Part 2 of 3
At FETC 2015, Terry Dobson and Heather Baptie—founders of Links 2 Learning Online who specialize in working with students with severe learning disabilities—highlighted the following digital tools for supporting reading:
Teach Your Monster to Read
Teach Your Monster to Read is a series of games that help students learn the key first stages of reading. Combining top quality game design with essential learning, the games complement most systematic synthetic phonics programs. They have been designed in collaboration with leading academics from Roehampton University. Teach Your Monster to Read is completely free to play on desktop and laptop computers. The app costs $4.99.
Reading Raven features fun, educational games that can become more challenging, students can use this app from their very earliest reading adventures up through first or second grade. It features a step-by-step curriculum, so students learn to read at their own pace, and features a phonics-based approach.
Ticket to Read
Ticket to Read is a self-paced, student-centered online program that results in improved reading performance. As students complete tasks in the areas of foundational skills, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension, they earn points that can be used to decorate their personal clubhouse or stock their toy store.
One-Minute Reader features interesting, nonfiction stories, packed with fascinating content that taps into students’ curiosity. Readers read along with a recording of a fluent reader to help them learn how to say the words and how to read in a natural voice. The tool has been designed very carefully so parents can be non-readers and still have their student working and being supported.
Reading Trainer is an app that supports older students to increase their reading speed and improve their retention. Students are guided through training steps. The results of each training exercise are charted for the student’s review. Students can check their reading speed at any time using 18 different reading tests about a variety of topics.
Baptie recommended that parents who are going to allow their student to use an app explore Guided Access, which locks a child in an app until the parent lets them out of it. Guided Access also allows parents to limit the amount of time a child can “play” on the app. To access Guided Access, go to Settings>General>Accessibility.