Improving Struggling Readers’ Comprehension Through Scaffolded Hypertexts and other Computer-Based Literacy Programs

Authored by: Bridget Dalton , Nicole Strangman

International Handbook of Literacy and Technology

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805850871
eBook ISBN: 9780203929131
Adobe ISBN: 9781135609580

10.4324/9780203929131.ch6

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Abstract

Literacy demands are higher than at any time in our history as information and communication technologies drive our global economy and forge new means of knowledge production, application, and communication. And yet, in the United States alone there are 8.7 million students in Grades 4–12 who have little chance of developing the academic skills essential to success in a highly literate society because they are unable to read and understand their textbooks (Kamil, 2003). The results of the NAEP 2003 report underscore the urgency of the problem: 37% of students in Grade 4 and 26% of students in Grade 8 could not read at a basic level (National Center for Education Statistics, 2003). Often described as struggling readers, this group is comprised primarily of students with special needs, students who are English Language Learners, and students who are poor. For students who struggle to read, print is a traditional technology that often serves as a barrier, rather than a gateway, to learning. The damaging consequences of poor reading are pervasive and far-reaching; students shut out of grade-level curriculum read less and learn less than their typically achieving peers, resulting in the Matthew Effect, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer (Stanovich, 1986).

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