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Anybody using kindle's immersion reading for a Dyslexic child?


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#1 MyLittleBears

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:21 AM

We recently got an iPad for using the Barton app, among other things and we love it. This is our first experience w/devices and it seems to have opened up a whole new world for us!

I'm looking into a kindle for immersion reading purposes for severely dyslexic ds,but unsure of it's merits. We already do a LOT of read alludes so his vocab is not an issue, if fact it is quite good. Is it supposed to improve tracking? I've also heard that buying the audible books plus the ebooks can be pricey. Thoughts?

#2 Kim in Appalachia

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:30 AM

What do you mean, "immersion reading"?

 

My ds12 is dyslexic.  Neither the iPad or the Kindle helped with his tracking.  He hates reading so it could have just been that.  I did read that reading on a smaller device, such as a phone or iPod can help, since the person only sees a small amount of print at a time, their eyes can't jump around as much.  For that reason, we got our son an iPod, but he still doesn't like reading. :p  He just got his first book for summer, but it's a hardcopy.  He says he prefers that.  When he is done that book, I may get him a book or two from Amazon for his iPod. 

 

It would be a bit pricey to buy the audio version with the ebook, but if I thought that my son would read more with that, I would do it.  My son loves listening to books, in the van, during long rides, but otherwise he doesn't want to take the time.

 

 



#3 MyLittleBears

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 08:48 AM

Immersion reading is supposed to sync your ebook with the audible version and highlight each word as it is being read. One of the pluses is that the voice is not electronic so it sounds more natural with inflection. It sounds great but not sure if it is truly beneficial or just another expensive add on. I wouldn't even consider for my reading children.

#4 Kim in Appalachia

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:07 AM

I have no idea how that would work for your child, but I can say that my son would hate that.  The pulsing on the page would be too distracting; it would drive him nuts.  

 

But I could see how some children would like it.  I think it would be worth the expense to try it out. You never know what helps a child, and one book wouldn't be too much to experiment with.



#5 Erin

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:15 AM

Immersion, no.  ...Too expensive.  

We have used the Read To Me a few times (or whatever it's called) that's free with most Kindle books, though.  That's the computer generated voice.  It's not as good as a human reading, of course, but it's not that bad, either.  And I think it has helped with fluency.

 

Otherwise, we get audios whenever possible, for literature, at least.  Buck really loves a good book and it's easier to foster that when he doesn't have to try to slog through it himself.  Texts are challenging enough!  (But easier, interestingly, because there are more context clues, diagrams, pictures, etc. to support his reading.)



#6 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:18 AM

Actually, DS has loved it.  But then he loves books and they were essentially inaccessible to him as an independent option before we got the Kindle Fire.  I do think that Wordly Wise 3000 does it better.  Their on-line version highlights the entire paragraph in one color and the word being read in another and it is REALLY easy to follow along and keep track of where you are in the passage.  But Immersion Reading uses gray.  It isn't bad but with my eyesight I don't see it as well.  DS sees it fine.

 

Scientific studies are showing that there is usually higher retention of material if you are hearing it out loud as you see it in print.  DS does fine with audio books but he does better with Immersion Reading.  DD does not do fine with audio books.  Some sort of auditory processing glitch.  But she does better with Immersion Reading.  Both are dyslexic.  DS has heterophoria so tracking is an issue.  Both do pretty well with Immersion.

 

And DS LOVES the Kindle Fire.  But he has to do extra stuff to earn Immersion Reading, simply because it is so expensive.  I have to slow him down.  He uses audio books when he can't do Immersion Reading.  I think it is too hard to track across the page with just text to speech and no highlighting.



#7 Mandylubug

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:37 AM

Learning ally also provides an immersion reading app foripads/tablets. You do have to submit proof of dyslexia. They also offer fifinancial aid if you can't afford the subscription fee

#8 prairiewindmomma

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 09:45 AM

Bookshare does this as well, although the voice is a bit more challenging as it is so electronic.

My ds gets eye fatigue 15 or so minutes in. His capacity to listen is far greater than his ability to look at text. Ds's issues are more visual than phenomic in nature, fwiw, and the dyslexia label is less vigorously applied than his Dyscalculia and vision issues labels.

For some kids I know IRL, immersive text is awesome.

#9 MyLittleBears

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:13 AM

Thanks for all the responses!
How expensive are we talking? The initial expense of getting the kindle fire isn't so bad but the books look like they add up fast. Worldly wise online sounds intriguing as well as book share and learning ally. We're hoping to have a diagnosis as soon as we do our evals in June.

