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Improve Reading Skills With Computer And Video Games

May 21, 2008
Advances in technology have greatly increased the tools we can choose from to assist with the improvement of reading skills. I am going to focus on computer learning software for kids. This is of particular interest to me because while the child is increasing his or her attentional capacity by playing a video game he is also fine tuning reading specific skills such as comprehension and vocabulary.

In 'Action Video Game Modifies Visual Selection Attention' published in April 2003 by Shawn Green & Daphne Bavelier a study was conducted to analyze the effects of video game playing on visual attention resources. Green and Bavelier did find that video-game players do indeed have a greater attentional capacity than non video-game players. Thus, we can assume that video games do in fact improve reading skills by increasing the attentional capacity.

Children who have difficulty reading are more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to attend college. Therefore, focusing on and solidifying reading skills at a young age is incredibly important to an individuals overall success. Reading can be very difficult skill to motivate a young person to practice. However, once an agreed upon method or methods are found it is an easy skill to improve and you will see progress quickly.

I conducted a search for games that would enhance specific reading skills while incorporating the above mentioned increase in attentional capacity and offer the following reviews.

Reader Rabbit 1 Software by The Learning Company builds early reading skills and is geared for ages 4-7. Features include match up, sorter, labeler and word train. Educational benefits include increasing vocabulary by associating pictures with their names, increasing the understanding of letter-sound correspondences with the use of lifelike speech throughout the program and allowing parents to customize their child's learning experience using graduated levels of difficulty.

Reading Comprehension Booster by Merit Software allows students to receive practice in using basic reading improvement strategies and is geared for grades 3 through 5. Students work with interactive exercises to determine main idea, make inferences, and draw conclusions. Assessments place students in appropriate units of instruction. Students advance as they demonstrate readiness. They receive immediate instructional feedback throughout.

The Jump Start Series by Knowledge Adventure pack extreme fun and exciting adventure into learning. The game takes you through an adventure for example, solving a mystery while using various skills to navigate through a number of different settings. Skills include Parts of Speech, Spelling and Vocabulary, Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division, Prime Numbers, Fractions, Decimals, Estimation, Science, Geography, Music, The Arts and History. Jump Start series is available from Kindergarten through 6th grade!

Technological advances have increased the tools that we can choose for reading enhancement. I have suggested computer learning software for kids that I find to be of high quality as well as engaging. This is of particular interest to me because while the child is increasing his or her attentional capacity by playing a video game he is also fine tuning reading specific skills such as comprehension and vocabulary.
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