Technology in education is a benefit of today’s digital age. Technology has made it possible for students to access countless books and online literacy training tools. Yet, many students are still struggling to read and few find the joy of being lifelong readers.

Recent research in Reading Research Quarterly shows that even though educators have made significant investments in reading technology, the results are disappointing. Reading independently is proving difficult for students today, with comprehension rates that are lower than those of 1960.

However, one company has a way to reverse the trend. Based on more that 80 years worth of research Reading PlusIntegrating the three areas of reading, cognitive, emotional, is the way to go. According to a whitepaper released by the company, students who are proficient in all three domains can become more engaged readers.

Dr. P. David Pearson is the first chairman for the International Literacy Association’s Literacy Research Panel. “It’s not only about becoming faster and more efficient in independent silent reading. It’s doing it with comprehension, and with the ultimate goal of acquiring knowledge and enhancing personal interests.”

This is a summary of the three domains according to the whitepaper:

* Physical. Reading begins with a visual processing skill – the ability to see and understand text. This skill is not yet learned by students who work to read. They are unable to comprehend what they have read and spend all their energy processing words. Without developing physical skills, students will continue to work and fall behind, eventually losing interest in reading.

* Cognitive. Reading has long been about comprehension and vocabulary. Many approaches assume that students practice with more complex texts to improve their comprehension. Research shows that vocabulary is the most reliable indicator of text complexity. However, readability measures emphasize sentence length. It is important to match students with text levels that will allow them to learn at their own pace.

* Emotional. To tap into the interests of students builds confidence and motivation. Students who enjoy reading are more inclined to read. It is important that students can choose what they want to read.

Bottom line: Students who read independently don’t engage in each reading domain separately; rather, they engage in all three simultaneously. To be lifelong readers, this is how they should develop their reading skills.

You can find more information about Reading Plus and the Study Program at