On Reading Experiences

A semester ago I was a designer on a research project at the ETC working with EA to explore the possibilities of voice recognition in a reading experience for emergent readers. Read about the project here. As part of the project we got in contact with a reading specialist who taught graduate educational students at The University of Pittsburgh, and acted as a reading specialist for a local elementary school. She was instrumental in helping us validate our project. As part of this we also gained useful insight into the mind of a teaching specialist and parents for reading experiences. When helping parents find educational applications to help with reading she recommends they judge the experience in terms of the five areas of reading. The ultimate goal, she says, is to find experiences with as many of the five as possible.

The Five Areas of Reading

1. Phonemes

2. Phonemic Awareness

3. Vocabulary / vocab building

4. Comprehension 

5. Fluency

For more specifics on these search five areas of reading and you will have more choices than you will know what to do with.

The goal of getting as many in as you can is admirable, and possible, especially for larger experiences. However, if you're going for something a bit smaller, specializing can only help. We were only able to hit three of them (two and a half if you consider each area as encompassing multiple aspects). If you're just starting out on your reading experience development this information, if new to you, will be a great asset and can help you target learning objectives. I advise you to choose carefully, as there are a few areas where the leading product does such a phenomenal job that improving on their formula or getting a market share will be exceptionally difficult.