More Choice, More Books, More Growth

We’ve written before on the remarkable success of myON reader and Capstone Digital’s intent to provide myOn through mobile devices like the Kindle Fire.  Well that initiative has taken off and it appears to be paying dividends for students around the country.  Students in Cheatham County, Tennessee, in particular, are excited about being able to access targeted reading material on their Kindles:

At ACES, Jonet Williams has been thrilled with the response of her students, who look forward to activating their Kindles each day.

Williams likes being able to manage her class work through the Internet.

“I can find out what they’ve read, how much time they’ve spent reading, and see their assessment scores,” she said.

The teachers are also able to see their students’ successes and challenges, using the myON reader as a tool for flagging needs and reflecting ability levels.

“We can choose libraries for them that correlate with what we’re studying,” said Williams, citing a recent reading assignment on Benjamin Franklin and American symbols to reinforce what her students are learning in social studies.

MyON seamlessly blends assessment and instruction for young readers in a digital environment, allowing students to receive updated Lexile measures through their reading experiences.  Based on those updated Lexile measures, students continue to be presented a wider range of targeted texts.  Not only do students receive targeted text, but they exercise choice as well.  MyON allows students to self-select topics of interest to them and students can choose from a long list of subjects.

On a related note, the world of education software has also recognized Capstone for the contribution they’ve made to reading.  MyON recently won a Bessie for the ‘Best Reading Website’ award for upper elementary students.  Congratulations to Capstone on achieving so much in such a short period of time.  We’re proud to partner with an organization so dedicated to getting more students reading everywhere!

You Can Take It With You

We’ve written before on the amazing success of Capstone Digital’s myON reader.  MyON seamlessly blends assessment and instruction for young readers in a digital environment, allowing students to receive updated Lexile measures through their reading experiences.  Based on those updated Lexile measures, students continue to be presented a wider range of targeted texts.  Not only do students receive targeted text, but they exercise choice as well.  MyON allows students to self-select topics of interest to them and students can choose from a long list of subjects.

Just last month Capstone Digital announced that this targeted reading experience now has even greater flexibility – it can now be experienced in a mobile environment:

The personalized literacy environment that provides access to the largest integrated library of digital books with multimedia supports is now available on Kindle Fire. myON reader users can securely login through myON.com and have full access to the platform using the popular Amazon tablet. This is the first of many mobile initiatives to launch from Capstone Digital in 2012.

It’s great to hear that this is just one of many mobile initiatives set for this year.  As more students have access to mobile devices, like e-readers, smart phones, tablets, and iPads, offering a wide variety of texts in multiple platforms becomes essential.  We applaud Capstone for making the reading experience so accessible for so many young readers.

Year Round Learning: the Freedom of Digital Access

We’ve mentioned the proliferation of e-books in the marketplace and the profound impact they are already having in the sphere of education.  Recently, the School Library Journal also made note of this trend, and explored its implications in schools and libraries across the nation. As SLJ reported, “…a majority of elementary school librarians said they either will (18 percent) or may (46 percent) purchase ebooks in the next two years.”  This shift could bring significant changes to the way students and parents access the resources their school provides. 

Checking out books from the school library will start to take on a new meaning as more teachers and parents insist on 24/7 access in school and at home.  Instead of waiting for library day at school, students can log in at any time…and browse digital bookshelves.  In some media centers, children may be able to borrow Nooks and iPads to take home.

And digital libraries would be free of the constraints of the traditional school year calendar.  We’ve long been proponentsof increasing students’ access to books, particularly during the summer months.  Unlike a conventional library system, access to ebooks provides students with the resources of their school’s library year-round, and at the touch of a button.

SLJ also points to “states and school districts [that] are starting to make deals with ebook companies to provide yearly subscriptions to thousands of students at a time.”  As most states face dramatic budget cuts, such deals may make increases in book selections possible for school libraries that could not otherwise afford to expand their collections. 

As we pointed out, Capstone Digital launched its myOn readerearlier this year with great success.  This personalized reading platform provides access to thousands of ebooks and incorporates the power of the Lexile Framework for Reading – not only providing students always-on digital access, but allowing them to read targeted text within their area of interest.

Publishers, like Capstone Digital, and many others, are making great strides in ensuring that students have access to books year round.  Digital access means that students across the socio-economic spectrum are free from the constraints of calendar and location and have the ability to keep reading and learning all year long.

E-books Take Root

Here’s more evidence that e-books along with their augmented cousins – books with audio and visual and animated support – are here to stay:

Book titles reached 945,026 in May 2011, increasing by 47,000 over April 2011 (5 percent month-over-month increase) and by more than 740,000 since Kindle’s first anniversary.

eBooks with embedded audio and video clips increased by 290 in May 2011 (their 11th month in Kindle Store) and their number reached 600. Magazine titles increased by 8 to 94 while newspaper titles increased by 3 and reached 167. U.S. newspapers’ count was at 81 and international at 86.

Publishers are responding as well.  Capstone Digital’s myOn Reader program, which allows students to read targeted texts on topics of their choice, was recently released to much fanfare.  One thing seems clear: the market has made its preference clear and the publishing industry will look very different just five years from now.

Capstone Digital Personalizes Learning with myON reader

Capstone Digital launched myON™ readerat FETC yesterday. Described simply as the “first of its kind” personalized literacy environment, myON reader is designed to help preK-8 students and remedial readers take control of their reading development by recommending books they want and should be able to read, and monitoring their progress toward goals. And it’s all powered by The Lexile® Framework for Reading.

Capstone Digital and MetaMetrics® announcedlast week that the Lexile Framework would power myON reader’s assessment engine, allowing students’ reading scores from benchmark tests and book-end quizzes to be reported as Lexile measures. Teachers and students can use these Lexile measures to build personalized reading plans that match ability level and interests with the more than 1,000 digital books available from Capstone’s award-winning imprints. Additional features, like embedded reading scaffolds (highlighting, audio and dictionary), increase student confidence and encourage more independent reading. Students can even monitor their growth with a personalized trajectory report that forecasts their expected reading level.

According to Capstone Digital President Todd Brekhus, “Today’s students personalize their lives digitally on a daily basis through music, games and social networks. myON reader leverages those skills to engage students in an online, integrated reading environment using the same premise: digital personalization.”

myON reader goes well beyond the basics of personalized learning. It provides a collaborative environment in which students, teachers and parents can work together to support student reading performance. myON reader uses cloud-based technology to connect school and home through anytime, anywhere access, and to provide a safe, social network where students can read, rate and review digital books, and recommend them to classmates.

myON reader is supported by several research studies on how students read, how technology plays a part in reading, and what motivates students to read. For more information on the research behind myON reader, check out the white paper, “Building Proficiency Through Personalized Reading,” at www.CapstoneDigital.com.

MetaMetrics is an educational measurement organization. Our renowned psychometric team develops scientific measures of student achievement that link assessment with targeted instruction to improve learning.