7
   

Would a Kindle be a good study aid?

 
 
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 08:17 am
I recently got rid of 95% of my books and I'm loving all the extra space but books are starting to creep back in so I'm thinking of buying myself a Kindle.

As I was looking over the information I noticed the "text to speech" and the "PDF reader" functions and I was wondering if these two applications might make good study aids for Mo, my son, who is almost 10 and has some learning delays.

Has anyone used these functions? Do you think they could be used as a study aid?

Thanks for any help!
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 08:56 am
Does Mo see a reading specialist? If he does, what's his reading disability?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:08 am
@littlek,
Yes he sees the reading specialist. He doesn't have dyslexia or anything like that and he is reading almost at grade level (4th grade). He has what they call a non-verbal learning disability which basically means he doesn't process written information in the usual way.

Much of the time I read to him (which is fine with the teachers). If he hears the information he understands it much better.

I don't mind reading to him but we both prefer we read from our own list together instead of the assigned work from school. I would like him to be a bit more self directed with the school's assignments (so we an just enjoy each other while reading). I was wondering if the text to speech thing might help with that.

I was a bit bothered by the fact that I read that while using the text to speech function that the pages turned by themselves so the story wasn't interrupted. I would much prefer that he had to read along and pay attention enough to turn the pages.

I'm also worried that the voice might be robotic which I think would cause him to lose interest.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:09 am
@boomerang,
I don't know the answer to the real question here, but it's an interesting thought. I would suggest before buying Kindle that you check out other devices like the Nook. My local library offers many Nook downloads, especially for young adults, but not for Kindle. In general Kindle seems totally tied into Amazon where other devices are not.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:10 am
@Green Witch,
Thanks! I'll look into other versions of the device!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:12 am
I've found quite a bit of information showing that colleges have rejected them as potential study aids but haven't come across anything about elementary school kids......
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:23 am
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:
"PDF reader"


this simply means it can open a text document - not a voice component


here is a sample of what the text to speech feature sounds like




not bad if you're already used to this type of technology
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:30 am
@ehBeth,
That voice is not so great, huh?

I knew that about PDF but it has an instant dictionary and encyclopedia. I might be able to get some of his assignments in that format so those functions could come in handy.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:31 am




the last seconds (from 1:20 on) of this sample are quite funny


a bit flat - so probably better for a textbook than anything that needs expression
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:36 am
@ehBeth,
Ha!

That doesn't sound as awful as the last one!

I think that there is a newer version of Kindle than that one.

ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:40 am
@boomerang,
the kindle 3 was the first sample

I think the 2 sounds/sounded somewhat better
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 09:42 am
@ehBeth,
I agree that the second one sounded better. I wonder if the subject matter might have made a difference.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 10:50 am
From an education view-point, we like to see kids who struggle with reading to continue to struggle with it so long as there's progress (ex: he gets better at it as he practices). We tend to limit the use of books read aloud to kids who have a really hard time reading due to moderate to severe reading disabilities. That being said, we don't want kids who have a hard time reading to give up! We often pick and choose which books to have certain kids listen to (we can get books on disc to use while reading the text.

About Mo in particular (from what you've said), if he has trouble with comprehension and not the technical aspect of reading, I'd say that a read-aloud product won't be a particularly helpful study aid. Perhaps he can pause the reader every page or so to summarize what he's read?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 11:28 am
@littlek,
Thanks for the info!

I'm still thinking of ordering one for myself but I'll look at it as something only for myself and not worry about loading it up with stuff for him too.
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 03:16 pm
@boomerang,
Well! Maybe a few pieces for him!
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 04:13 pm
Does he like comic books? (Excuse me... graphic novels.)

I think comic books are overlooked as a method for motivating kids to read.

boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 05:09 pm
@DrewDad,
You know what, he just doesn't get into them. And I've tried because I love them so it would give me a good excuse to buy a lot of them. He did like the "Wimpy Kid" books and "Big Nate" that are kind of comicy in parts though.

He really does like books and loves to be read to but when he doesn't hear it, it just doesn't make a lot of sense to him.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 05:09 pm
@littlek,
Well I did see they had a new "Accidental Zombie" book out.....
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 05:17 pm
@boomerang,
I'd be surprised if most books used for school aren't already available in audio book format - just a question of sourcing them.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Sat 1 Jan, 2011 05:32 pm
@ehBeth,
http://talkingbookslibrarian.blogspot.com/

Quote:
I started this blog to help make people more aware of resources available for older adults and those with disabilities, as well as to promote the free Talking Books program by the Library of Congress!




http://www.loc.gov/nls/children/index.html


http://www.loc.gov/nls/eligible.html

Quote:
NLS: That All May Read
Eligibility of Blind and Other Physically Handicapped Persons for Loan of Library Materials
Eligibility for Service

The following persons are eligible for service:

1. Blind persons whose visual acuity, as determined by competent authority, is 20/200 or less in the better eye with correcting lenses, or whose widest diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees.
2. Other physically handicapped persons are eligible as follows:
1. Persons whose visual disability, with correction and regardless of optical measurement, is certified by competent authority as preventing the reading of standard printed material
2. Persons certified by competent authority as unable to read or unable to use standard printed material as a result of physical limitations.
3. Persons certified by competent authority as having a reading disability resulting from organic dysfunction and of sufficient severity to prevent their reading printed material in a normal manner.
 

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