Tablet computers help kids learn to read

A technology such as tablets is more than just a new toy but a way to engage students in higher literacy skills

There’s an example of 21st Century literacy at work in Mrs. Bowden’s Kindergarten class at Raft River Elementary! Thanks to a local literacy project by Clearwater Rotary in partnership with Kamloops-Thompson School District and supported by Clearwater Community Forest, a class set of Android tablets was supplied to both Raft River Elementary and Clearwater Secondary schools.

Statistics show that a high number of Canadians are still functionally illiterate. A technology such as tablets is more than just a new toy but a way to engage students in higher literacy skills. The tablets are portable, highly engaging and motivating. They can provide instant access to media that was not available in the past. This media will better prepare our youth for what is needed for literacy skills in the 21st Century.

Students as young as five and six in Kindergarten at Raft River Elementary School are already using the tablets to develop and share their written, oral, visual and problem solving skills. They have also used the tablets to reinforce and develop their reading and print skills through specific applications.

Clearwater schools, with the help of Rotary and other local partners, hope to expand this project next year to include not only our schools, but also the community through volunteers and other programs. Although there are still a high number of Canadians functionally illiterate, Clearwater will be doing its part to eradicate illiteracy and prepare our community and youth for the skills they will need in the 21st Century.

– Mike Bowden is principal of Raft River Elementary School