My colleague, Dr. Kathy Roskos, and I were invited to Montreal during the summer of 2015 to share our research and work around the use of ebooks to support early literacy at the Digital Literacy for Preschoolers: Maximizing the Benefits of eBooks for Emergent Literacy conference.
The outcome of this conference was to build a better understanding of the state of the evidence and a develop a new section of the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development that will be useful for families, professionals and policy makers.
The Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development is produced by the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development (CEECD) and the Strategic Knowledge Cluster on Early Child Development (SKC-ECD). Respectively based at the Université de Montréal and Université Laval (Quebec, Canada), these two organizations have built over the years a solid network of international experts who gather, synthesize and comment, in their respective domain of expertise, the most up-to-date scientific knowledge available on the development of young children, from conception to age five.
Recently, the Technology in early childhood education section of the Encyclopedia was published. Dr. Roskos and I contributed a piece titled Teaching Early Literacy with E-books: Emerging Practices. I hope it helps shed some light around what we know and what we don’t know about teaching with ebooks.
What makes a good, workable, instructive, enjoyable ebook for young children? Certainly the established criteria of quality children’s literature apply to ebook texts. Strong features of good storybooks over the ages are similarly the features of enduring ebooks into the future: age-appropriate material that interests children, strong plots, and rich characterizations of the human condition are most likely the types of features we’d hope to find in a high-quality ebook. In this way, ebooks are very much like traditional books, and their literary or informational content can be judged by the same general criteria.
However, the addition of electronics impacts reading in new ways. An ebook, for example, can have background music whereas a traditional book cannot. Ebooks can provide mini-tutorials in hotspots, hyperlinks and virtual assistants who instruct and explain on-the-spot, in essence, ‘teaching’ children early literacy skills, such as phonological awareness and vocabulary. Read the rest of this entry…
During the development of a literate society, literacy practices were very linear in nature. Consider a traditional piece of literature, like a book. It has a cover with the title and author. When we address these elements, we begin by decoding letters and words starting in the upper left and moving to the right across the first line to develop meaning and comprehend printed text. We then open the book, turn the page and then again begin to read for meaning making starting in the upper left, moving across to the right and then down to the next line. This repetitive process reflects the literacy practices most of us have participated in since birth. Read the rest of this entry…
In their most basic form, children’s ebooks are computer files that act much like a book. They have traditional conventions like a title, pages, and chapters. However, they also can contain illustrations and hotspots that provide a navigation mechanism for the reader. A deeper look at children’s ebooks reveals a more complex form, a type of software that includes animations, sounds, videos, and a read-aloud function. Read the rest of this entry…
Literacy is no longer confined to a standard print format. There is an increasing integration and adoption of digital texts and ebooks in school libraries and classrooms across the United States. Compared to their print counterparts, ebooks are portable, facilitating the easy transport of sizable libraries with little physical effort. The mobility of ebooks allows them to be used in any place at any time via handheld or mobile devices.
Ebooks for young children are like storybooks we know and love in some ways. While features of ebooks mirror those we see in traditional children’s literature, ebooks add new, digital features. These digital additions to print are different in a manner that is profoundly changing the storybook as a piece of early literacy learning. As a result, ebooks can be used to develop transliterate practices in the classroom that address academic and cognitive diversity in learners. Read the rest of this entry…
Sprouts and STEM: Growing What We Know About Early Childhood Education and Technology
Digital tools are playing an increasingly important role in classroom learning. In order to design high-quality learning experiences for our youngest students, early childhood educators must be informed and judicious in the manner in which they integrate these technologies. Join Jeremy Brueck as he explores appropriate and innovative ways to integrate technology into classrooms in support of young children’s learning. Drawn on his own research, child development theory, and developmentally appropriate practice as a foundation, Brueck will demonstrate how digital tools can enhance early learning, support teaching goals, and improve teaching practice. Brueck will discuss the role of digital tools in:
- Creating engaging and educational experiences for young children that balance with other hands-on learning experiences
- Helping educators with management, organization, and professional learning
- Building teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge
Keynote Presentation Slides
Breakout Session Slides
Breakout Session Resources
Warren Buckleitner, a fantastic colleague and mentor, has again asked me to be a part of the conversation at his 2nd Annual Dust or Magic eBook Retreat: Designing and Critiquing Narrative Driven Interactive Media for Children, being held April 27-29, 2014. This great event is held in Honesdale, PA at the Highlights Foundation Retreat, a really amazing venue for relaxing, creating, networking and professional learning. I’m extremely excited to get a chance to learn along side the fabulous presenters he has lined up such as, William Teale, Junko Yokota and Mark Schlichting. Below you can find my conversation description as well as a pretty complete list of references related to ebooks and early literacy. View source document.
I recently spoke at the Arizona Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction Conference: STEM for the Young Child at Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona. Below are the resources and items I shared in my session titled Sprouts & STEM: Growing What we Know about Early Childhood Education & Technology.
List of ebooks and apps shared at the symposium.
Recently, the Ohio Board of Regents asked me to hold a webinar as part of Ohio’s celebration of Digital Learning Day. Today, I finalized the details of this event and I have shared them below. I’m looking forward to this webinar, as I have the opportunity to present with an outstanding second grade teacher from Green Local Schools, Ms. Kourtney Denning. Kourtney was part of my Digital Text Initiative back in the 2011-2012 school year and continues to be a leader in the classroom when it comes to digital pedagogies. Please join us for what promises to be an interesting and entertaining event!
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