English language learners and low literacy adults, over 30 million souls.
Selecting Appropriate Television Content There have been objections to children watching too much television without mentioning content. More recently the pediatrician Dimitri A. Christakis, MD & professor Frederick J. Zimmerman, PhD, in their book, The Elephant in the Living Room (2006), analyze television content and context in depth. Although TV captions are not mentioned specifically, they cite with approval Between the Lions, which has many open captions, and they conclude that “[t]elevision viewing can be beneficial. It can be entertaining, broadening and educational. It just has to be used properly.” TV captions can be set for content that is appropriately educational such as at PBS or Discovery or History channels and read on tirelessly.
How To Turn On TV Captions Free TV captions can be turned on with a click of the CC button on the remote control or by the use of the set’s menu. Synchronization of sound and sight tends to be better on scripted or pre-recorded programs than live programs. Using the television’s menu often needs a person who can read to plow through the menu choices.
Let TV Captions Leverage Teacher Effectiveness Of course free TV captions are only a supplement not a substitute for credentialed classroom instructors. Nevertheless, it’s tragic to waste the educational potential of free TV captions for practice reading while so many students struggle in classrooms. For teachers, using live or recorded TV captions with appropriate content in the classroom provides an opportunity to show students how to turn on TV captions with the menu. Once students know how to turn on TV captions, teachers can assign such programs as homework.
Dissemination For The General Public The background work has been done. Now is the time to inform students, families, teachers and caretakers, stakeholders one and all, that free help is as close as their television set.
OK, you got me to thinking now. I see your point that technology can actually enhance reading skills. I'm with you on that.
Next step - I was watching TV the other morning and on a national news program that emphasizes social networking even among the very young, they asked the question "Should K-3 students be working on keyboarding skills instead of learning cursive writing?"
How would you respond to this question?
Being a computer teacher in an elementary school, the rule of thumb would be to start the students off correctly with keyboarding in fourth grade. I use "speedskins," which are orange plastic covering for the keyboard and a keyboarding program. If the students learn the correct way to keyboard/type they won't be using their two index fingers and will be able to keyboard/type more accurately and with greater speed. I actually have a colleague who did her Master report on this concept. Our school district, Scottsdale Unified in AZ advocates these.
Has anyone else ever started below fourth grade and what were the results?
I just received this from a newsletter that I subscribe to"
|When is the best grade to introduce tech into the elementary classroom?|
|K if not PreK. The sooner the better. - 64.60%|
|1st-3rd grade. Before then it’s just playtime. - 26.55%|
|4-6 grade, to intro info literacy. - 8.85%|
What Say You?
I find that using technology in my classroom has encouraged reading in that, Students are reading and looking more closely at directions and instruction. My students are doing more independent research and answering more higher level thinking questions as wll as engaging in more critical thinking exercises. Tecnology has become an intricate part of their educational as well as social world. Like anything else students are taught and guided in the direction that is most beneficial for them. Maximizing their educational experiences through technology is more the norm in the 21st century than the abnorn.
In the state of AZ, Stand 3 Reading,informational text, is one that I constantly reinforce. You are right about students reading the directions when it comes to Internet/interactive resources..........they have to read/comprehend to find out what/how they want to interact with the site.