Lately, I have found it helpful to think about how I might have addressed this if I was with students in a school building, rather than a virtual setting. If so, I might have offered them a colored acetate strip to use in their paper book. Unfortunately, most students don't have access to this type of item at home, so I tried another idea last week.
- Ask students to find a scrap of paper, and fold it to approximately 6 inches by 2 inches.
- Direct students to use a bold marker to draw a line along one edge, and repeat with a different color along the other edge.
- Explain that they can hold it up to the screen and use it to follow along while trying to read the digital text.
- Suggest they try different colors to determine what works best for them.
The touch of tactile interaction is a novel change of pace from using digital tools and increases the number of neural pathways involved in the task of digital reading. Best of all, it is simple and free!