E-Reader Technology

February 7, 2017

Reading Remediation Overview
Reading remediation is often at the center of instruction for students with language-based learning disabilities. While prescriptive in nature, reading instruction can take many forms and follow a variety of programs. At the core of this remediation is the need for structured practice that includes specific and immediate feedback with an opportunity for application. When implementing teacher suggestions, students should read material that is at a comfortable level in order to best improve their oral reading skills. For many, reading from a text presents a multitude of challenges. Small fonts, minimal margins, and visually overwhelming pages are just a few of the complications that can affect fluent reading. In order to accommodate for these challenges, teachers have used strategies such as highlight markers to focus students’ attention on just one line at a time, which helps to decrease the number of words in view. But what about the other print factors?

Application of Technology
Technology provides an alternative means of addressing some reading difficulties. The use of internet-driven texts and e-Readers allows students to alter settings for font size, margin size, text color, and the amount of words that appear on the screen at once. Recent studies have drawn the following conclusions on e-Readers:

  • “Individuals with poor eyesight or reading disorders like dyslexia can benefit more from e-books because they provide a range of options for changing the text size and spacing of lines. A 2013 study in the journal PLOS One observed reading comprehension and speed in 103 high school students with dyslexia. The study found that people with dyslexia read more effectively, and with greater ease, when using the e-reader compared with reading on paper” (Kraft, 2015).
  • Dr. Matthew Schneps, a founding member of the Science Education Department at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and research professor at UMass Boston, has recently focused his research on how individual neurology affects learning, particularly for those with learning disabilities. Carolyn Johnson discusses his recent research by saying, “Schneps will soon publish a study of high school students with dyslexia that found reading on the palm-sized screen of an iPod Touch reduced inefficiencies in the ways students’ eyes flitted across the page. The shorter lines on the screen made reading faster, without diminishing comprehension” (2013).

From these studies and additional research, it is clear that technology should never replace instruction. The use of technology can provide students with a means of altering the appearance of the text presented to them, but remediation is still necessary to improve their ability to read that text independently.

Johnson, Carolyn. (2013). “Personal discovery on dyslexia may aid many: Scientist explores how small screens can make a difference.” The Boston Globe.

Kraft, Amy. (2015). “Books vs. e-books: The science behind the best way to read.” CBS News.

How Does This Connect to Landmark’s Teaching Principles™?
Technology in the form of e-Readers and internet-driven materials is designed to provide students a different avenue for accessing material. Therefore, instruction and remediation stay at the forefront while technology becomes a platform for using multiple modalities, which is Landmark’s second teaching principle. This technology allows students to gain access to curriculum through a different modality while the curriculum itself remains the same. For the full text of the Landmark Teaching Principles™, including “Use Multiple Modalities,” click here.

Strategies to Download

Explore available E-Reader technology.


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