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May 2015 | Volume 72 | Number 8
Teaching with Mobile Tech
Built-in dictionaries, audio support, and other features make e-books a valuable addition to literacy instruction.
Eight years ago, when I first began helping schools incorporate e-book reading into their curriculums, students were bound to desktop computers, and electronic books for kids were scarce. Today, there is a limitless supply of e-book titles, and advancements in e-book technologies allow for a portable and interactive reading experience. Improvements in technology, coupled with falling prices and a greater supply of books, have prompted a rise in e-book reading among kids. In fact, last year, 60 percent of all school-age children reported having read an e-book. Although most e-books are read at home, e-book reading at school nearly doubled in the last two years, from 12 to 21 percent (Scholastic, 2015).
Although there is still much to learn about the potential of e-books for schools, it is clear that effective e-book implementation can enhance students' literacy experiences (Larson, 2010; Moyer, 2012). But it is not enough to simply place digital reading devices in the hands of students and expect reading scores to improve. Readers need to be strategic in their use of e-books and their many features. To do so, they need effective reading instruction (Dalton, 2014; Larson, 2013). Let's examine how e-books and digital reading devices can effectively support literacy learning.
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