Digital Reading Program Takes Literacy to New Level: Connecticut Elementary Schools See Boost in Books Read and Lexile Scores after Implementing myON

District Administration, April 2016 | Go to article overview

Digital Reading Program Takes Literacy to New Level: Connecticut Elementary Schools See Boost in Books Read and Lexile Scores after Implementing myON


The push toward digital learning in Meriden Public Schools in Connecticut started about six years ago with a simple premise: Learning doesn't stop when school ends. Superintendent Mark D. Benigni understood that advancing off-campus education would require a strong and engaging digital reading program. Soon he knew he had a winner with myON, which provides anytime, anywhere access to more than 10,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time reporting and assessments, and embedded close reading tools.

"We wanted a program to support reading and the transition to the new standards, but also something students could do at home at night and on weekends," Benignl says. "myON opens up learning opportunities outside classroom walls and gives students access to high quality content, including nonfiction selections."

The right content anywhere, anytime

Students log in to myON to find a specialized dashboard with book suggestions based on interests and ability. There are picture and chapter books, graphic novels, Spanish offerings, and titles for struggling and reluctant readers. Word lookup, highlighting and annotating help with close reading, and classroom teachers can monitor time spent reading, books read and other indicators of engagement. Embedded assessments measure student reading growth.

"We really saw this increasing access and equity for all students," Benigni says. "Some students have vast libraries at home; others students don't. myON gives every student a very diverse online library."

In a district with 70 percent of students qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch, administrators understood they'd need to boost access to technology. Since Benigni's arrival six years ago, the district went from zero to 6,000 student-issued devices, with every school having computer labs and mobile carts in addition to desktops and SMART boards in classrooms. Three schools are already seeing the advantages of a 1-to-1 learning environment, and two more will next year. …

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