During the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers had to make sudden adjustments. With technology being as strong as it is, remote education was heavily relied upon while safety measures were taken due to the coronavirus. The United States was on lockdown and there needed to be an effective way for students to get the proper schooling needed at a young age in order to develop skills to survive and thrive in the real world as adults. Under these unforeseen circumstances, teachers were tasked with adapting. It proved to be extremely difficult for those who weren’t tech-savvy. Here are three ways you can use technology effectively to teach your students how to read.
Use Tools To Your Advantage
There are many tech tools that you can use that will help your students learn how to read. There’s Whooo’s Reading, which makes it a goal to encourage students to read more. The social platform also gives students a chance to discuss the books they’re reading with ease. Books That Grow is also available for students of all reading levels. The adaptive texts make it even easier on the teacher as it’ll adjust to the performance of the students. Other tools such as Imagine Learning may also come in handy.
Data Is Your Friend
If you feel as if your lessons aren’t bringing out the best in your students, don’t be so hard on yourself. Instead, look at what the data says so you can improve your lessons. It’s important to try something new in this era of technology. In fact, students who learned from Teach For America were able to learn more math according to a survey (via The Atlantic). At the time, some were skeptical about just how effective Teach For America could be but it just goes to show that sometimes trying something new isn’t so bad. This is why data is important because you have a solid idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Students who struggle with reading texts likely fare better when listening to someone else read. Utilizing text-to-speech can be a great way to get your students to find more success with reading. If students can listen to what is being read, while looking at the text, they could develop stronger reading skills. Think of it like training wheels on a bike. Eventually, the training wheels come off. One solid program for text-to-speech is NaturalReader. Teachers can upload texts and documents on the tools and send them to their students.
Teachers shouldn’t shy away from technology even if they aren’t savvy with its tools. In fact, it should be embraced. Your students live in a world where technology is king. They may already know more about tech than you do. Meet them in the middle at the very least since tech will become a massive part of their future. If you can use the tools mentioned to your advantage, you may even surprise yourself with how effective your lessons will eventually become.