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Literacy Retreat 2017


Build Masterful On-Screen Readers

Examine how mediums differ

Online information grows exponentially. Check out for an infographic that presents what happens online every 60 seconds in 2014, 2015, and 2016. (Scroll down this site to see the statistics escalate in real time.)

Study the habits of gamers

Nadine Gilkison, Smekens Education Digital Resource Designer, created these Google slides as a part of a classroom lesson. She added the link to Google Classroom so that students could access and edit the document during the lesson. (Video clips of the actual lesson to come!)

Gamer Strategy 1:

Recognize the features of digital text

Don’t assume students possess strong on-screen reader habits. Begin the year with a tutorial of this unique text type. Provide instruction on how to:

Edulastic allows teachers to search for technologically-enhanced questions and to create their own utilizing over 30 different formats…all for free!

Next Generation Assessments offers free interactive online activities that simulate technology tasks students complete on standardized assessments.

Gamer Strategy 2:

Vary on-screen reading purposes

The reading purpose impacts how a reader attacks a digital text. Provide explicit purposes for reading and the habits that accompany them.

Access resources used in the mini-lesson.

Compare each phase of close reading to a different “lens.”

  • GLASSES: Initially, readers comprehend on a surface level. They read to paraphrase/retell specific details, summarize the important concepts, and determine the main ideas. 
  • MICROSCOPE: During a closer look, readers zoom in to analyze the text and evaluate author decisions about word choice, organization, and purpose.
  • TELESCOPE: With a deeper comprehension of the text, readers zoom out and integrate new understanding from the text with other texts and bigger ideas.
Close Reading Eyeglasses
Close Reading Microscope
Close Reading Telescope
Close Reading Triggers

Click image to purchase.

Readers persevere through difficult text

Click image to download PPT.

Gamer Strategy 3:

Retrain skimmers, scanners, & scrollers

Tweak reading habits in order to compensate for the limited view of a screen.

Gamer Strategy 4:

Limit peripheral vision

Although there are many “interesting” places to go, on-screen readers must self-monitor the Distracting Voice, eliminate multi-tasking, and stay focused on the “mission” (the main text).

Avoid temptations by removing the clutter using one of a variety of extensions.

  • Mercury Reader removes ads and distractions, leaving only text and images for a clean and consistent reading view on every site.
  • Easy Reader can customize and improve the readability of any portion of a long web article.
  • BeeLine Reader doesn’t remove but dims distracting elements and makes it easier to focus.

Gamer Strategy 5:

Beware of click bait

The internet makes it easy to access information immediately. However, information overload can also cause inefficient reading and poor comprehension.

Gamer Strategy 6:

Track the reading journey

  • Printed text flows from page to page with a clear beginning and ending. Hypertext, however, allows users to build their own texts.
  • When reading on a screen, create a physical map of information on scratch paper.
  • When clicking on a hyperlink, create a “branch” on the tree.
  • Locate details quickly by scanning the map to determine where the information was stated within the digital text.

Analyze the research about on-screen reading

For research and rationale that support the strategies Kristina shared during this session, check out these resources.