Reading Trainer

 
(i)

 

Learning(i)

Impressive brain-training app focuses on speed.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Each training session begins with very clear instructions and easy-to-use controls.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Users can buy additional texts for speed reading training via in-app purchase (topics include literature and history). but not in iOS version.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Teens enter their name to create their account, and they can share results via GameCenter (for iOS devices) and social media.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Reading Trainer is a speed-reading training program app available on iPhone, iPad, and Android, and Windows. There is no objectionable content in the reading tests. The training works on visual acuity, which is good for anyone. Though Reading Trainer claims to increase reading comprehension levels while increasing reading speed, some reading experts say that increased reading speeds can hinder reading comprehension, which is especially important for students. Various languages are available, including Spanish, Russian, and Turkish.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Skills

Self-Direction

  • time management
  • work to achieve goals

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This is a straightforward, results-oriented, no-frills app. There's not much to engage kids beyond the goal of self-improvement.

Learning Approach

Activities increase or decrease in challenge based on a teen's performance and are repeated to solidify learning. The tasks are all about speed, so there's not much other learning baked in here.

Support

Teens see how practice boosts their performance as they view the statistics showing their improvement after each activity.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Skills

Self-Direction

  • time management
  • work to achieve goals

Kids can learn to read quickly with retention using Reading Trainer, which can be a useful skill. Still, teens generally need to focus less on speed and more on comprehension, literary analysis, and vocabulary development -- which require close, careful reading rather than speed. The exercises -- like timed word searches and word scrambles -- train teens' brains to look for relevant information quickly. Even without focusing on speed reading, the brain exercises in Reading Trainer can help teens think and react clearly and quickly.

This Learning Rating review was written by Amanda Bindel

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's it about?

READING TRAINER starts by accessing kids' current reading speed in WPM (words per minute) and then takes them through 11 units of study with several exercises each to train their brains to read faster by focusing only on important characters or information. Some exercises are simply eye-brain training -- like following a moving circle across the screen with eyes only or reading numbers flashing across the screen. Others require some speedy feedback from kids -- like typing in words, sentences, or numbers that flash quickly across the screen. The app tracks progress at every step, and kids can take a reading speed test at any time to see how they are progressing. Users are encouraged to complete one unit a day -- about 10 minutes of training -- and then rest their brains to allow it to process the new connections.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The exercises are quick and straightforward and, even if the focus isn't building speed readers, can help sharpen thinking skills. This is an app for older teens who are self-motivated and enjoy brain-building type activities. The word searches, word scrambles, and eye-brain exercises are straightforward and not at all gimmicky. The statistics the app keeps are amazing. Teens can see how they are improving within every unit and overall. For student readers, speed reading 1,000 words per minute may not be a smart goal, as kids need to understand literature and be able to interpret it and build a love for reading. But kids can improve their reading speed and challenge their brains with Reading Trainer.

Families can talk about...

  • Talk to teens about how Reading Trainer expects daily practice and talk about other areas they could see improvement with daily practice.

  • Discuss circumstances where reading quickly is more important than reading carefully. Make sure teens know which tests are timed and which are not as they begin taking college boards.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Apps for Windows, Windows Phone
Price:$3.99-$4.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:January 17, 2014
Category:Education
Size:24.30 MB
Publisher:HeKu IT
Version:1.2
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later; Android 2.1 and up

This review of Reading Trainer was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass