Prevent Summer Slide with Technology

Mitigating summer slide remains a high priority for growth-focused schools. One of the best ways to accomplish this is keeping all students engaged in math and, for low to middle income students, in reading.  While there are various traditional approaches available (e.g. summer library reading programs, school-based interventions, home school approaches, etc.), technology can offer another alternative.

Tips for mitigating the effects of summer slide include:

Tip #4 – Stalling the Summer Slide for Reading

Stalling summer slide can involve any variety of techniques. While the tips above involved math applications, you can access a variety of reading apps featuring free content (e.g. OpeneBooks), whether audio books (e.g. Tales2Go) or text. And, eReaders are inexpensive and available (e.g. BiblioTech), depending on your locale.

Tip #5 – Listening Yields Same Results as Reading

“Listeners and readers retain about equal understanding of the passages they’ve consumed,” says Melissa Dahl, citing research in this New York Magazine article, which is another key point for listening to audio books as well as reading them. Listening to audio books has benefits for students that go beyond simply reading text on the printed page. Combining the two experiences yields dividends, but don’t sell audio books short. Here are some research-based benefits of audio over text reading:

  • Fiction (which is great for second language learners) read aloud encourages your brain to picture the scenes.
  • Listening to audio books enhances listening skills as ears strain for the next word.
  • Audio book “reading” can be done on the go, which may match the needs of certain busy people in our lives.

Not convinced about the impact of listening to audio books over reading print? You may want to check out this recent study:

Two notable findings are that students using Tales2go attained 58% of the annual expected gain in reading achievement in just 10 weeks, putting them three months ahead of control students. Plus, the study group outperformed the control group across all measures, by three times in reading comprehension, nearly seven times in second-grade vocabulary, and nearly four times in reading motivation. These increases came after students listened for twenty minutes three times per week in the afternoon program at school, and an additional two twenty-minute sessions at home.

Don’t let summer slide hamper your children’s growth and forward movement. Take advantage of technology to close the summer achievement gap.

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Publication:      TCEA TechNotes Blog
Author:             Miguel Guhlin
Publish Date:   4.27.2017