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November 2018 by V. R. Duin


Learn how to get kids reading with digital reading tools, reading games, learning apps and information on blogs, social media and websites.

How to get kids reading? Use play-like tools, such as audio and interactive books, learning games and apps. Engaging voices and sounds guide and inspire learning of the alphabet, letter sounds, rhyming patterns and words.

Educational programs can be used at home. Some apps have portals. Parents can track children's reading rates. Some apps let kids publish their own books, make voice recordings and showcase performances.

Fun and interesting sounds may spark interest. Audio books may be useful when an ability to turn the pages of physical books is lacking. A child, who is not ready to read a book, can listen to one being read.

Children enjoy new subjects and favorite characters. Readiness and interest are improved with fun reading activities. These teach how to hold a book and read texts. English pages are read top to bottom and left to right.

Digital reading has affected the way in which teaching activities are conducted. Word-processing and computer-related technologies have overtaken pen, paper and books in schools, at work and at home.

Digital tools have instructions that teach parents and educators how to get kids reading. These may free of charge or purchased online and in retail stores. They draw reluctant readers into the storytelling fun of reading.

Children are attracted to the tech action and interaction. Animations, magical experiences and user choices offered by technology are fun for kids. They encourage involvement in the reading process and build confidence.

Students with learning challenges or disabilities may benefit from new controllers. Some of them are designed for use by individuals with limited mobility. Use of electronic devices by children should be guided by adults.

Parental guidance ensures materials are child-friendly. They receive feedback on progress and comprehension. Technology use must be paired with manual practice. Children need to learn how to write letters and words by hand.

Students, parents and educators can work together. Getting kids to read puts new responsibility on students, parents and educators. They must stay current with trending educational resources and information.

Standard school technology is generating interest in interactive programs. With phones and tablets, students can use apps as learning aids. For example, they can make flash cards to remember new words.

Tech disruptors challenge existing educational styles with alternative programs, services and products. Many tools may be upgraded for added features. They can link motivated students to teachers and mentors.

A team approach may be helpful. It keeps everyone involved the academic growth of these students. Most children have access to cell phones to use tools at home. Tablets or computers are not needed for most learning apps.

Users of digital reading tools must exercise caution. The Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics released a study raising serious ethics and consumer protection issues about apps for young children.

The article: Advertising in Young Children's Apps, presented research from University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children's Hospital. Hidden ads plagued 95% of the free or paid apps reviewed for kids 5 and under.

This augments a backlash against tech giants. The apps reviewed by researchers from the University of Michigan C. S. Mott Children's were popular. They included apps in Google Play store labeled “educational”.

Apps can trick children into purchases. A team led by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and Center for Digital Democracy sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission against these deceptive marketing tactics.

Skepticism is aimed at Silicon Valley by the education establishment. Parents, students and teachers may not interact digitally or find accurate information. Online licenses and permissions may be hard to understand.

Entertaining and creative alternatives should not exclude printed books. A combined approach is best. Free accelerated reader questions for Goopy Ghost and Little Ray books are available on their respective websites.

Screencastify is a free digital reading tool extension for Chrome. It captures video from a website and records screen content to a Chromebook for verbal feedback on presentations, instructions, assignments.

AnswerGarden is one of Apple's most popular learning apps. It facilitates brainstorming, feedback and audience participation among students, teachers and other users who are viewing this question and answer process.

Digital reading tools can help students of every grade level. They teach critical thinking, analysis and research skills. They may get kids reading, which remains a ticket to success in the digital world.

Here are 18 Digital Tools and Strategies that Support Students' Reading and Writing from progressive teachers in Littleton, Colorado to help everyone get started with digital reading tools. These may be worth downloading.