Last summer at ISTE 2010, I had a blast at the IEAR Birds of a Feather session. Not only did I get a chance to share some of my favorite apps with the attendees, hang out with my IEAR colleagues @smeech and @jepcke, but I also got an opportunity to create some musical soundscapes with @kevinhoneycutt during an impromptu jam session.  Ever since that event, I’ve been wanting to build my own portable music production system that lets me create, record, produce, and perform music with my iOS devices.

This week, I took a major step toward making that happen. I finally broke down and purchased a variety of hardware that I can use both at home and when I’m on the road giving presentations. With the current configuration, I can plug up to 5 iOS devices into a small mixing board and either run the sound out to a small amp for a live performance or into a laptop, desktop or iPad with Garageband or Audacity for recording purposes. I’m looking forward to embarking on my expert knob twiddling adventures and I’ll be sure to keep Raised Digital readers in the loop. For now, here’s a quick run down of the equipment I’ve started to assemble.




So is Quality Rating Tool 2 any better? We will now hone in on our data to see if we have achieved better reliability with Tool 2. The following 4 charts show the inter-rater reliability on three subscales of version 2 of the e-Book Quality Rating Tool. Ten independent raters evaluated 5 books by assigning each book a score between 1 (strongly disagree) and 5 (strongly agree) on ease of use, multimedia and interaction features. Ratings were considered reliable if they fell within +1 point of the rating assigned by the Expert Rater, the project technology expert.

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Drawing on this professional knowledge base, we developed a matrix to guide the design of a prototype tool for evaluating the e dimension of the early childhood e-book. This matrix provided a framework for organizing the tool (categories & elements) and specified criteria for judging the electronic environment. We used the Quality Rating Tool 1 with a set of internal raters, consisting of 4 teachers, and also external raters, who were members of our research team.

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From the Blueprint Key, we moved to the development of 2 unique analytic tools. Analytic Tool I was adapted from the coding categories of de Jong and Bus (2003) and focused primarily on multimedia/ interactivity design features. This tool uses the entire e-book as the unit of analysis. It is organized into four categories—Book Assistants; Multimedia Illustrations; Multimedia Print; Interactivity—that reflect the major early literacy learning domains of Book Handling, Comprehension, Word Recognition and Cognitive Processing. The four categories include 14 elements that describe ebook design (e.g., presence of static and/or animated illustrations).

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In Phase 1, our research goal was to design an effective and usable tool for early childhood teachers to us in order to rate the quality of the e-Book for use in early literacy instruction. Our interest in developing an e-Book rating tool began in 2008 with our first attempt, the Blueprint Key, and has evolved over time by blending several different analytic tools to create the most recent version, the Quality Rating Tool. Let’s take a closer look at the evolution of each component of the Quality Rating Tool.

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e-Books are becoming increasingly common in our society. Children and adults can read e-Books easily using devices such as the Kindle, Nook, iPods, iPads, iPhones, and computers. The speed at which e-Books are adapted into routine use could be accelerated even faster as communication technologies such as Wi-Fi and smartphones become more common in people’s daily lives.

So, then what does this mean in regards to e-Book reading from the perspective of e-Book pedagogy in early childhood classrooms? What do we know about the quality of current e-Books that many children are reading? During this presentation, we will briefly explain an e-Book instructional model in early literacy, and then we will focus on the issue of developing an e-Book quality-rating tool.

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This is a personal blog. The resources, information and views presented on Raised Digital are solely the opinion of Jeremy S. Brueck, and are not meant to reflect the views of my employer.

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Why Raised Digital?

Today’s students were born digital but those responsible for their education were not. Youngsters arrive at school in tune with the social context and experience the Web offers. Children thrive when teachers find ways to educate them in a more flexible, hypertext manner. This space focuses on development of and support for teachers in their use of technology as they cultivate 21st century content knowledge and skills in their students.