Tar Heel Reader

Over the summer I met literacy researcher Karen Erickson. Karen specializes in the most complex issues related to literacy development, and I was fascinated by her work. She asked me to share with Maine teachers a new tool for creating preprimer/primer level texts for students. It launched in May and there are already over 900 books across numerous topics. It’s called the Tar Heel Reader, having been researched and developed at the University of North Carolina. Karen explained to me that the books can really serve as study tools for some students while meeting the reading level of others.

For content creation, the site is linked to Flickr Creative Commons, but images can also be uploaded (and Flickr images are served from the site, eliminating firewall interference.) Each book can be speech enabled (selection of 3 voices), and the site is compatible with assistive technologies and augmentative/alternative communication.

What’s more, the Tar Heel Reader is continually supported and updated based on user comments and feedback.

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