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…
Transliteracy is a concept that captures the field of literacy and describes language arts as more than a function of foundational skills, such as reading and writing, but also encompasses the ability to communicate across traditional and emerging platforms (Thomas, S. et. al., 2007). Simply put, transliteracy is the understanding of traditional literacy components alongside the nuances that living in a touchscreen world brings. Transliteracy puts aside the differences between traditional and emerging literacies to focus on the interconnected path of all literacies and the role they play in developing a literate member of society. Students need to become fluent, not only in their reading and writing practice, but also in the digital skills that are put to regular use in the world around them.
Reading and writing are at the core of transliteracy, as we interact with both traditional and digital print in our daily lives. Whether we are flipping through the pages of our favorite paperback or checking the weather on our smartphone, foundational reading skills (letter knowledge, sounds, and word reading) and meaning- based skills (comprehension, conceptual knowledge, and vocabulary) play an integral role. However, new skills, such as recognizing icons, setting up preferences, mastering multi-tap and swipe gestures, all play a pivotal role becoming a transliterate individual. Read the rest of this entry…
Aiden was recently asked to record some sample fluency passages for preservice teachers at The University of Akron to use for practicing 3-Minute Reading Assessments. We used the AudioBoo app to record the passages and post to the cloud. Below you’ll find the embedded audio clips. Teachers could easily use a similar method to post student clips for sharing with parents or other teachers on their team.
The source of the passages is located here. You can also find the teacher scoring sheets for each passage.
This post originates from the “I get this question a lot file” and after I spent the time to type out a response, it seemed like something I should be sharing openly, rather than exclusively through a private email message.
You were referred to me by [name withheld to protect the innocent], the tech coordinator for [insert school or district here]. He assured me that you were the “go to man” who could point me in the right direction.
I’m a reading interventionist and in search of quality iPad apps to support our reading instruction. In particular, I’m looking for apps to support comprehension and vocabulary development for 7-10 year olds reading at first and second grade levels. Of course, they love interactivity and game playing. Any recommendations?
The iPad revolution is here! Even our youngest students expect a learning space that integrates digital tools, accommodates a mobile lifestyle, adapts to individual learning styles & encourages collaboration. Teachers must become proficient in an mLearning pedagogical approach grounded in an understanding of mobile technologies hardware, software & OS. How does a teacher incorporate all these technology tools into meaningful learning? Help your students use iOS apps to tell their own stories, boosting reading and writing skills. Find out which apps work best for what grade levels and learn management techniques for projects. Attendees will learn about many different iOS apps to support and enhance the reading and writing process. This session will prepare K-5 administrators, teachers and parents to support student use of iOS devices in the elementary classroom.
As part of the Akron Ready Steps program, I am currently engaged in a study of an e-book instructional model that integrates the e-book into the preschool classroom. This is a four phase study that will last the entire school year. We recently wrapped up Phase 1 of the study and debriefed our teachers on a number of aspects of the instructional model. After an initial read through, I am particularly intrigued by their comments on what they liked about the eBook shared reading experience. A short excerpt:
I like the computer. The monitor is large and I like the touch screen. The children like the e-book experience and it is a chance to share a book with a small group of children. I think it is good for the children to hear different voices read the books. I sometimes am able to get a hard copy of an e-book. The children really like looking at the e-book and then the hard copy or vice versa.
The children love hearing the books read. The readers’ voices really make the book. The children like being at the computer and turning the pages. The children also like the animation in some of the books.
I like working with the small groups in the e-book experience. I like being able to choose between automatic and manual. I liked many of the narrators and realized that the quality of the narration and graphics is what keeps the children’s attention. I like being able to push the pause button on the book so that I can talk with the children before moving on. The pacing of most of the books keep even the three year olds engaged. Some of the graphics are really colorful. I like the words highlighted as they are being read. It helps keep the children’s attention on the words.
I like the interaction of the children with the book and with me. I like doing the e-book with a small group of children and being able to stop the book and review vocabulary words or talk about a subject. I like the animated voices. It keeps the children interested. I am trying to work on being more animated when I am reading a book to children. The children like the animated voices. I like that the children can push the page turner button when it is flashing. I like the highlighting of words during the reading.
I’ve been working with Dr. Lisa Lenhart for about 6 years at the University of Akron. She gave me a start as a graduate assistant back in the 2004-2005 school year, as I was working on my principal’s license, and I’ve hung around ever since. Lisa has opened up a lot of doors for me, and I have the utmost respect for her as an educator, a professional and a person. She’s currently working on revising one of her textbooks, Reading and Learning to Read, and I received the following email from her about a week ago.
Would any of you be willing to ask your kids these questions and give me their quotes back? I’m working on my book revision and we’re going to put student voices in……..I won’t use their names. Any responses at all would help. Thank you so much,
How does (or did) your teacher teach you to read?
List three things you know about good readers.
What do you dislike about reading in school?
Tell me about a time someone had to read out loud and they weren’t very good…..
If you could be in charge, what would you use to teach kids to read?
A student’s knowledge of word meanings, or oral vocabulary, plays a key role in reading comprehension. The iTouchiLearn Words app for iPhone and iPod Touch provides young learners with an opportunity to engage in vocabulary building practice. Developed by Staytoooned, the cover screen indicates that the app is designed to “learn words through entertaining animations.”
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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.