Saturday, November 8, 2008

Literacy + Technology = ?

While technology solutions are not the answer to every teaching problem, sometimes there can be a great support in meeting a student need. Here's the scenario: what about a high school or middle school student who may have trouble reading the typical novel offering? The vocab is too difficult, the sentences too demanding. The student too easily loses the thread of the narrative. What to do? My suggestion is to check out Orca Books, especially the "Orca Soundings" collection. These are dynamic, exciting, relevant novelettes that speak to teens about issues that they find compelling, in a language that is very accessible. The authors are all well-respected YA writers (Carrie Mac, Norah McClintock, etc). So where's the technology?

Tumble Books has added a new horse to the stable: TumbleReadables. And as part of this offering, they have included titles from the Orca Soundings collection. (Check out this link to try some of the titles that are available.) Not only can you (or your teen) read the books on-line, even using a bigger font if needed, but selected titles can also be listened to. This is a great support for a student who has difficulty with the printed text. If you decide this is for you, you can get a subscription for your school or institution.