#10 MyLittleBears

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:16 AM

Does the read to me option work for the iPad kindle app?

#11 Erin

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:22 AM

Nope.  It's ONLY available on Kindle Fires.  

I suppose it's Amazon's way of making their device look more appealing than just the app.



#12 MyLittleBears

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:23 AM

Nope. It's ONLY available on Kindle Fires.


Oh rats! :)

#13 Plink

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:30 AM

We use our iPad rather than a Kindle, but I'm sure we will buy a Kindle eventually. The fact that it can highlight words while reading aloud is a major selling point for us.  

 

The book/audio combination doesn't need to be expensive.  There are hundreds of free books that come with 99c Audible recordings.  To find them search the Kindle store for Whispersync for Voice, and then set the sort to "price low to high" http://www.amazon.co...=price-asc-rank  Download the free kindle book, then the option to add the whispersync will show and you can add that too.

 

You will find lots of junk, but there are tons of classics and great kids books mixed in, some for as low as 99c.  It is a fantastic resource.  My kids are in the middle of listening to The Secret Garden right now.



#14 prairiewindmomma

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:33 AM

Bookshare is free with documentation.
Learning ally was $99/year last I looked.

#15 TxMama

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:45 AM

Of the three options-Bookshare, Learning Ally, Kindle Immersion reading- my kids much prefer Kindle Immersion Reading. It can add up so we do a mixture of both.

 

Kindle Immersion reading for domain books + Audible is usually very reasonable. Domain books are often free  and audible for these books are often 99 cents. I loaded our Kindle Fires with classics to use with immersion reading. Current bestsellers are more expensive, a Percy Jackson kindle book is $4.28 and the audible book is a reduced price of $12.99. We would use Bookshare or Learning Ally if the kids wanted to read this book.

 

 

 

 



#16 Erin

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:52 AM

Something else to consider with open domain books, is that you can get the audios for FREE off Librivox.  Of course there's now no handy highlighting of an eBook, but depending on the level of your reader, they can just following along in a traditional book.  (Which is how we did Tom Sawyer, Call of the Wild, etc.)



#17 Lecka

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 01:27 PM

On tracking -- this is my understanding.

 

Tracking demands can be lower when text is larger and there is larger line spacing.  This is b/c the eyes don't have to work as hard.  This is what was explained to me for my son's tracking.

 

So it doesn't improve his tracking, but if the child could read with the Kindle settings set to larger print, a preferred font, and double line spacing, a book that otherwise would have too small of print, then it can make a book accessible.  

 

This is what i was told with my son.

 

But, he didn't like to read on my kindle.  Then he had gains in his tracking with ot. 

 

how it was explained to me -- when your eyes make movements, when the letters and spacing are larger, they can make larger movements, and the larger movements are easier.  when the things are smalle and closer to gether, the eye movements must be smaller and more precise, and this is more difficult.  

 

So with what I was told, it woudl not lead to an improvement in tracking ability, but would be a possible choice for taking tracking into account and trying to find something a little easier to track.

 

My son preferred to read captions and comics that had larger block print.  He preferred the kinds of books that have a layout where there are a few blocks of text around pictures, and not too big of blocks.  He liked to do that, and he was not interested in using my Kindle.  Now he can read age-appropriate pages of text and not have fatigue, though.  

 

I think there are different kinds of tracking though -- this is what I was told for my son.  He had trouble crossing the midline, and then for a while he was skipping the paragraph indent once he did start reading pages.  i think partly that was from excitement, though.   

 

Edit:  I have thought about it, and I don't know it the highlighting of the words would have helped him to track or not.  I think it would have kept him from losing his place, BUT I think the act of tracking would be the same even with highlighted words.  But I think it is something maybe the child would have an opinion about it being helpful or not really, I think it might be something to try.  

 

But imo I think it is like -- asking a child to color very carefully in very small areas.  It is just hard if they are not quite ready, but they would be able to color a picture where they could use larger hand movements.  

 

It is great if kids can naturally make a progression ---- but I didn't see that happen with my son, he needed therapy with more activities than just reading, b/c he had weaknesses.  And I am glad he was able to make progress!  I realize not all kids respond as well or might have more serious tracking issues than what he had.  I think his were fairly minor -- he was okay with anything easier than Magic Tree House.  Magic Tree House text is where he had trouble, but lots of books were available with different formats and it was okay.  

 

But I think it would be worth a try with a motivated child.  But I woudln't push too hard, b/c ----- now my son thinks "i don't like the Kindle."  Maybe if I had waited -- he would have a better impression.  Now i am sure at some point he will give it another chance, but he doesn't have a good first impression.  So i think -- if I had waited for him to show interest, instead of trying to talk him into it, that would have been better.  

