Use of Technology in Guided Reading

I have been really trying to think of intentional and effective ways to incorporate technology into my guided reading lessons. As a reading specialist, having students for 30 minutes makes it a challenge. I think technology should be used only if it improves the task at hand. For guided reading you really have to think about your purpose.

Is reading a text digitally better for students?  

Do students get more out of a text reading it in print form?

Can students more effectively practice skills & strategies using digital texts or printed texts?

Does the grade level of  the students matter?

Is using technology as a way for students to respond to a text the best use?

Now keep in mind I am thinking in terms of use within Guided Reading groups. I recently did a survey on my newsletter asking students to share if they liked reading on a device or a printed book. The results are below.

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 3.02.28 PMStudents want to be reading on devices. However when conducting my survey several said they like both, depending on the type of book.  Another survey might be needed!

After my survey I saw this tweet from Ellin Keene. @EllinKeene

The study says most students learn more effectively from printed material than digital. It talks about how digital materials can be useful when quickly reading content less than a page in length. When reading material digitally kids usually only grasp the basic gist in longer texts. So for texts longer than a page our students need to be reading print. The study was done with college students. College students are more advanced readers than my students for sure and if they have trouble deeply understanding the material they read digitally then I know most of my Emergent and transitional readers definitely will. These college students overwhelming liked reading digitally better than print. They also thought they comprehended better reading digital texts than with print. This was not the case. Their comprehension suffered. One thought was people tend read digital texts more quickly than print texts. I find this to be true with myself. I find myself printing really important documents I want to read and printing things to proofread. Here is the study: http://www.businessinsider.com/students-learning-education-print-textbooks-screens-study-2017-10

I have found the SAMR model to be very effective when trying to justify use of technology in place of other materials. The SAMR model was developed by Ruben Puentedura and provides educators questions to ask to see if selecting a digital tool is more beneficial than a non-digital tool. It provides a nice framework to use to help you decide. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.

Samr

This article explains it very well. Check it out: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2015-02-06-a-guide-for-bringing-the-samr-model-to-ipads

So as an elementary teacher I need to consider the purpose of the task I want a student to complete when reading on a device. I am leaning towards use of technology for responding to reading instead of the reading itself, for guided reading. The purpose of guided reading just lends itself to print texts.  Check out this Q&A from @FountasPinnell 

There are so many apps and online tools that can help readers connect ideas and share their thinking. I am using Padlet right now.

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 2.55.25 PM

These tools can help readers organize their thinking and see connections they may have not noticed. This is a way to get students to notice each other’s thinking, ideas, strategies, and use of processes. It allows students to not have to worry about handwriting and spelling as much. Student can focus on their thinking and responding to a text in a meaningful way. Student can easily see classmates’ response’s as well and think about them genuinely without being embarrassed for not thinking of that themselves. Of course the proper use of language and classroom talk can make this happen as well by keeping kids engaged. I think there are times where you would defiantly use digital texts more in the classroom, but for my purpose as a reading specialist I think responding to reading seems the best use. There are many strategies that could lend themselves to digital responses in Jennifer Serravallo’s book The Reading Strategies Book.  

9780325074337 

Specifically, strategies shared in Goals 12 and 13 in the book. Goal 12 is Supporting Students’ Conversations. Goal 13 is Improving Writing About Reading.

I have not read any research on using digital texts within guided reading but would be curious to see some. What I have found online mostly talks about using technology to keep the students you are not reading with busy. I am Ok with that for now, because I see too many students reading with devices, but not really thinking as they read or reading for meaning. I think students who read online tend to read too quickly without as much thought as the study above indicates. Maybe this will change and there are exceptions. We do need to provide opportunities for students to be exposed to digital texts because they will not  going away. I love technology and use it a great deal, but I want to make sure I am meeting my students needs. I do not think  guided reading is the place however for it yet.

Let me know your thoughts!

Author: Troy F

Reading Specialist

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