The Digital Transformation of Literacy Education


By Tyson Smith

Companies that have been in the game for a while have been courtside in watching EdTech explode over the past 35 years. Even as schools and districts rushed to buy the new, hottest thing, to me the question has always been whether a given piece of tech actually held enough substance to improve student learning.

When it comes to teaching literacy, a huge shift happened in 1999 when the National Reading Panel put out a report saying that if you don’t teach phonics, you’re basically dooming 25 percent of your students. The report found that a foundation in phonemic awareness and phonics was essential. The positive results were overwhelming, and though new literacy-based tech companies have tried to come in and teach reading in an innovative way, the phonics-based approach never fails.

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