 

If I coudl have gotten an older kid from church to show him it was cool -- that would have been better, maybe.  

 

B/c those impressions and whether he wants it or I want him to do it matter a lot.  

 

 



#18 Χάρων

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:03 PM

I have been thinking about this for my son when he gets a bit further along. The problem is that his interests in books are above his age level and I am not sure how well it would work out.



#19 halibecs

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:32 PM

We are about to try getting books from BookShare and using VoiceDream app on ipad to read text aloud to child while text being read is highlighted.  We haven't done it yet, but voices are supposed to be really good with VoiceDream.  Also, while still not as nice to listen to as professional audio books, it is free after you buy the app if you get bookshare.  I've read you can also experiment with improving "ear reading" speed by  increasing the speed of the speaker.  For some kids, getting good at listening fast will be an important skill (Ben Foss ear reads at 300-400 words a minute).



#20 LaughingCat

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 03:47 PM

We have not had success with immersion yet - it goes too fast for the level of books we have and sounds too strange in DD's opinion at the slower speed (which I believe may be still too fast anyway).  I haven't been willing to invest in lower level books because I know DD will balk at reading them.    I do have an Audible subscription due to DD loving to listen to books (not the cheap ones unfortunately).  Also, we did a 'cheap' version of this a couple? years ago where I checked out CD's and matching books from the library. I think it was worthwhile but it didn't give the obvious 'jump' in skill that certain programs/exercises we've used have given (these were shorter books - beginning readers or picture books).

 

Also DD has (still after 2 rounds of VT) tracking issues and does not like reading on the Kindle.   I don't know if the two are related (although interesting that Lecka's son was the same).  However, this means I would have to require the immersion reading - so I am putting it off until she gets to the point that she can 'almost' keep up.  She has recently made a jump that has put her close to that I think - to the point where she has voluntarily started reading along while I read aloud during reading time for the last two books (we accidentally had two copies of both- but the next one won't be an accident LOL!)

 



#21 MyLittleBears

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 10:44 PM

All these replies have been very helpful. I finally asked ds if he thought this kind of reading would help him. He did not like the idea even if it meant getting a kindle. Go figure.  :confused1:  I thought he would love it since be just loves read aloud time at home an audio books. I'm not going to push the issue since he is still getting a decent exposure to well written language.

 

Lecka, what you said about tracking makes perfect sense.



#22 Lecka

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 11:41 AM

Thinking about it more -- my son's eyes didn't jump around so much, so i think that a text wtih longer lines side-to-side would mean fewer times he had to do the eye sweep to the next line down.  

 

It makes me think -- for him, maybe the small size for  kindle is a drawback, even though the text size and line spacing options are so good.  

 

Maybe it is better if I look for books where the lines are longer and it might be less choppy for him and fewer eye movements for him.  I know in my husband's family there are a couple of people notorious for only reading hardbacks (they are called "fancy" or something like that) and it makes me wonder if that format is just a little easier, the lines can be longer than in the paperback version.  

 

But I can see, that the smaller size would be a huge benefit to pepole whose tracking is of a different nature.

 

Or maybe he just didn't care for it, who knows.  Hard to say.

 

I still hope he may be interested again down the road.  

 

I do think it is a really good option, but not something where you have to do it if they are really not interested.  There are other ways to work on fluency.   

 

Even though my son's tracking is better, I think it can't hurt to choose things that may be easier on him.

 

The OT told me his eye sweep was like a long hill, up and down, and the larger the eye sweep movement the easier it would be.  With a small device the eye sweep movement would have to be smaller and happen more often.  

 

But I think that is with the kind he had.

 

The OT thought the Kindle was very worth trying out, too, so I do think it is worth trying anyway, if they are interested.   

 

(so to some extent, she was saying, he can make the larger eye sweeps, but as the size of the eye sweep needed gets smaller, that is where he has a lot of trouble.)  

 

(But he also had trouble with coming to the midpoint and control transferring between his left and right eye, so for a time he did do good with blocks of text about 5 words long, shaped into a block, under a picture, and she told me then he might not have to cross the midline (???? I think, not sure). But I don't know then -- why he wouldn't have liked the Kindle more!  Maybe it is long enough he did have to cross the midline.  He is much better with crossing the midline now, the OT did help him a lot.  He could read longer captions, too, under pictures.  Comic books with speech bubbles were perfect, if the writing was big enough.)  




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