Edtech is the combination of IT tools and educational practices aimed at facilitating scalable individualized learning. It comprises the whole world of computer-aided education and training, along with the use of digital tools and resources.
There are numerous advantages to educational technology. Students learn at different rates, and from diverse ways. Efficient reading is best for some students to gain knowledge, while others rely more on audio visual materials.
These tools deliver personalized learning and training that can automatically adjust to an individual’s learning competence. Edtech combines educational theory and technological innovation to meet the learning needs of students.
The use of edtech allows students to increase their level of technological literacy. It also encourages learning outside of the classroom environment.
Edtech has expanded from early usage in elementary school to college degrees online. This technology equalizes standards, and enables access for all, resulting in the democratization of education. (1)
Digital learning tools include any program, app, or technology that can be accessed via an internet connection. (2) These tools make use of a broad range of technology-enhanced educational strategies. Digital learning encompasses online learning or e-learning. (3)
Online resources are available on the web, and will allow a student to proceed with studies off campus. Student should make a schedule for these studies, and find the appropriate websites. Self-motivation and persistence are requirements for online learning. It is important to create a working space, and reduce distractions. This will allow one to readily focus on the work to be done.
Efficient reading is the best tool to help a student to keep pace with the flood of printed words that challenge a reader daily. Each publication often seems to be a priority. Perhaps a student tried reading some of these publications faster only to discover they understood less. Or possibly they eliminated information, and realized later they were uninformed in an important area.
These are time-saving strategies, but not efficient reading techniques. “A mark of efficient reading is being able to select quickly the skills one need to read a particular selection in keeping with their purpose for reading it.” (4)
Consider using the following reading strategies to help become an efficient reader.
1. Be a flexible reader. Proper reading speeds vary according to the type and difficulty of reading material. In order to be a flexible reader, one needs to recognize the purpose for reading a given selection. Then it’s important to preview the information, and then decide whether it will be sufficient to skim it, or if it will be necessary to read the material in-depth. (5) To “skim” is to let one’s eyes travel quickly over a page, and grasp key words or ideas by skipping with judgment. (6)
2. Be an involved reader. After a person decides on their purpose for reading a given selection, the next action is to preview the materials. Previewing is performed by an initial skimming of the material. This includes reading the title and subheads; noting visual aids and paragraph format, and looking for key words.
This action provides an internal outline of the information which helps to increase reading speed, and ultimately improves comprehension. A reader becomes involved in the materials as they anticipate the author’s emphasis and direction.
3. Limit re-reading. Regression is a serious obstacle to efficient reading. Some re-reading may be necessary for difficult materials, but regression can easily become a habit. (7) Previewing will help a reader to minimize the desire to re-read everything.
4. Limit vocalizing or sub-vocalizing. If a reader vocalizes (says aloud) or subvocalizes (says silently) some words as they read, that is not unusual. Some inner speech occurs in all readers, but to a lesser degree with efficient readers. (8)
5. Read words in clusters. Does the reader look at words as individual words, or as part of thoughts or phrases? They should read using this type of word clusters:
Do you look at words as individual words or as part of thoughts or phrases?
These phrases or thought groups can be read as a unit, and convey ideas beyond that of a single word. (9)(10)(11)
6. Use vocabulary, author, and, publisher aids. Use aids such as context, word origins, publishing aids (sequences, italics or boldface type, illustrations), and signal words (furthermore, although, consequently, in conclusion). (12)
Applied routinely, these six steps can become an automatic part of the reading process, and students will take charge of that daily deluge of printed materials. They will also find efficient reading is more informative and enjoyable, and that it will improve their comprehension. More diverse learning will occur with the incorporation of these educational trends, and provides guidelines for future studies.
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