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.