1. In the Digital Age "instant living" is a lifestyle.
Our generation produces children who values instant gratification and rewards. Cell phones and internet are used for instant messaging and faster communication. We are quick to complain when the internet connection is down and the downloading of files is very slow. Time is so precious that we just couldnt afford to wait. Technology is continuously evolving to address and cope with our fast paced lifestyle. This advancement should also transcend to education specially in teaching reading to digital learners. This is exactly where our kids belong a generation of Digital Learners. Teaching them to read the slow- paced old fashion way is no longer working as revealed by DepEd statistics that 3 out of 4 grade six students still cant read. We need to realize that 2 to 3 years of learning reading is such a long wait and waste of time. What these digital kids need right now is a simple reading program they can easily learn in just few days. The clamor for a reading program that is instant yet effective obviously needs our attention and action.
2. Digital Learners are keener on playing computer games or watching TV than reading books.
Seventy percent (70%) of nations 4-6 year olds have used a computer and in any given day 68% of children under 2 will use a screen media for an average of just over 2 hours. Before they graduate in college about 20,000 hours have already been spent watching TV. Children naturally enjoy doing what they find easy to do. Non-readers struggle with words finding little enjoyment in reading. A recent study shows that avid readers enjoy reading for pleasure 50 times more than non-readers thus they become more active rather than passive learners.
3. Children who are taught to read earlier prefer to read more than those who are taught at age five or later.
According to a 2002 study by Yale University, "Activating children's neural circuitry for reading early on is key. The window for learning language begins to close by age four." This implies that children who learn to read after the age of four may not develop the ideal neural circuitry for reading. The brain will develop more efficiently when the child learns to read early compared to later in childhood thus making them hunger for more knowledge brought about by the acquired skill.
4. Children who enter school with reading skills have higher self-esteem than those who cannot read when they enter school.
Reading is the most important skill a child learns. Early readers affect not just their reading ability but their attitude to reading as well. They become more curious about the world thus enabling them to communicate their ideas better, believe in themselves and positively adapt to varying conditions.
5. Early readers could easily acquire basic comprehension skills.
The greatest problem at schools today is that children find it hard to understand lessons being taught in class. Early readers easily retain information making them analyze and absorb lessons clearer and faster.
6. They learn math skills faster.
Readers could analyze math word problems without much difficulty since their comprehension skills are more enhanced.
7. Early readers have better communication skills.
Since learning to read early develops a child's vocabulary, grammar and speech, they will be more confident in expressing themselves and voicing out their opinions. Because of this, early readers have the opportunity to relate to their peers in a more confident and competent level.
8. They develop critical thinking skills.
Reading is not all about being able to utter words, sentences or paragraphs -- the true goal of reading is to understand, question and benefit from the information that one will acquire while reading. All these require a reader to comprehend what is being stated in a passage or a book. With constant practice and reading, a child will be able to develop critical thinking skills earlier than other children who aren't exposed to the written word.
9. Early readers have an enhanced concentration and sense of discipline.
Teaching a child to read early will not only develop their comprehension skills but also develop in them a stronger sense of self-discipline, longer attention span, and better retention -- all of which will serve your child well when he/she enters school.
10. Early readers stay ahead of children who are taught to read later in life.
Researches have strongly proven that early readers consistently out perform their classmates in all major academic fields including language, mathematics, history and science until collegiate level. We urge all our leaders - in government and private institutions to take part in this advocacy to eliminate quickly and completely the illiteracy among our Filipino youth. This global technology is ours, made by Filipinos, for the Filipinos. We need to act fast before it's too late. Don't let our digital Filipino learners be left behind.