September 17, 2012 at 2:50 pm
by Christina Tynan-Wood
Got a student with more reading than he or she can handle now that school’s up and running? Maybe the answer isn’t to force him to sit down and read but to encourage him to stand up and listen. Not only is it pleasant to have someone read a book aloud to you, it allows you to do other things while taking care of that reading list. Walk a mile? Go for a run? Mow the lawn? Clean your room? I plow through twice as many books (and have a cleaner house) because I listen to a good book while I’m doing mundane chores. And, if a student isn’t an enthusiastic reader, sometimes removing all the obstacles (sitting still, less-than-perfect reading skills, time constraints, a perception that reading isn’t fun) can help him get past the chore and get caught up in the story. And once a student “gets” that reading is great entertainment, that leads to more enthusiasm for reading.
Audiobooks can be expensive but if you subscribe to Audiobooks.com, you can listen to an unlimited number of audio books on any connected device (smart phone, iPad, laptop, or a combination of whatever you have) for $24.95 per month.
You don’t need an app or software for this to work. (Though Audiobooks offers apps for iOS and Android that allow you to listen even when you are offline.) You just go to the site, pick your book, and start listening. It streams your story right to your device. The app also allows you to switch effortlessly from indoor speakers to a smartphone to go mobile. It remembers your place and keeps the story going right where you left off. Sweet.