Common Core State [sic] Standards
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The Myth About Computer-Based Reading Software?
I want a T-shirt: ban computers from an instructional role.
by Peter DeWitt
It's the 21st Century thing to do. Take students who are struggling readers or those classified as special education students and put them on an interactive reading program to learn how to read. Many educators buy into it. After all, kids are enveloped in technology from an early age and these programs have sound, graphics and the programs ask in-depth comprehension questions which seem personalized to fit each student's need. But are they working?
Educators believe they are working. They get data from these programs that say student's Lexile scores are climbing and find that students are showing an increase in comprehension. With the support of these programs, some students find reading less intimidating and pick up books to read which may be different than their previous behavior of not wanting to read at all. But, is their fluency really getting better? Are they really becoming better readers?
How are those students doing when teachers complete non computer-based progress monitoring?
Reading Software Results
Recently, I had a conversation with Dr. Dick Allington, one of the leading experts in the area of literacy instruction. Dr. Allington made the comment that he would ban computers from an instructional role (emphasis added) and that they didn't have a significant effect on teaching students to read. He added that the results of studies are "Largely depressing, especially since schools are spending billions on such software. . . ."
Education Week gets ticked off when I post full pieces so go to the url below to get the rest of this one.
Finding Common Ground blog
January 20, 2013
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