A recent report from the National Science Foundation (NSF) shows that reading on a smartphone may help those who deal with dyslexia. Researchers believe that reading on the smaller screen and seeing words two and three at a time may help to improve focus, and help with comprehension.
The report, from Miles O’Brien and Ann Kellan, was published this past August and appears online on the NSF.gov web site. Below is a video from the site which explains the findings about the use of smartphones to help those with dyslexia.
The results are based on work done by Matthew Schneps, a researcher at Harvard University with a doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Schneps, who is dyslexic, noticed that it was easier to read on a smartphone than on paper or a book. He then set out to see if it was just him, or if this was the case for other who struggle with dyslexia.
From his position at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where Schneps was specializing in how people learn science, he, set out to test his hypothesis. Along with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), he corralled the faculty and about 100 students, at a high school that specializes in helping students with learning disabilities, to help him test his theory.
“Schneps and his team monitored students with dyslexia while the students read to see if reading off smartphones and tablets would improve the students’ comprehension of STEM subjects–science, technology, education and math. He found that reading off an iPod benefitted those dyslexic students who exhibit signs of visual attention deficits.”
The key is seems was to show only two or three words on a line. While not a solution for every person, it appears from the research that “simply reconfiguring the layout of the text on an electronic reader may make all the difference.”