« Alabama Asks Permission to Cut Spec. Ed. Funding for a Year | Main | What Has IDEA Meant to You? »

E-Readers and Reading Disabilities

My colleague Katie Ash recently wrote a fine article on the use of e-readers with students who have reading disabilities. My takeaway is that the jury is still out on the usefulness of such devices as a widespread intervention, but that for some students, e-readers could be helpful.

Also interesting: one educator quoted in the article made the point that because e-readers are not designed specifically for students with disabilities, they don't have a stigma attached to them and might be used more readily by students in front of their classmates. I can actually imagine a group of students fighting over who gets to be the first one to use the iPad or the Kindle.

But nothing can replace solid teaching, everyone agrees. From the article:

That looking-before-you-leap cautionary note is something that Lotta Larson, an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at Kansas State University, in Manhattan, Kan., also expresses about e-readers in education.

"There's a huge sense of urgency right now," she says. "This [technology] is starting to enter our schools very rapidly, especially as the prices come down, and before that happens, we have to inform people."

Indeed, there's a real need for professional development to accompany the reading devices, says Larson. "I don't think the e-reader in itself is going to make a difference, but if it's used with effective instruction, then it can make a huge difference," she says.

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • sdc teach: I agree with the previous post regarding the high cost read more
  • Jason: That alert is from 2001. Is there anything more recent read more
  • Vikki Mahaffy: I worked as a special education teacher for 18 years read more
  • paulina rickards: As it relates to this research I am in total read more
  • Anonymous: Fully fund the RTI process. We are providing special education read more