Overview of the Program
This year we used six Kindles in a reading resource classroom. We have two 1st generation Kindles, one purchased by the previous librarian and one donated by our principal, one 2nd generation that I acquired through a Black Friday Lightning Deal on Amazon and three 3rd generation Kindles that we purchased using student council fundraiser proceeds. We loaded them with loads of free books and 15 purchased titles. These titles were chosen based on student requests and Lexile levels. Mini lessons on using the Kindles were given on an as needed basis by the reading resource teacher. Features such as the text to speech, dictionary and note/highlight option were the most used features of the device. Students read after completing their lessons in the resource classroom and every Wednesday in class. Reading logs were maintained by the students and a survey on reading motivation was administered before and after using the Kindles. The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test was administered before and after using the Kindles. This test also provides Lexile ranges.
Summary of the Results
- Students read an average of 22 books (both print and Kindle books)
- 50% of the students rated their reading ability as not as well as their friends before using Kindles and after using the Kindles 83% rated themselves as about the same or better than their friends.
- Prior to using Kindles, 31% stated that they understand almost everything they read. This percentage jumped to 58% after using Kindles in class.
- Prior to using Kindles, 25% of the students rated themselves as a good reader, but after 58% rated themselves as good or very good readers.
- Students had an average increase of 12.6 points on the MAP test in English/Language Arts. One student had an increase of 27 points!
- Every student showed an increase in Lexile range after using the Kindles
We were very excited about the positive changes we saw in these students, both in standardized testing scores and in their perception of themselves as readers. Of course, not all of this can be attributed to the Kindles, because they did receive special education assistance in the reading resource classroom, but we do feel that some of these gains can be attributed to the introduction of the Kindle. We did not see these same gains in the other reading resource classrooms without Kindles nor did we see these changes in the small number of students from this class that chose not to use the device. Larger scientific studies would yield more reliable results, but for our own purposes this is enough to encourage us to continue using the devices and exploring the ways that they can help our students succeed.
Next year we hope to build on the program by using Kindles with the other reading resource classrooms and offering Kindles for check out to the regular education students through the library.
Does anyone else have data or anecdotal evidence to share about using ereaders with their students? I would love to hear about it.