How I Use It
I use Subtext to teach digital literacy with 9-12 graders. It has been especially valuable for me to be able to see how students read and engage with non-fiction text. The built in pacing tools allow me to show my students how they should be reading difficult texts. It encourages me to model good reading strategy when constructing homework assignments based around reading materials. One of the nice features of Subtext is that I can load content from just about any resource on the web. It is good for non-fiction, technical text, or research articles. I load a text into the application, build classes and assignments around the text, then ask critical questions at key points in the text.
In Subtext I can build in comprehension questions, discussion questions, and monitor student progress. You, as the teacher, can get statistics on student progress through a text, you can see how many highlights or lookups they have done on key words or phrases. Subtext is an e-reader at it's core, but adds other social elements to create a very engaging classroom reading application. It is highly recommended for all levels and content areas that assign reading text.
I have seen dramatic improvements in student reading with using Subtext. My students are casual readers of fictional work, mostly, and have little difficulty with that genre. However, they really struggle when asked to read opinion pieces, technical text, scientific text, or research articles. Being able to 'teach' them how to read a non-fiction text has been very helpful. Using Subtext helps me, as the teacher, organize my reading strategy, use a technology, and get kids engaged with the text I assign. I don't have to do the 'read this...then answer these questions..." approach to reading anymore. I can create a social, engaging environment where students can read a difficult text, get the support they need, and see success - ultimately making them better readers.