Monday, February 15, 2010

Never Too Late

Our first computer quickly became the object of fasination for our then two year old son. Sesame Street had produced a CD that allowed him to point and click his way around the town, following Elmo into Mr. Hooper's store where they would count pieces of fruit. Our son's second favorite CD was the same Elmo party, but with letters replacing numbers. This early exposure proved to be the foundation for the strong and insatiable reader he is today at 16 years old.

The digital learners of today grew up with the added benefit from such software programs. That is to say, most have. Classrooms still struggle with students who did not benefit from a home computer, or the influence of parents who model daily reading. Teachers of every discipline will come across these issues and must step in to motivate and encourage the students whose low reading skills undoubtedly impact all their other classwork.

Teachers can expand a student's abilities with content related vocabulary, and the use of classroom computers for building skills necessary for the class content. Websites such as 'Reading Rockets' and 'LD Online' offer games, skills assessments and handouts for families. Websites created by both the school and the teachers are currently used for additional credit and practice. These are often used in class, and can be expanded to include reading assessment and track accomplishments.

Whether the student has benefited from computers, or it is a new experience for them, the classroom offers access for the digital learners. Given the time for practice, it is the classroom computer that will make the difference for the student who has not yet become a full-flegded digital learner.

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