Imagine not being able to read a cookbook, or understand public parking signs. That’s the reality that 32 million adults in the United States face, which is 14 percent of the total population. This group is able to read at or below a third grade level. A shocking statistic for one of the most advanced and developed nations in the world. Children are also struggling; 35 percent of children begin kindergarten without the necessary skills needed to learn how to read.
Studies show that literacy in children is one of the most crucial aspects of development, and helps shape comprehension and critical thinking skills throughout life. In addition, a literacy report states that every one percent increase in the nation’s literacy translates into a 2.5 percent increase in GDP. This proves that literacy rates directly impact the economy!
To tackle this widespread problem, we turn to technology. In today’s diverse and differentiated classrooms, technology tools are helping children learn at various paces and through unique learning styles. Technology is facilitating learning like never before.
Try these tools to help children develop and advance their literacy capabilities:
This app is helping children (and adults) with dyslexia and other reading difficulties. NaturalReader is a text-to-speech app that reads webpages, documents, eBooks, class notes, and more out loud. Not only is it a valuable learning tool but you can listen on the go while commuting or multitasking.
Scrible makes online research, note taking, and organization easier and more intuitive. It’s designed with user experience in mind; it’s a toolbar that allows web users to highlight, take notes, bold, underline, and italicize text. All edits are saved to a personal library, where it can be accessed again. This type of ability is the first of its kind, and is helping children and adults navigate the web and improve literacy at the same time.
Read&Write makes the web, documents, and files more accessible and digestible. It helps tackle learning difficulties, as well as children whose first language isn’t English. The software can read text on-screen, as well as research and check over written work. It’s the perfect tool to help build confidence in reading and writing.
The Alpha Writer app has over 100 fun and unique learning illustrations where children engage in self-directed activities. The app is designed to teach the foundations of language, phonetic spelling, consonants and vowels, pronunciation, fine motor skills, and more. As children gain more and more skills, they have the opportunity to construct stories through letters and sounds.
This literacy software tool is designed for individuals who struggle with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and aphasia. WYNN enhances success with reading and writing challenges. The software has been developed with the help of special educators and individuals who’ve experienced learning difficulties. WYNN has a wide range of capabilities including: a bi-modal approach to reading, ability to edit pages and files, custom visuals, and clear sounding text-to-speech.
Diana Aquino is a Marketing and Project Management professional with extensive experience in mobile, app analytics, and marketing strategy. She’s worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, helping apps reach top ranks. You can reach her on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.