According to a recent article in The Dallas Morning News, Texas students’ reading scores have lagged behind the rest of the country. Without this foundational skill, students usually struggle to understand word problems in math, grapple with historical texts, and may fail to comprehend experiments in science. This reinforces what we all know to be true – reading is the foundational skill that drives performance in all subjects. Let’s look at one proven solution that can support struggling readers: audiobooks.
How Audiobooks Benefit Students
One way many schools in Texas have found to unlock student potential is through the use of audiobooks. This proven tool removes barriers most struggling readers have and provides access to grade-level content with ease. As students progress through school, they move to deep learning and reading.
Hearing real people read builds oral fluency and cuts down reading time, while students improve vocabulary and comprehension. Students have the satisfaction of reading independently, which increases their self-esteem, and success in school.
What Is the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution?
The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is a proven multi-modal reading resource for all instructional settings. Composed of human-read audiobooks, student-centric features, and a suite of teacher resources, it’s designed to help students with reading deficits become more engaged learners and achieve their academic potential. Because of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) funding for K-12 public and charter schools, every educator in the state can support their struggling readers with the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution at no out-of-pocket cost to their school or district.
The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution is easy to implement. Texas educators can get started in four easy steps:
- Enroll your school
- Set up the portal
- Launch audiobooks for students
- Monitor progress and personalize instruction
Step 1: Enroll Your School
Leveling the playing field for your struggling readers starts by enrolling your school using this form. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. School districts are required to submit one application for each individual school. You will receive an email from Learning Ally with your temporary passwords once the application is processed.
Step 2: Set Up the Portal
Once your school is enrolled, you can access the platform and begin set up. Start by determining which students are eligible. The audiobook solution is designed for students with a reading deficit who struggle with decoding, fluency and/or comprehension. Any educator (or other professional) who has experience observing students with a reading deficit, blindness or visual impairment, or physical disability can make the determination of eligibility.
Then you can determine the best way to create, update, and log in your educators and students to the Audiobook Solution. Learning Ally integrates with many single-sign on providers, including Clever, ClassLink and others to help you quickly and efficiently assign users.
Step 3: Launch Audiobooks for Students
Once students are added to the system, you can begin to add books to their bookshelf and have them start to read through the Learning Ally Audiobook App. Students can access Learning Ally on any device at your school, so you should consider strategies by device depending on your school’s technology and load the reading app on all devices.
Next, add the books students need to read and allow them to add the books they want to read to their bookshelf. Learning Ally has over 80,000 human-read audiobooks including anchor texts aligned to your curriculum and popular books for independent reading. The library also includes textbooks, study aids and primary source documents.
Many schools in Texas use audiobooks during independent reading time and incorporate audiobooks into lesson plans during whole-class instruction, small-group instruction and to support homework.
Step 4: Monitor Progress
The Learning Ally Audiobook Solution features a reading progress indicator that helps students build strong reading habits as you monitor student reading data. This helps you understand reading targets and set goals for each student. Most students will show substantial improvements after reading 33 days (approximately 20 minutes per day) within a school year.
Using the educator portal dashboard, you can easily view students reading, pages and minutes read, books completed and more. You can also export this data to share and customize for your school’s needs. You can also review these reports with students and parents/guardians for stronger engagement and motivation.
Getting Started with Learning Ally’s Audiobook Solution
By following these four easy steps, you can help striving readers, from grade school to high school, access grade-level content with ease. By removing the barriers to reading, your students will be able to read and learn along with their peers. Audiobooks provide a quick win for you in terms of improving the reading and literacy skills of your students. Take advantage of the TEA funding and get started with the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution at no out-of-pocket cost to your school or district. Get started today!