Although the enhanced books have only been in place at Perspectives II for three weeks, the students are reporting overall satisfaction with their new reading experiences. Here is a summary of oral feedback.
Narrated, enhanced e-books:
1) Save time! This was the most widely reported benefit. Students appreciate the ability to read much more quickly than they would normally. This helps them to read more books, which builds their exposure to text. This also helps them to complete assignments on time. They also reported that the “natural” pace of the narration helps to keep the story/information in their minds as they read.
2) Offer expression, intonation, cadence, etc. that creates a “mood” or a “vibe” that struggling readers do not create on their own when they read. One student said that this mood is what he believes the author intended (but is not possible when he reads on his own). As he said, “the enhanced book becomes you.”
3) Support concentration as words are highlighted, and headphones block out classroom distraction and direct focus to the text.
4) Make re-reading and repeating easier, which leads to better understanding.
5) Help to improve pronunciation and word recognition.
Students also reported satisfaction with the way in which ebooks are accessed in the classroom. They noticed that the QR codes provided more direct access to books, and that the pre-selected books arranged by category helped to guide their choices. Sometimes traditional book selection is difficult for struggling readers because too much choice or a dense organizational system feels overwhelming.
(For more information about our pilot project at Perspectives II in Montreal, please refer to the blog posts about our classroom experiences.)