9 Tips For Using eReaders in the Classroom
Technology has drastically changed the modern classroom in recent years, and add to your electronic toolbox. Perhaps you've been given some brand new eReaders to start using in class, or you've had some for a while and aren't quite sure how to use them to their fullest potential.
When used properly, eReaders can be a fantastic tool for encouraging your students to fall in love with the written word. Below are some tips for integrating eReaders into everyday life in your classroom, and getting the most out of them. Try them out and see just how much potential these machines have in education.
- Fill your eReaders with exciting books: First things first, before your eReader can be pressed into use, you'll have to load it up with as many e books as possible. Luckily, eReaders can hold thousands of titles, meaning there'll always be a new book for your students to get their teeth stuck into. Most eReaders let you access their stores right from the device, allowing you to buy new titles quickly and easily. The Nook tab S2, for example, allows you to enter the Nook store, where children's titles are cataloged by age range, staff picks, and favorite authors, to name a few.
- Use free downloads: On the subject of e books, many e book stores offer free downloads of classic titles. Use the opportunity to download some of Charles Dickens' or Jane Austen's famous novels, and share them for the first time with your students.
- Resist the urge to have students share: We Are Teachers recommends keeping the student to eReader ratio at 1:1. When time and resources are limited and you want everybody to have their turn with the device, it can be tempting to simply have them share it with another student. However, treat them like printed books. Each student should have their own to allow them to read at their own pace, and engage fully with the text.
- Show students how to use annotations: Most eReaders have annotation functions, where eReaders can underline and highlight passages, or add their own comments. These can be helpful for you in understanding how much of the text the student understands, and what they're taking away from it. The feature can also be used in whole class activities, such as asking your students to find a certain fact or piece of information.
- Take advantage of text to speech capabilities: eReaders are a wonderful tool for helping struggling or reluctant readers. Education World points out that many devices have a text to speech capability, which means that given an eReader and a pair of headphones, a student can listen along to a story without being distracted by other goings on in the classroom.
- Embrace the anonymity that eReaders provide: With print books in your classroom library, there can be a stigma against children reading the lower level titles. As most schools label their books with different color stickers, it advertises the fact to the other students in the class. With eReaders, no one knows what they're reading unless they choose to share it with somebody else. Removing that stigma can encourage a reluctant reader to pick up a book more often, and start to enjoy reading more fully.
- Give each eReader a unique name: Keeping track of anything in your classroom can be challenging, and eReaders are no exception. If you're worried about them being misplaced, give each device a unique name. Then, you can register a device with a student for the lesson or the day, or even let them take it home for the night.
- Incorporate e texts into your lessons: There is a huge range of ways of bringing e texts into your everyday teaching. British Council has detailed just a few different ways of using eReaders in class, such as using inbuilt comprehension and listening exercises with some books or projecting the book onto your board to read along with the class. You can probably think of even more ways to incorporate them into your own lessons every day.
- EReaders aren't just for books: eReaders give easy access to books, but that's not all they're good for. You can download educational apps onto them for students to play in their downtime, use them to play short video clips as part of your lesson, or let student’s research topics online using the web browsing capability. The possibilities really are endless.
Now that you have a few tips under your belt, you can probably think of hundreds of more ways that you can use eReaders in your own classroom. Put those devices to work and see just what they can do for your students' literacy levels.