Closed Captioning Improves Literacy

Closed_captioning_symbol.svgCaptioning, or Closed Captioning, has a proven track record of improving literacy for learners of all ages.

In one randomized study, students engaged daily in content with “Same Language Subtitling” scored significantly higher than students in the comparison condition on the reading comprehension achievement post tests.  Data from PlanetRead has shown that even 30 minutes of weekly exposure to SLS or captioning over 3-5 years, enables adults and children with basic familiarity of the alphabet to become functionally literate.  The science underlying SLS and captioning is strong. Eye-tracking research has established that SLS causes an automatic and inescapable read-along response. Early-readers when exposed to SLS or captions, try to read along, and in the process, find their reading skills improving.

This free and simple tool is available to parents, educators, and anyone trying to help someone improve their reading skills! Closed Captioning is available on most devices including TV, Digital Cable, Satellite, DVD’s and many internet video channels such as YouTube.  Simply turn on this feature and captions become immediately available.  In addition, many educational video sites and organizations with digital content provide Closed Captions on their content.

Turn on captioning to turn on reading!  To find everything from how to turn on captioning, to finding sites with captioned content, visit Captions for Literacy.  (@Caps4Lit)

 

EPIC – eBooks and Audiobooks

epicEpic! – Unlimited Books for Kids is a subscription based digital book resource for children ages 12 and under. While the individual cost is $4.99 per month, Epic is available to educators for free!

Register, create student profiles, assign books, attach quizzes, and track reading progress (time and pages read).  Over 10,000 ebooks are available, along with Audio Books and Read-Along books, and over 500 Spanish/English bilingual books.  Additional books are added each month.  Books can be read on any digital platform, or made available offline (there is a web-based portal, and apps in the Chrome Web Store, iTunes Store and Google Play Store).

Epic’s service includes a variety of fiction & non-fiction from leading publishers. It’s been called the “Netflix” of books for kids!

With all of the options available, this is a terrific tool for Universal Design for Learning and differentiation!

Watch this video to get started with your Free Educator account. @EpicKidsBooks

 

Add Images to Google Form Answers

fruitGoogle Forms now allows images to be added as answer choices. The option for pictures to be embedded in the question has been available for some time, however this new feature really opens up this tool for differentiation!

Students can choose a visual response in the multiple choice or checkbox question types.  This is a terrific option for young learners, struggling readers, English Language learners and others.  Using Google Forms, with image responses, can be used for assessment & check for understanding as well as student surveys, voting, lunch choice – the possibilities are endless!

View this how-to from Google – linked here.  You can also read more and view a video tutorial at Freetechnology4teachers.com. (@rmbyrne)

C-Pen Portable Text Reader

c penThe C-Pen Reader and C-Pen Exam Reader, developed in the United Kingdom, is now available in the US!  This latest, significant, advancement in portable text reading technology for users of all ages.

The C-Pens allow for more independent reading, helping eucators and parents move away from reading aloud to students.  While the pens offer differing features, both read-aloud of words as well as lines of text, built-in speaker and earphone jack, rechargeable battery, viewable font from 6.5 – 22, and only weigh 1.8 oz!

The C-Pen Reader also features instant word lookup in the dictionary and the ability to scan and save to file for copying or transferring to your computer.

The C-Pen Exam Reader is an allowable exam accommodation in the United Kingdom, can we envision the day where this type of portable tool is approved for standardized US assessments?

School Health has begun carrying both pens in the US:  C-Pen Reader from School Health & C-Pen Exam Reader from School Health. Follow them on Twitter @schoolhealth or @EnableMart.

Project Gutenberg – Free Classic eBooks and Audio Books

project gutenberg app iconProject Gutenberg – not your Grandmother’s old, weathered text!  New, upgraded features and options make this long-standing resource worth another look.  Project Gutenberg offers over 50,000 free public-domain ebooks, along with tens of thousands more through partners and affiliates.  Most of the classics are included, providing digital access for diverse learners.  Choose among free epub books for reading on any computer, Chromebook, tablet or iPad/iPhone, or Kindle.  Download them or read them online, with or without images, with or without audio.  Many books, through partner Librivox, are human-read for a significantly improved audio listening experience, or access the Audio Book, Human Read Category.

Access books directly through the Project Gutenberg Website or download an app (Gutenberg Project iPad app or Gutenberg Books Android app).  For more information on book downloads, access the Gutenberg How-To page for mobile devices.  Follow on Twitter @gutenberg_org.