[Editor’s note: Today’s blog was written by Jane Miller, a freelance writer, part-time high school English teacher, and a graduate student based in Seattle, Washington. It has been lightly edited for clarity.]
Literacy goes beyond just reading and writing. These skills allow us to communicate effectively, and, just as importantly, they give us the ability to understand and make sense of the world and the people around us.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. has literacy rates that are barely above the global average. It’s crucial to improve one’s literacy skills because in addition to more effective communication, it also positively impacts economic growth and opens up opportunities for individuals.
As we move further into the digital era, being able to read and process information from mere data has become a highly valued skill, and strong literacy skills serve as its foundations. In fact, some of the most in-demand jobs, like careers in data analytics and media marketing, require applicants to possess a good grasp of basic, data, and online literacy. These lines of work involve collecting and analyzing vast amounts of data from multiple sources and turning it into actionable insights. And even if this isn’t a path you’re eyeing right now, you should know that every business wants to be data-driven, with literacy as the backbone of each successful business.
Improve your literacy and give yourself a competitive edge using tools that are readily available.
Learning Upgrade provides you with a learning program that has over 1,020 lessons and 22 courses, which can cater to anyone across different ages and abilities. These lessons include songs, videos, games, and drills that reward learners with certificates.
This engaging digital solution helps adult learners improve their literacy skills so that they can either perform better in classes, earn a diploma, enter college, or even secure a job. You can download the app for free for home use, and you can access lessons on your mobile device, anytime and anywhere.
The website is chock-full of educational resources for educators, parents, and professionals. You can gain access to high-quality learning and practice materials in reading and language arts—and they’re all free.
The literacy experts behind ReadWriteThink are all practicing professionals who meticulously review and approve all the site’s content, so you can be assured that the resources are up to current standards and follow the best practices.
Our award-winning software program is essentially a group of multiple products in one. AceReader is designed to perform multiple literacy-augmenting tasks including assessing, improving, and monitoring reading speed, fluency, and comprehension. It includes numerous exercises and interactive activities to supplement your learning.
We use time-tested and research-based technology, so we’ve been able to hone each version (Education Edition, Family Edition, Personal Edition, and Classic Desktop) to become the most thorough and productive. Our program can serve both educational and productivity improvement needs, too, so you know you’re getting the most bang-for-your-buck with our products.
Bonus tools for younger learners:
The effects of online games and video games have been a hotly debated topic in recent years. However, a 2020 study reveals that playing may actually improve literacy, communication skills, and overall mental wellbeing. This makes Starfall a fun and viable literacy tool for younger learners.
The website offers various interactive games, activities, and phonics which can be accessed for free. The website also has a parent-teacher center where they can share resources, and help create a learning environment that’s collaborative, fun, and motivating.
Daytime Emmy-nominated and award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, is an initiative by the SAG-AFTRA foundation. It streams videos of children’s books reimagined as creatively produced multimedia videos, read by celebrated actors like Chris Pine, Viola Davis, James Earl Jones, and many more. Each video comes with a supplemental curriculum developed by capable elementary educators, aiming to boost comprehension and verbal and writing fluency.
Reading aloud to children has been proven to improve their reading, writing, and communication skills. It also stimulates concentration and creative and logical thinking, as well as inspiring a lifelong love of reading. There’s a wealth of benefits to be had from just watching these videos, and they’re made available 24/7 by the non-profit organization.
There are several available resources out today that can help you improve literacy, go ahead and choose the one that fits you the best!