If you have not already seen the Spritz reader, you should check it out. It is a standout new technology for me. Although this technology is still in it’s infancy, it works to change significantly how we read. If you have read any of my blog posts, you know that I am all about using technology to do things that were just not possible before. This is definitely something that does just that.
Reading is something that we spend a good amount of time learning in school. We learn all the proper skills needed to do it correctly. What we didn’t know was how much time we waste moving our eyes. What this application does is focus your eye on one spot while feeding you the information. Through this process you are able to read much faster than you ever could before. I believe personally that it comes with greater accuracy as well.
Tracking issues have always been a problem with school students. There are many methods out there to help students with this issue. We utilize rulers and fingers, templates that isolate words and software applications that track our eyes and attempt to help us follow along with the page. Many students still struggle with reading, because following lines on a page is not an easily mastered skill and sometimes it goes against how we are wired.
What impact this new idea in reading will have on education? Too early for me to tell, but I believe that it will be impactful to a large number of students out there that struggle with reading and focusing. I believe potentially that students with ADD will be able to read more content in a shorter time, helping them keep pace, while not forcing them into hours or sitting still. Students that can’t track a page well, will be able to read content without being frustrated, or having to re-read sections for understanding. It might even level the playing field between book worms that naturally feel comfortable reading, and those students that don’t seem to have the skill natively. Books simply might become more accessible for everybody. This could really be a tool that bridges the gap in reading skills and makes it more accessible for everybody.
The big question is this: Testing will require students to read the old fashioned way. Will testing ever be able to keep up with the technology that is allowing students to be so successful in school, while not meeting the standards on tests?