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Capstone Digital’s

By Susan W. Hixson - Posted May 1, 2011
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Company: Capstone, 7825 Telegraph Road, Bloomington, MN 55438, (800) 747-4992;

Price: is provided by yearly subscription by the school or district. The cost is $6,500 for one school, and volume discounts can be negotiated for entire districts.

Audience: is designed for use by teachers and students in the elementary grades. The focus is reading and providing the books that students need at their learning level to challenge and encourage rapid reading improvement.

Format: is an online resource. It is accessible to students and teachers with a username and password and can be used from any location with an internet connection.

System Requirements: For best results your school needs a DSL/Cable internet connection. Recommended software includes Internet Explorer 7.0 (or higher), Firefox 3.5 (or higher), or Safari 4.0 (or higher). Set resolution to 1024x768 at a minimum and have Flash Player 10 (or higher) installed.

Description: is a personalized learning program and the first digital platform to recommend books to students based on interest and reading level. Hundreds of digital books are available from several publishers and are shown in color with features such as highlighting text or reading text aloud to students who need those features.

Overall Rating:5 Stars
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: works on any current browser with a high-speed internet connection. There is no installation, but you will want to bookmark the address so students can find it easily. Access Rating: A

Content/Features: contains a wealth of reading materials and presents it to the students after an interest test and the Lexile reading placement test. Students can work independently online after a brief introduction to the program.

A library of books is presented to the student that is leveled at the proper reading skills for independent reading. The student then selects a book to read, adds the book to “my book list,” or asks to see more books from which to choose. Once a book is selected, it appears with a control panel at the bottom of the page. The size of the book can be set to cover the whole screen. Options on the panel are to control the sound level, even turning it off, so the book is read aloud or independently. The highlighting of words or sentences can be turned off if needed, and a dictionary is available. After the book is read, the student is invited to rate and review the book. Finally, a quiz with five questions about the book is completed by the student. The review and scores are sent to the teacher’s files for review.

If a student can’t read, the system will identify that through the benchmark test. Once identified, low-level titles are presented until the student improves and is retested to measure growth. When the student grows in reading ability, the next set of titles presented will be slightly higher in reading level.

More than 1,000 books are available with more than 100 books being added each month. myON plans to have 2,000 titles by the end of 2011. Books range from Pre-K to grade 8. High-interest books include fiction, nonfiction, science, social studies, and more. The teacher can customize selections for a select group of students or the entire class and pull titles that focus on specific topics for all to read in a unit of study. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Students and teachers will find this program most user-friendly. Just log in with a username and password to begin reading books at the correct reading level. It is individual student instruction and provides much-needed practice. One only learns to read by reading. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Customer service can be reached at (800) 747-4992 or service@cap Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: I was impressed with the thought and resources that have been integrated into this new resource. gives teachers an accurate way to track student reading and monitor progress. Students are guided to the correct level of books to keep them challenged and improve reading levels and comprehension. Other reading programs have a similar format but use real books, and that makes them more expensive and more difficult for teachers to track. Students will also be intrigued by using the digital books and using the computer to read. They will feel just like members of the general public who are becoming interested in reading again as they order books for their digital devices. Access from any internet connection will make it possible for students to read at home for even more time on task.

I highly recommend this web-based reading resource. It just might become your new “basal reading” adoption. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer: Susan W. Hixson, educational consultant; (480) 837-7803;

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