Case studies such as Mardis, et al (2010) suggest fully integrating digitized textbooks at the high school level
Princeton and other major universities have moved to all digital textbooks
Under researched populations relative to electronic text and electronic reading devices as they affect and support literacy skills in the classroom are struggling readers and middle school aged students
The purpose of this case study will be to describe the benefits of using electronic books and dedicated electronic readers to enhance students’ responses to text and to provide specific instruction for using electronic reading devices to support struggling readers.The case study will describe how e-readers can advance e-book readership for students in the middle school at the Wheeler School.
“ But the question remains: Are e-readers desirable pedagogically” (Wetschler, 2011, p.23).
“ Questions remain unanswered regarding how middle school student users feel about e-books, their experiences in different contexts and aspects of e-books that facilitate engagement” (Shin, 2010, p.261).
"The New Literacies perspective acknowledges that new literacies are persistently evolving and challenges teachers to transform reading instruction in response to emerging instructional computer technologies.” (Larson, 2010, p. 16)
Korat and Shamir, 2007, the new technologies have the potential to support cognitive development and learning
“ For older children who are confirming their decoding skills and developing fluency, less evidence is available. Little information is available regarding how struggling readers respond to e-books with hypermedia features.” (Zucker, et al, 2009, p78)
Larson (2010) forms of electronic books have been available for two decades, studies examining how students interact with and respond to e-book texts are still few and results are somewhat conflicting.
Larson (2010) because e-books can be presented in an individualized format, students with special needs (ELL, visually impaired, struggling readers) may benefit from the additional text tools available with the use of electronic text
According to Zucker, et al, (2009) there is a “dearth of studies on the use of e-books with struggling readers” (p.77).
Zucker, et al, (2009) in considering the effectiveness of e-books for different profiles of readers, the extant literature provides little information for struggling readers or children diagnosed with reading disabilities because no experimental studies addressed the population
Larson (2010) “The lack of research published on the topic hinders the efforts made by educators and administrators who wish to integrate digital texts into their current curricula or school libraries
For the purposes of this study a dedicated mobile reading device was chosen to focus the research on the students’ interaction with the digitized text and subsequent enhancements that allow for individual manipulation and response to that text
Students in the Kindle Readers group will be given thorough instruction relative to the functions of the device
Data collection will be ongoing and will include analysis of the types of response notes the students create while using an e-reader
The classroom teacher will develop assessments used by the researcher to evaluate the students’ comprehension of the novel, evaluating the depth and quality of the responses to the text
Additional data analysis will be based on a brief online survey that will focus on the students’ experience with the Kindle Readers and how they might advance e-book readership for middle school aged students
Research conducted with e-readers is inherently difficult as a result of the rapid change in e-reader technology
Currently there is no research discerning the effects these frequent changes may have on student interaction with digitized text
The study does not further the research on the use of e-reading devices as an adaptive technology for students diagnosed with language based learning differences and Dyslexia at the middle school level
Promoting new literacy practices that encourage struggling readers to extend connections between reading and text as engagement with and manipulation of the text is facilitated through the use of electronic readers and the imbedded features
Students feel more in control of their reading with digital text then printed text allows as they can customize the experience
Students who participate in the digital reader project will report on their preferences for engaging with written text