Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
Did you know that you can now access the School Journal audio material through a self-contained intranet on your school computer network?
The School Journal Listening Post (SJLP) is an intranet which links all the Ministry of Education digital audio material, and can be supplied to primary schools on a single disk in mp3 format. The material includes stories from Ready to Read, Junior Journal, School Journal and School Journal Story Library.
It’s easy for students to use, students just click a graphical link and the selected audio story begins to play. It can be used for reading groups or for individual students with specific needs, and also contains extensive printable tracking sheets for students to keep a record of their reading.
Teachers tell me this is a great way for them to connect readers with amazing audio resources - the SJLP is much easier to organise than sorting through a pile of sixty compact discs, and it means that they can make the most of resources that the school already has.
The service will be updated annually, and pricing is roll-based. More information and an online demo are available here.
The Waste Land app by Touch Press and Faber and Faber is absolutely amazing. It will push an iPad straight to the top of your wish list and make you fall in love with T.S. Eliot’s poem in a whole new way.
The app includes the entire text and with one click you can hear it read aloud by Eliot himself (at two different times in his life), Alec Guinness, Viggo Mortensen or Ted Hughes. The lines are highlighted as the masters read so you can easily follow along. Don’t understand a reference? No problem. Simply turn your iPad to the side and touch the lines you are not sure about. Detailed notes will pop up with an explanation.
Still curious about something? There are video interviews with over 35 experts discussing the poem as well as a stunning performance of the entire text by Fiona Shaw (it’s a whole new side to Aunt Petunia!). The original manuscript is also included, along with notes that Ezra Pound wrote for Eliot. A gallery of related images rounds out this stunning example of what a book app can be.
At $14USD this app is expensive, but it is well worth the price for any library or English department focussing on Eliot’s work. Even students who are not studying The Waste Land would benefit from the dynamic performances that show how poetry can be brought to life. Head over to the app store for more information or check out this video interview with the Faber poetry editor and head of Faber digital.
image by Poughkeepsie Day School
Amazon have just launched an improved Kindle.
No longer just an eReader, the Kindle Fire’s colour touchscreen connects to the web, streams movies and TV and supports apps. Although commentators compare the Kindle Fire to iPad, the functionality is more similar to the Nook Colour.
What does this mean for school libraries? Kindle Fire’s lower price may be the start of a trend of cheaper eReaders which could lead to more students owning eReaders. Students may prefer to download eBooks onto their own eReader from the school library rather than buying them.
Another option for school libraries could be to buy a set of eReaders for students to read eBooks such as reference materials including EPIC while working in the library.
Have a look at our eBooks and the Issues page to consider where to next for your school library. Or join the eBooks community. E-content (including eBooks) is here, and will be part of literacy, learning and libraries from now on.
School libraries will help to shape the future in this space.
“The ebook juggernaut is moving along like a train with no brakes, and it's raising so many issues…”
In an article in the latest online Connections magazine from SCIS, Stephen Abram looks at ebooks in the wider context. Rather than focusing on the merits or otherwise of e-readers and other devices, or the Digital Rights Management issues that are often the focus of articles on this topic, he views ebooks in the wider context, starting with a taxonomy of ebooks.
He describes ebooks as a subset of ‘e-resources’ – which librarians and educators have long been using and promoting: databases (think EPIC), websites, articles, audio, video, podcasts, and more.
In addition, e-books are a format of books in general – and these too come in a variety of subtypes (encyclopedias, audio books, large print, Braille, non-fiction books, fiction, and so on)
Abrams then turns the spotlight on some of these categories of books, to explore how they are intended to be read or used, and how the ebook format can impact on the reader’s experience.
Fiction, he says, is one of the few book genres designed to be read sequentially, from beginning to end. Non-fiction is much more of a mix, with some (such as biographies, diaries, and self-help books) also intended to be read from cover to cover. Others are designed for the reader to dip into, to read just the piece of information required.
However, it is Reference books that can shine as e-resources. No longer bound by the conventions of page order, electronic versions are able to add functionality and search features to enable the reader to discover and experience content in whole new ways.
0800 LIB LINE
0800 542 5463
Get help from our advisers using this free phone line