The following is a amazing summary of reading ICT tools by Catriona Pene that can support the following question:
How do we use technology to support and encourage all of our students to read more?
There are plenty of classroom friendly sites to populate your reading programme, Kiwi Kids News, Nat Geo Kids, and Wonderopolis all provide topical, short format, simple content pieces of text that are easily accessible to students. Supporting images, videos and links to related information add value to the content and appeal to students.
Adding tech tools into the mix can further enhance the experience. Text to speech software lets a student listen to selected text in an online article or web page. Text is highlighted a piece at a time and read aloud. Text to speech software is available on most devices or can be turned on in web browsers. Try Natural Reader or built in features on i-devices.
Replacing the traditional ‘reading a novel to the whole class’ with reading an ebook can have great benefits for students. As well as reading aloud to the class the teacher can project the text onto a large screen, allowing the students to follow along as you read, to see the text and the format of the page. A teacher I spoke to has found this has lead to increased discussion around specific words, spelling, meanings and phrasing and increased both the focus on the text and the interest of the students. Built in tools in the ebook allow easy searching of word meanings and highlighting of pieces of text for discussion.
Further Support: Creating a podcast on an iPad
This is an interesting read from Mark Wilson reporting on Cashmere High School: Investigating the effectiveness of modern learning environments on improving student learning and achievement.