Digital Books are a great way to motivate reluctant readers. Here are some tips for using digital books at home:
•There are two categories of digital books: enhanced and basic. Enhanced digital books (seen more on the IPAD) provide readers with animation, sound effects, videos, games, and provide a variety of after-reading activities. Basic digital books (seen more on the Kindle and Nook) only provide the original text.
•Enhanced digital books increase engagement. Many reluctant readers love enhanced digital books.
•Applications can support the reading of digital books providing prompts for parents and activities for students. Storia (from scholastic) is an example of an application that provides enhanced and basic digital books for the IPAD. Kindle FreeTime provides access to almost all of the digital books available to download onto the Kindle for young readers.
•For younger readers (3-8) digital books have mixed reviews because they do increase engagement but studies have shown a decrease in conversation that supports comprehension between parents and children. The conversations have focused on the tablet not on the text.
•Many libraries allow readers to borrow digital books from their websites. Studies have shown an increase in library use for digital readers. The book automatically disappears from the device (if it is connected to the internet) at the end of the loan.
•For readers struggling with decoding most digital books come with the option to have the text read aloud while they follow along. It allows students to focus on comprehension instead of decoding.
•Many digital book applications provide children with rewards for reading more books. Reading Rainbow (an application for the IPAD) rewards readers with games, stickers, and movies for reading books.