Technological advances have greatly increased the tools we can choose from to help improve reading skills. I am going to focus on computer learning software for kids. This is of particular interest to me because while the child is increasing his attention span by playing a video game, he is also fine-tuning specific reading skills, such as comprehension and vocabulary.
In ‘Action Video Game Modifies Visual Selection Attention’, published in April 2003 by Shawn Green and Daphne Bavelier, a study was conducted to analyze the effects of video games on visual attention resources. Green and Bavelier found that video game players have a higher attention span than non-video game players. Therefore, we can assume that video games improve reading skills by increasing attention span.
Children who struggle with reading are more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to attend college. Therefore, concentrating on and solidifying reading skills at a young age is incredibly important to a person’s overall success. Reading can be a very difficult skill to motivate a young person to practice. However, once an agreed method(s) is found, it is an easy skill to improve and you will see progress quickly.
I did a search for games that would improve specific reading skills while incorporating the aforementioned increase in attention span and offered the following reviews.
The Learning Company’s Reader Rabbit 1 software builds early reading skills and is designed for ages 4-7. Features include matching, classifier, tagger, and word train. Educational benefits include increasing vocabulary by associating pictures with their names, increasing understanding of letter and sound correspondences with the use of real speech throughout the program, and allowing parents to personalize their child’s learning experience using graduated levels of difficulty.
Reading Comprehension Booster from Merit Software allows students to get practice using basic strategies to improve reading and is designed for grades 3-5. Students work through interactive exercises to determine the main idea, make inferences, and draw conclusions. Assessments place students in appropriate units of instruction. Students advance as they demonstrate readiness. They receive immediate instructional feedback at all times.
Knowledge Adventure’s Jump Start series includes extreme fun and exciting adventure in learning. The game takes you through an adventure, for example solving a mystery while using various abilities to navigate through a number of different scenarios. Skills include parts of speech, spelling and vocabulary, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, prime numbers, fractions, decimals, estimation, science, geography, music, arts, and history. The Jump Start series is available for kindergarten through sixth grade!
Technological advances have increased the tools we can choose from for reading improvement. I have suggested a computer learning software for kids which I find to be of high quality and attractive. This is of particular interest to me because while the child is increasing her attention span by playing a video game, she is also fine-tuning specific reading skills, such as comprehension and vocabulary.