Reading programs that students love and teachers celebrate.
FEATURED LEARNING GUARDIAN SHELLY DUNN, SOUTHVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, MISSOURI
Students, particularly boys, do not value reading as much as when they were younger. The majority of 4th and 5th grade students say “reading is a boring way to spend time”(Marinak & Gambrell).
The nature of literacy is changing. Students are increasingly drawn to, and connected through technology. This medium can be leveraged to support all students, especially those who struggle with reading.
By meeting students where they feel comfortable, games like Dreamscape use the effectiveness of digital engagement to get kids to read more, and increase their confidence in reading to the point of identifying themselves as a reader.
When setting out to identify the problems and develop solutions for declining literacy rates in our education systems, the research and design teams in the Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report, 29 November 2017, learned there is a direct correlation between decreased time spent reading and increasing time spent gaming.
Further, “kids 8 to 11 years spend 13.5 hours online each week and 81% of these kids spent at least 10 hours gaming” (Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report, 29 November 2017). The goal of the research and design team at Dreamscape was to make learning games as much fun as video games. This leads to increased time spent reading, by replacing the time spent on wasteful, or even harmful games, with a reading game. We reached this goal and in the first year over 1 million passages were read by kids each month in Dreamscape.
I’m looking around my computer lab during free time and there are seven boys playing Dreamscape. That’s a big deal. They only get 25 minutes a month of free time and they are working on their reading skills. It’s incredible!
COMPUTER TEACHER, SOUTHVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, MISSOURI
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