Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

September 27, 2013

Free Tech Resources to Support Struggling Readers

I recently attended a seminar on Reading Disorders at The Rankin Institute, an outreach component of The Fletcher School. Presenter Joanie Gerken, Fellow/AOGPE and consultant to The Fletcher School, provided an overview of the development of reading skills, how to identify children at risk for reading disorders, and strategies for helping struggling readers. Jenny Grabiec, Instructional Technology Director at The Fletcher School, expanded on this information by providing tech savvy resources that can be used to support school-age readers. The use of technology in the classroom is evergrowing. Having been a student that used primarily paper-based resources growing up, I admit to being guilty of trying to fight against the evolution of tablets used as a primary resource for students. However, I am coming to find that there are some pretty cool ways to take advantage of these devices. I wanted to share some of the resources that I was introduced to at this event. All of the products that Jenny Grabiec demonstrated are completely FREE.         

Print Friendly removes ads, navigation and junk from the page that can distract readers, particularly readers that have difficulty with tracking. You can also click-to-delete any content as you move through the article and change text size. 

Read and Write for Google offers free text-to-speech, translator tools, and study skill highlighting. Study skill highlighters are great for identifying main ideas and supporting details within articles. Additional premium features expire following a 30-day trial without subscription purchase.

Overdrive allows you to rent books electronically from your library. All you need is your library card number. 

For the many other extensions that were shared at the seminar or more information about these products, follow this link:

Also, check out these websites for interesting articles, games, and discussion topics to share with your children:                                                                                

The Rankin Institute offers free presentations for parents and educators monthly. Check their website for upcoming events and registration.

As a speech therapist in Charlotte, I think it is great to have these local resources and experts.