COVID-19 has disrupted all aspects of life, including education. The pandemic has widened existing learning gaps in reading, and students with learning challenges have been particularly affected. Learn about an essential reading tool that helps students catch up and accelerate learning.
Are These Situations Familiar?
- Are you noticing that student reading progress is slowing down as they shuttle between in-person, remote, and hybrid learning environments?
- Are students less engaged or struggling to read even though you are assigning them ebooks from popular general education apps or libraries?
- Is it difficult to find reading materials in alternative formats like audio or large print that can make reading and learning easier?
- Is it challenging to provide the personalized attention students with learning differences need due to classroom closures or absences?
If you answered yes to some or all of the questions above, you need resources that allow students to catch up and accelerate reading skills, regardless of whether class is in person or virtual.
An Essential Reading Tool During COVID
Have you heard about Bookshare? It is the free and essential ebook library that struggling readers (and their teachers) need while learning during COVID. Bookshare has millions of ebooks, including textbooks and classroom materials that make reading easier for students with disabilities like dyslexia, blindness, low vision, or cerebral palsy.
Bookshare’s specialized ebooks remove the barriers that make reading (and learning) difficult by allowing students to read in ways that work for them, with less intervention and support from teachers and aides. Students can listen to books in audio, follow along with karaoke-style highlighting, read in large font or braille, and customize their experience to suit their individual learning style.
“Digital resources and assistive technologies are an important link for kids with reading disabilities. One of the most compelling aspects of using Bookshare books with audio support is that students who have a problem decoding, but have good comprehension skills, will be able to access more reading materials at their ability and interest level. These technologies also foster motivation and pride for students, which is an important aspect of becoming a lifelong learner. When you can match a student with a book in the right format, it opens up a whole new learning experience.” -Kathryn L., Library Media Specialist, MD
By removing the burden of decoding or trying to access the text with one’s eyes or physically holding books, students can focus on comprehension and build independent learning skills. Find books in Bookshare and start reading immediately from the classroom, home, or wherever students’ learning is taking place. Bookshare has books that can supplement class assignments, and it offers a huge variety of titles for fun reading.
Steps to Jumpstart Independent Reading
- Sign up qualified students for FREE Bookshare memberships
- Visit the ABCs of Bookshare to learn how to add students to your roster and assign books
“An important benefit of Bookshare is the development of independent readers. Students rely less on their parents, friends, and teachers and more on themselves. We see their anxiety diminish, and in its place, a renewed sense of self-worth.” -Michelle T., AT Specialist, CO