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Among many, many other things going on at the moment, I’m putting together a talk based around the theme of reading, and in particular dealing with reading in the 21st century, screen-based environment. I’ll be speaking about this topic at the IATEFL Conference in Harrogate on Wednesday 2nd April and the title of my talk is ‘Helping students with screen-based reading without headaches!’

I’m fairly confident that some people would agree that we do much more of our reading these days on a screen, rather than anything that’s on paper. I hardly ever buy an actual copy of a newspaper anymore, preferring instead to read online or on a tablet app. I read a lot more now, both fiction and non-fiction using my smart devices and readers, than I do with paper copies of books (still do love a good hardback, though!). And far more often I find myself interacting with text, both for personal and professional or academic purposes, via a screen-based medium.

While I am most definitely not saying that screen-based reading is the only way forward and we should get rid of all our paper books, I am conscious of how we can make the most of the affordances technology can give us when we have to read and interact with text on a screen. To the end of preparing for the talk, I’ll be blogging about some of the useful tools and apps I found that can help with reading on screen and looking at three aspects in particular:

  • curation and accessibility

  • reading speed and comprehension

  • annotating and interacting with on-screen text

I’ll shortly be elaborating on those titles and explaining exactly what I mean, and will be profiling some of the apps and tools I’ve been investigating (along with, I hope, some data from my own students).

If you’re interested, keep an eye on this space!