SOURCE: Landmark School

Landmark School

September 20, 2013 09:16 ET

Landmark School With Harvard-Smithsonian Demonstrates Impact of E-Readers on Comprehension and Reading Speed on Dyslexics

BEVERLY, MA--(Marketwired - Sep 20, 2013) - Landmark School, a co-ed school that focuses on students grade 2-12 with language-based learning disabilities, has been participating in a study on the use of e-readers by students with dyslexia. Since April of 2012, Dr. Matthew Schneps, Director of the Laboratory for Visual Learning at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has been working with Landmark High School students to test methods of increasing reading speed and comprehension.

The study, funded by the National Science Foundation, shows that when e-readers are set up to display only a few words per line, at least a third of the high school students with dyslexia from the Landmark School were able to read more easily, quickly, and with greater comprehension. Findings are published in the Sept. 18 issue of PLOS ONE, an international, open-access, peer-reviewed, online publication focusing on a variety of topics in the sciences. Landmark school offers its 450 students methodologies and protocols supported by research.

"The Landmark School's commitment to research is extraordinary. The school actively engages in the research process to continually inform and improve their practices," said Schneps. "I don't know of any other school that cultivates this kind of ongoing curiosity and openness to research. It's very progressive."

The first study conducted by Schneps and his team tracked eye movements of dyslexic students while they read. The study showed that the use of short lines facilitated reading by improving the efficiency of the eye movements made during reading. A second study examined the role a small hand-held reader had on comprehension and found that in many cases the device not only improved speed and efficiency but improved abilities for the dyslexic reader to grasp the meaning of the text.

"Our students are always at the center of what we do," said Adam Hickey, Research Coordinator and faculty member at Landmark School. He continues, "Landmark doesn't just do what's popular or cost saving. We've spent decades fine-tuning our approach and it's vital that we rely on proven research results. We are encouraged by Matt's findings and will continue to work with him to learn more about the potential implications of the impact of e-readers on reading comprehension, fluency, and more."

The PLOS ONE journal article is openly accessible and can be downloaded at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0075634. The previously published study is available at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071161.

Landmark School is an independent, coeducational boarding and day school with elementary, middle, and high school programs. It caters to students, grades 2 - 12, with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. Students possess average to above average intelligence and normal behavioral development. Landmark's mission includes an extensive Outreach Program of professional development courses, workshops, and publications for educators, administrators, clinicians, and parents.

Visit Landmark School on the web at www.landmarkschool.org.

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