I’m headed to Philadelphia later this week to attend the EduCon 2.3 conference. This will be my second trip to SLA, and I am every bit as excited to go back as I was to attend the first time. The main difference between this year and last is that I have decided to add my voice to the conversation as a presenter. I’m honored to be presenting amongst some of the great thinkers in our profession. I’m also humbled by the opportunity to learn along with many of them on a daily basis.
I will be facilitating a discussion around a topic that is very important to me, e-Books. More specifically, I hope to explore how, why and when e-Books should be included as part of the instructional process in the early elementary classroom with an eye towards developing an instructional model that could be used in Pre-K and Kindergarten classrooms across the globe.
My work with e-Books dates back about 2 and a half years. Since then, I’ve been part of a research team that has been looking at a number of aspects of e-Book instructional design and classroom practice. One of my main responsibilities has been the development of an “e-Book Quality Rating Tool.” The origin of this tool grew out of my work and research on Learning Objects. When I began my work at the University of Akron designing and developing online courses, I looked heavily at David Wiley‘s work with Learning Objects. Originally, I took Wiley’s LO model and then applied it to some CD-ROM based eBooks. The paper that emerged from that was published as a chapter in “Multimedia and Literacy Development,” Bus & Neuman editors.
During our conversation we will be exploring a technical line of research toward the larger goal of creating well-performing tools for designing and evaluating e-books as early literacy curricular resources. We will seek to have discussions that can help lead to (a) develop a prototype tool for evaluating e-book quality and (b) observe its effectiveness and usability as a practical tool for educators. In addition to questions posed by session attendees, our conversation will be guided by some of the following questions:
1. What are criteria of e-book quality based on professional knowledge and research?
2. Is an evidence-based prototype tool effective for checking and critiquing e-book quality?
3. Is the prototype tool usable by teachers for educational purposes?
4. Does the prototype tool discriminate between sub-types of e-books?
From the EduCon 2.3 website
When: Session Two: Saturday 12:30pm–2:00pm
Where: Room 300
Who: Jeremy Brueck
Affiliation: University of Akron
Conversational Focus/Audience: Elementary School
e-Books for young children are proliferating, and are increasingly viewed as an appropriate source for early exposure to books and reading, especially by parents. Yet we know relatively little about what makes an e-book a good e-book for early literacy experience, particularly in relation to preschool literacy development and education.
What makes for a good, workable, instructive, enjoyable e-book for young children? Certainly the established criteria of quality childrens literature apply to e-book texts. Strong features of good storybooks over the ages are likewise the features of enduring e-books into the future: age-appropriate, culturally sensitive, satisfying plots, and rich expressions of human values, traits and struggles (Norton, 2007). In this respect, e-books are just like traditional books, and their literary or informational content can be judged by the same general criteria.
However, standards of performance and design in e-books have not been established and are the subject of considerable debate in the book industry. Where do educators factor in this discussion? Join us and begin to define our role in shaping the future of the e-book. Come ready to discuss the design of a prototype tool for evaluating the e dimension of the early childhood e-book. We will explore a matrix that provides a framework for organizing the tool (categories & elements) and specified criteria for judging the electronic reading environment.
With the electronic book a rapidly growing alternative to the traditional book, there is an increasing need for classroom-based tools that support e-book pedagogy in early childhood settings. In this conversation, we’ll examine a variety of e-books designed for the iPod Touch and iPad. Participants will learn interactively during a focused and intense conversation about what makes for a good, workable, instructive, enjoyable e-book for young children. We will explore how e-books are fundamentally different in that they are electronic which means information can be communicated multi-modally (audio, video, text) on the screen page. The presenter will provide a classroom set of iPod Touch and iPads to be used to examine several popular early childhood e-books. In small groups, well aim to apply an e-book Quality Rating Tool to an e-book and then share with others the merits and limitations of using that particular e-book for instructional purposes.