While paper-based texts won’t become obsolete, digital texts are not a fad. Students will continue to see a combination of paper and digital media in everyday classroom settings, on high-stakes assessments, and in the reading they will do for years to come. Consequently, teachers must maximize the advantages of on-screen reading, finding opportunities to bring digital texts into their curricula. However, just doing more on-screen reading is not enough to prepare students.
There is abundant research on the disadvantages of on-screen reading. Recall is hard. Retention is less. Speed slows. Concentration suffers. Distractions increase. Beyond a list of drawbacks, teachers need solutions and strategies that combat these issues and overcome these obstacles.
Typical classroom curriculum includes instructional strategies relevant for paper-based reading. And although all of that instruction is necessary, only some of those skills transfer to digital text. Different mediums require different strategies. The future of reading curricula must include explicit on-screen-only strategies, too. Students need to know how to cope with the unique differences that accompany reading off a digital device. Without that kind of explicit instruction, comprehension will continue to suffer. The 21st Century Learner must be able to alter his reader habits without losing comprehension when juggling print and digital texts.
Within her keynote “Build Masterful On-Screen Readers,” Kristina Smekens will present a variety of skills, strategies, and habits that will support teachers as they grapple with the future of digital-text reading.
President and lead consultant for Smekens Education, Kristina Smekens is a highly sought after speaker and author who has spent more than a dozen years supporting K-12 educators with on-site school trainings, regional seminars, and an always-growing pool of print, digital, and video resources.
After attending a training led by Kristina, teachers leave excited and ready to apply new ideas in their own classrooms. This is because Kristina has a gift for making the complex seem simple—for showing teachers how to meet the needs of readers and writers by bridging the gap between education research and practical, classroom-tested strategies that work.
Kristina is well known for offering innovative ideas, but also for the energetic and enthusiastic way in which she delivers every professional development session. A certified 6-Traits trainer, Kristina is the author of several books and resources including Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades K-2, Launching the Writer’s Workshop: Grades 3-12, Trait-Based Writing: Lessons and Activities, The Writing Parent Pack, and more.
A proud alumnus of Michigan State University, Kristina taught high school English and journalism in Michigan and Indiana before a series of opportunities allowed her to commit to a career as a full-time literacy consultant. In the time since then, she has been blessed to work and learn with hundreds of schools and thousands of teachers throughout the Midwest.
Kristina lives in Warren, Indiana with her husband Brady, their three teenage children, and a rambunctious family dog named Buddy.