Friday, January 7, 2011

See-N-Read; a TOS Crew Review

See-N-Read® is a gadget in two forms that assists in reading, both books that you hold in your hands, and digital products, e-books and other materials on the computer.

The slogan within the logo says it all: "Lay it on the page and Simply Read!"

The hold-in-your-hand See-N-Read and Memorymark (either are $2.99) tools are flat, lightly tinted, gray pieces of plastic that you place over the page. There is a horizontal window in the gray piece of plastic that allows a reader to spotlight one line at a time. There are actually two versions; in one, the See-N-Read, the window is solid, but clear; in the other, the Memorymark, the window is actually cut out, to allow for underlining passages and writing notes in your text.

This is a tool for the reader who loses his place easily; for the reader whose eyes don't track smoothly across the page; for the reader who struggles with glare from light bouncing from the page of a book.

They are flat and sturdy and make great bookmarks that are ready to use when you are ready to read.

The digital product, the eSee-N-Read, is a digital version ($29.99) of the plastic piece. I installed it on my computer and I can turn it on and off when I want to. It gives me options so that I customize the tool to what I'm reading (blogs are different from web sites which are different from e-books, etc). Look at this page to see what I'm trying to describe.

I was thrilled to get this product; I thought it would help our situation a lot. I think it would help a lot of people. I know, first hand, many children who don't naturally track, visually, from left to right, and when expected to do that across a page of text, their eyes are all over the place. No wonder they struggle with comprehension if their mechanics are not working for them.

I like the idea of this product so much, I see the benefits for so many readers, that I am reluctant to write anything negative about it. I will suggest that it is something you need to try if you have a struggling reader to rule it in or rule it out as an accommodation for that reader. And please go to our main Crew blog (here) and read the experiences of other families and get a better picture of how this might help your reader.

For us, though, it created some challenges. I thought we'd love it. I wanted to love it. Turns out, we do better with a product that is tinted from top to bottom (with no window) and tinted another color. Moving the plastic piece down every line (to keep the window open on the line being read) when reading a book is an added fine motor activity, another action to take, that added "too much" to reading time for us. It added unneeded frustration.

The digital version eSee-N-Read drove me nuts. I realized that I don't read a computer page from top to bottom and left to right. I scan chunks of a page for information, and I scroll a lot, and the digital See-N-Read slowed my efforts.

Check it out; it is a solid tool that works in a big way for some readers. It could be a fit for your situation.

I was given See-N-Read® tools to use and review. I am not paid for this review and am not obligated to provide a positive review.

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