Technology Used in Reading Instruction

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  • 0:05 Technology in the Classroom
  • 0:49 Technology for Reading
  • 1:13 Phonemic Awareness
  • 2:09 Phonics & Fluency
  • 3:01 Vocabulary & Comprehension
  • 4:00 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

In this lesson, we will explore the different uses of technology for reading instruction and how it can be a valuable tool in the classroom. We will discuss some of the options available for your classroom implementation.

Technology in the Classroom

Take a moment to think about how you use technology throughout your day. How about getting to and from a location? Many of us rely on technology for transportation or for directions. Purchasing an item or paying a bill frequently relies on technology in today's world. Right now, you are online, so you may be using a computer, smartphone, e-reader or tablet. As such, technology has become very important in education.

Classrooms across the world use technology to teach important concepts and to improve student performance. Computers, tablets, smart phones, educational computer programs, apps and the Internet are used in countless ways for teaching. Let's take a closer look at the ways technology is used for reading instruction.

Technology for Reading

Learning to read is a process that is made up of many individual steps. The National Reading Panel identified five key components for reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Technology can streamline the process of addressing each aspect of learning in reading instruction. Let's look at each of the five key components in terms of what technology can do.

Phonemic Awareness

Think back on your early school days. You probably began by singing the ABCs. The alphabet is an important first step in learning to read because early readers must understand the sounds of the letters; but phonemic awareness goes beyond simply learning the letters of the alphabet.

Being able to hear the phonemes, or individual sounds of the letters within a word, and how they change with other letters, is essential for mastering phonemic awareness. For example, with the word HAT students need to understand the sound H makes, the sound A makes, and the sound T makes, and be able to blend them together successfully to form the actual word.

Technology provides many simple and easy-to-operate tools for creating phonemic awareness. For example, computer-aided instruction may speak the word to the student and ask the student to select the corresponding word. This type of technology may also allow students to practice saying the word in an effort to nail down correct pronunciation.

Phonics and Fluency

In addition to understanding the sounds letters make, we must also learn how they look. Phonics is the study of written letters. Combining the letters on a page with the sounds they make enables us to read our first words.

Technology has changed the way we teach phonics. For example, students can use tablet devices with a stylus to trace letters. Other programs allow students to play games to increase their understanding of letters and the way they look on the page.

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