Digital tools empower the future of reading for our children

April 4, 2023 / Educator Resources

From TV to AI – how we continue to excite kids to read in the digital age

Actor and Osmo from BYJU’S Chief Reading Officer LeVar Burton looks over a student’s progress with the new Reading Adventure program on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in Burbank, Calif. (Jordan Strauss/AP Images for Osmo from BYJU’S)

Happy National Reading month y’all!  This is one of my favorite months of the year.  As the son of an English teacher, I take every opportunity to highlight the importance of the written word. But what if your child can’t access the written word?  What if they can’t read the story in front of them?  That is what’s happening to our kids today.  We have a literacy crisis on our hands y’all; a third of our kids are reading below grade level.  I’m here to tell you that helping our children reach their full potential is our shared responsibility. 

The magic of storytelling can only be unlocked when a child has the tools necessary to read the words on a page.  That’s where the Science of Reading comes in – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension – all contribute to helping a child improve his or her reading ability.    

We also need to utilize new forms of storytelling and technology to engage our kids. As technology continues to advance, we have the opportunity to provide more customized reading experiences to meet our kids at their individual learning levels. With tools like voice recognition,  we can motivate a child to practice reading aloud and then provide real-time guidance through phonetic instruction. Sounding out words and putting them together inspires confidence in young readers.  Confidence leads to fun, and fun leads to activating one’s imagination!  

Osmo’s Reading Adventure program does just that.  It’s fun, engaging, and utilizes the latest technologies, including voice recognition and digital storytelling, to help young learners focus on their skills. Developed by educators, the Reading Adventure program provides personalized feedback to improve literacy and helps bridge the gap between the classroom and home.   

With Reading Rainbow, I leveraged the power of television to encourage children to read for over 20 years. Now, I am empowered with far more advanced technology. I partnered with Osmo as their Chief Reading Officer because they are at the forefront of reading innovation. It’s going to take a collective effort – public policy, private companies, and advocates like YOU – to make a difference in this literacy crisis.    Join me in fostering the love of reading in the next generation of children.

To learn more about Reading Adventure, click HERE

To see my official announcement, click HERE

LeVar Burton Reading Adventure