We know that lots of parent-child book reading, pretend reading, and book browsing with traditional picture and storybooks promotes children’s development of literacy knowledge and skills in ways that support reading success (Mol & Bus, 2011). Reading storybooks exposes children to print and starts the process of learning how speech is written down. But can that very same process be nurtured when reading e-Books as children start to learn basic reading skills? Can parent-child sharing of e-Books help children gain an understanding of concepts such as, knowledge of letter names and how letters relate to sounds, identification of meaningful parts of words, awareness of book language as different from everyday language, and the insight that print has meaning? After all, at their core, e-Books are still books, right?
These very questions are some which I have been exploring with a small group of colleagues for the past 3 years. So, I was extremely excited to review the Cooney Center E-books QuickReport titled “Print Books vs. E-books.” The QuickReport explored parent-child interactions as they were reading print and/or digital books together. The Cooney researchers refer to this type of activity as “co-reading.” Read the rest of this entry…
I’ve been off the blogging path for a while, sidetracked by a number of projects that I have kept me quite busy for the last 3-4 months. One of those projects was an eTech Ohio Teacher Planning Grant program I have been leading called the Digital Text Initiative. Over the course of the 2011-2012 school year, I’ve been working with 9 K-2 teachers in 3 local districts to study the ways elementary teachers incorporate eBooks in their classroom.
This has been a great project, and one that was noticed by a writer from the New York Times. He published a piece titled “Bringing up an E-Reader” back in March that featured students, parents and a teacher from the DigiTXT program. I’m currently working on data analysis from a variety of sources and also starting to put together some of the greatest hits from the project for the a final report. This report is slated to be released as a white paper about mid-June. I was asked for 3 DOs and 3 DON’Ts for using eBooks that we could use in the white paper. Here they are.
- Look for eBooks with content that has direct ties to your curriculum and student’s personal experiences.
- Allow students opportunities to self-select eBooks for independent and shared reading experiences.
- Consider the role space plays in the reading experience and design a quality-learning environment for browsing/reading eBooks in the classroom.
- Select eBooks with multimedia or interactivity that is extraneous and/or not relevant to the story.
- Use an eBook with students until you have thoroughly previewed and evaluated its potential as an instructional resource.
- Underestimate the “WOW” factor that eBooks bring to the table. Use their natural engagement to capture reluctant reader’s interest and motivate them.