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How Today’s Technology is our Best Hope for Helping Struggling Readers

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Well-made programs that use advanced technology could mean a lot for people with reading disabilities. Learning is built on literary, both in life and in school. It helps people get a job, climb out of mediocrity and paucity, and become a productive citizen. Today’s educational system is challenged to help struggling readers keep up.

For starters, students who have difficulties reading can’t be regarded as developmentally equal with students who don’t have to face this issue. Some of them have fluency issues, others struggle with comprehension, and last but not least, there are those students who are a few years behind and still read at a basic, or below basic level. As much as it pains us to say it, there are students with acute learning disabilities; others are immigrants who can’t speak English. Advanced technology can help with all of these issues.

Time shouldn’t be wasted

Being a teacher to a group of students with divergent needs is nearly unattainable, even for the most skilled teachers and instructors. Generally speaking, struggling readers shouldn’t waste their time. They are compelled to learn faster than their peers in order to keep pace. They require individualized, besieged assistance, and they must have intensive and deliberate skill practice. In a class with 20 students with different needs, this can be challenging to attain.

Students who struggle to read are susceptible to failure. Many of them won’t have the capacity to get an academic degree, which means nothing motivated them to work harder. Some don’t even see the point of going to school if they can’t advance. In consequence, many choose to drop out. Last but not least, we have students in their pre-school years. Those who are 4+ years and fall behind on their reading eventually will end up needing more time to complete school tasks. In conclusion, we’re dealing with a colossal background gap of knowledge that must be overcome. How can technology help?

Advanced technology & its potential to help readers overcome their reading challenges

Studies have shown that advanced technology might help struggling readers improve their understanding abilities in math, thus assist teachers understand them better too. Technology can be incredibly adaptive. In the US for example, students have different needs in English language class. For a teacher, it’s tough to teach at 15-20 different levels. They’re not miracle workers, and the best they can do is shoot for the middle and hope for an acceptable outcome.

There’s a new alternative and it is called adaptive technology. It uses software that assesses students during the learning process, thus being able to respond straight away. The system sends out information on student progress, and it also recommends an approach for the teacher to help with the practice and learning at an optimal level. For example, if a 10th grader who can only read on a 4th grade level must read an article on The Second World War, adaptive technology may send a different version of that same article, an easier one to help him understand the context without getting lost in difficult words and phrases.

Advanced technologies facilitate repetitive practice

Students who have difficulties understanding a task can take advantage of repetitive practice via a tech device. Just like a tennis player who practices his serve over and over again until he can master it, a student can learn to read better and faster if he practices key skills. A teacher who has 20 struggling readers all with different needs can’t cater to all their demands. He must find a solution to help all 20 students develop their reading abilities. Technology can do this successfully. Adaptive technology in particular, knows what skills a student is having troubles with, and thus it can recommend an ideal type of practice.

The beauty of technology – availability 24/7

As advanced technology becomes omnipresent in people’s lives, it facilitates remote learning. There’s no need for a student to sit in a classroom to learn. As opposite to an average 8 to 3 school day in a four-walled classroom, technology creates a seamless connection between the home and the classroom, and between student, teacher and family. It is amazing at creating opportunities for team homework, as well as facilitating virtual learning when a student can’t go to school due to medical issues.

Technology gathers and processes data superbly. In spite of the fact that the human brain is so sophisticated and powerful, it can’t order, gather, and process data. A teacher is unable to simply remember the progress of a struggling reader; however, technology can. With the right software and computer, there are ways to monitor progress, tackle issues and act in consequence. Whether we want to admit this or not, technology is the future of learning, and it could become a fundamental weapon in helping students develop their reading abilities.

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Eliza,

    Thanks for your comment, I am not so expert in this field, I just wrote this article being passionate about reading, but I will try to research more and try to resolve all your issues in my next post. Or you can also come up with a follow up post.

  2. […] Well-made programs that use advanced technology could mean a lot for people with reading disabilities. Learning is built on literary, both in life and in school. It helps people get a job, climb out of mediocrity and paucity, and become a productive citizen. Today’s educational system is challenged to help struggling readers keep up. For starters, students who have difficulties reading can’t be regarded as developmentally equal with students who don’t have to face this issue. Some of them have fluency issues, others struggle with comprehension, and last but not least, there are those students who are a few years behind and still read at a basic, or below basic level. As much as it pains us to say it, there are students with acute learning disabilities; others are immigrants who can’t speak English. Advanced technology can help with all of these issues.  […]

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  5. This article misses the boat on so many fronts. Where is the discussion of word prediction? Of text to speech with synced highlighting (the photo illustration suggests this will be mentioned)? Of level text readers? Of the revolution that is happening when students access Accessible Instructional Materials? Of the remediation vs accommodation debate? Of students gaining independence and confidence and fully accessing their grade-level curriculum through AIM even when learning disabilities prevent grade-level fluency and decoding skills?

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