Scientific and tech advances are permanently changing the global landscape at an incredible pace. Our kids will undoubtedly encounter enormous challenges in the future that we cannot even anticipate. What is the best way to prepare our kids? We need to help them become confident and motivated readers and thinkers who can critically read information, so they do not just believe everything they see and hear. Reading develops the mind, improves understanding, and enhances the imagination.
The Reading Comprehension Crisis in the U.S.
For decades, the U.S. has made reading comprehension a priority, yet the crisis continues. Two-thirds of our nation’s 4th, 8th and 12th graders consistently score below the” proficient” level on national and state assessments.
What Humans Do Well
Humans are geniuses at finding patterns and making connections. The human brain understands content and context, and can read mood. Even when our children are not directly speaking to us, we can tell by their body language when they are engaged and motivated, and when they are confused, bored, or turned off.
What Humans Struggle with, but Computers Can Do
Whether our kids are at home or in school, a parent or teacher cannot instantly know what they are thinking. We may not know how, or why, a child became confused when reading something or trying to solve a problem. Therefore, we often cannot react to their responses in a way that immediately clears up any confusion they may be experiencing. This is something a well-designed, automatically adaptive e-learning program can do.
Also, we cannot hold lots of discrete information in our brains and appropriately react to this information. This can be frustrating even with our own children. The problem is more complicated when dealing with many kids at once. Students come to us with different skills and interests. It is virtually impossible to carry out 25 different lesson plans, for 25 different students with different needs at the same time. Computers, on the other hand, can be programmed to be responsive and to present information in different ways, based on student needs
Why Watering Down Content Hurts Struggling Readers
Kids at all skill levels need to be prepared for future challenges. Simply lowering expectations and “watering down” content jeopardizes the future of struggling readers. We need to provide leveled materials that explain grade- and age-appropriate concepts in ways all students can access. This is done best with an automatically adaptive e-learning platform. In fact, this was the impetus behind the design of the Readorium program.
Helping Teachers and Students with Readorium
Readorium was designed to provide the following…
- A motivating approach that provides rewards, challenges, and thought-provoking activities
- Science chapter books (written at 10-12 different levels) that adapt to each student’s individual needs based on their responses to questions
- Individualized support provided by book “mentors”
- Systematic, multi-sensory, and explicit strategy and word study lessons in context
- Student performance data accessible in real time
- Multimedia and printable instructional resources