Product: Capstone myON Reader
www.myon.com Retail price: $6,500 per school for annual subscription; volume discounts available
By MaryAnn Karre
myON reader is a personalized social reading environment that empowers students to choose books according to their interests and skill levels and provides teachers and administrators the tools to track, monitor, and report on students’ growth.
Quality and Effectiveness : With myON , students, teachers, librarians, administrators, and parents can have immediate and concurrent access to more than 800 digital books from Capstone, Stone Arch (lots of graphic novels!), Compass Point, Heinemann-Raintree, and Picture Window books; more than 1,000 books will be added by year’s end. In addition, Capstone Digital will soon be adding titles from other publishers. myON ’s strength lies in its personalized reading assessments, which address students’ interests and develop individual reading recommendations. The first time a student logs in, he completes an interest inventory to determine which books out of the 60 categories he may want to read. Then he answers 35 multiple-choice reading-comprehension questions. This Lexile placement exam determines the reading level at which he will be successful and provides a starting point for the growth-trajectory report. The student is invited to repeat this benchmark assessment after reading a few books.
Ease of Use: The student interface is clear, colorful, and inviting. The Home Page presents a selection of either recommended books, all available books, the teacher’s list, or books saved from the student’s earlier searches. Readers can choose to have books read aloud or not and to have each word, sentence, or both highlighted as the story is read. By clicking the account button, students can view their reading activity, adjust their reading preferences, and see their projected reading growth.
The teacher interface is less colorful and straightforward but contains lots of information that can be sorted by individual, group, or class. The teacher interface also includes lists of sets of books by topic; individual titles in each set, along with their Lexile level and rating and a synopsis, can be viewed. Each set can be assigned to a student or group of students, but individual titles cannot be assigned from this interface. Teachers can also create sets of books, searching the collection by subject, reading level, or category. Directions are not readily available.
Creative Use of Technology : myON provides a simple way to integrate digital books into the curriculum. Students can read books, review them, and share reviews with this safe, monitored social network.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: myON merges students’ reading with evaluation by teachers and monitoring by parents. Teachers have access to the quizzes and assessments that the students complete and can use these data to provide feedback, help formulate reading strategies, and create personal reading plans.
¦ A student can select books according to their appeal and the student’s reading level.
¦ Teachers can efficiently monitor students’ reading progress and create a personal reading program for each student or group of students.
¦ Parents can monitor their children’s progress and participate in their successes.