How Is Reading Digitally More Important Than Ever

Christophe Spy/ September 23, 2021/ Classroom Tips, eBooks, ELA, ELL, How to/ 0 comments

How Is Reading Digitally More Important Than Ever

In many schools, businesses, and homes across the nation, e-books have earned their prominent place on virtual bookshelves. Over the past 20 years, digital reading resources have transformed into the intuitive, customizable, and instantly accessible tech we enjoy today (Attwell 2019).  

The transition to digital books has also begun in schools as classrooms let go of physical libraries full of paperback and hardcopy texts. Instead, schools are investing in unlimited e-libraries with embedded features that make reading more fun and accessible for all learning needs. This shift is bringing on a new era in education when using strategies to fundamentally engage all students outweighs the desire for educators to hold onto the ineffective teaching methods of bygone times.

Benefits of Digital Reading 

Digital reading is one of the most needed skills in the current and future workforce. To best build up our students for success beyond the classroom, an emphasis on reading via digital platforms takes place over traditional scenarios. As teachers help students familiarize themselves with the nuances of digital reading, students are more likely to reap the life-changing benefits, supporting them to be college-and-career ready.

Practice with digital reading allows students to:

  • Learn how to use customizable features that make reading more manageable and accessible for them, breaking down the multiple barriers preventing students from really enjoying reading.
  • Differentiate the interventions they need to comprehend the text, especially if they aren’t entirely on grade level yet, or are learning English. Integrated dictionary and translation tools help burgeoning readers and English Language Learners to gain confidence as they work through grade-level rigorous texts.
  • Read wherever they are! Digital reading doesn’t require students to carry around novels and textbooks – students can read on what is already with them- their phone, increasing the amount of time and accessibility students have to interact with their reading.

Students aren’t the only ones that benefit from digital reading. Teachers also have an advantage, as they benefit from easy access to books for professional development or personal enjoyment.

Teachers that implement digital reading in the classroom:

  • Save time by not passing out and collecting reading materials each day, therefore providing more time to learn.
  • Cut down costs of replacing books year after year through their investment in expansive e-libraries.
  • Easily import curriculum resources into the same online platform, enabling everyone to access the reading for each day. 

Digital Reading is More Important Than Ever

During distance learning, many teachers delved fully into the world of digital reading, turning to e-books to distribute copies of class novels. As teachers experimented with different programs for digital reading, new preferences emerged:  

  • E-libraries that offer unlimited access to any text
  • Customizable e-reader features to support every student’s reading needs
  • Interactive resources for students to highlight, annotate, and react to the text
  • A place to house all reading materials and conversations about the texts

Now that the nation’s schools are open and students have returned to classrooms, it is easy for many teachers to turn back to passing out class sets of typical reading novels and worksheets. While this may be comforting to the teacher, after all – apart from the youngest of our teachers of today, most grew up and learned with physical texts – this practice isn’t what is best for students and their future. To grow 21st-century learners prepared for the workforce, students need to engage with digital reading continually. Building daily digital reading habits is more important than ever because:

  • Teachers can use statistics to track student progress with their reading and offer strategic support based on individual student needs.
  • Students need more representation of culturally relevant texts. Unlimited access to e-libraries means students can read whatever they want, with no need to rely on what the teacher or school has in stock.
  • It reinforces the online reading and interaction adults use in day-to-day business. Practice reading online and using embedded tools means students will meet the demand in the current and future workforce.

Teachers can easily embed digital reading right into their current practice. Read below to find out four easy ways to lean into digital reading as daily classroom routines.

Three Ways to Fold Digital Reading Into Classroom Practice

Create daily silent reading time in your class

Within the current lesson plan, identify a time where students are to participate in sustained silent reading. Then, easily swap out the physical books for digital ones. A transition from paper to digital will take some time if the class is new, so a quick lesson from the teacher will be needed to show students how to set up their accounts, access books of interest, and utilize features to enhance their reading experience. After the initial lesson, students will take control of their reading without relying heavily on the teacher.

Encourage family reading time as homework

Many teachers ask that students read for 30 minutes for homework during the school week. Teachers can extend the beneficial digital reading opportunity to student’s families as well! To encourage reading at home, teachers can provide families with a video or even an explanation pamphlet on accessing the texts online. In addition, teachers can add prompts for students and families to read for extra credit, rewards, or a component on a project-based assessment.

Use Glose Library to access texts from the curriculum and upload supplemental texts

Locate curriculum texts in the Glose library and purchase them for the class. Then, during daily lessons, model by projecting the texts for students to see and track activity. During class readings, continue to have the text up and refer to it, using the integrated features as needed. For supplementary texts, upload those right into the class feed, and use them to annotate, interact, and work through them together.

Digital reading is the way of the future, and teachers who want to prepare students for college and career readiness can easily integrate digital reading into the classroom. Folding these practices right into lessons is relevant, meaningful, and, most importantly, fun!


Attwell, Arthur. “E-book”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 25 Apr. 2019, Accessed 12 September 2021.

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