Thursday, June 23, 2011

We eRead: Impact On Our Students

Kindle 3photo © 2010 Zhao ! | more info (via: Wylio)

I've written previous posts on buying, setting up, and using Kindles with our students. Now I can report some of the data regarding using these devices.

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.


  1. Tamara,
    I thoroughly enjoyed your Kindle session at UTC. The data you have collected is impressive and I will be using it to help me as I try to decide whether or not to invest in eReaders this coming school year.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

  2. Hiya,
    I'm doing CPD23 too, so I'm starting to comment on some blogs as part of Thing 2! I really like this article - at my school we're hoping to start ebook downloads via Overdrive next year. One other advantage of readers like Kindle that I have heard of anecdotally is that the ability to enlarge text benefits just about everyone - given the choice most people will naturally have it 10-20% bigger on a Kindle screen than it would be in a paperback book. Apparently, this is super-helpful for students with dyslexia and students with English as an Additional Language, in helping them get to the point where they can enjoy their reading. Have you come across that at all with your students?

  3. Tamara,
    I have started CPD23 thanks to you!! I actually live in your district but teach in Greenville. My questions is do you know any elementary schools using eReaders and if so, what kinds or how?

  4. Awesome! I do know a few... West Pelzer Elementary purchased Nooks this year. They are being used in the classroom. I can give you the contact info of their librarian and she could share the details. I believe there are a few more in my district that will be using them next year. Email me and I can get you all the info. what is the link to your CPD23 blog? I'll follow you and comment as we go along:)