Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
Does the introduction of iPads and e-books make a difference to students reading in the school library? During 2010 Westburn School librarian, Sylvia Junovich, observed a significant drop off in the amount of reading related use of the school library during break times. The library was busy, but mainly with computer activities and games. She discussed her concerns with staff and as a result, they decided to purchase two iPads for use in the library. These have been loaded with interactive picture books (see the blogpost on Q-books) and word-finds. They are being used by small groups (2-3 students) at a time and a system of change over has evolved, usually self managed by the children with only minimal intervention by the Librarian.
She is delighted to find that the enthusiasm for leisure time reading in the library is returning. Reading the e-book Hairy Maclary on the iPad has had a spin off effect of children going to the library shelves to find the hard copy of the same book. This has generated a surge of interest in Lynley Dodd’s books again.
With Westburn’s multi-cultural population, international students have enjoyed reading and hearing books in their own language. Sylvia finds this particularly exciting since print copies of these books in other languages are not easily accessible.
Having these iPads available has given her a guide for purchasing further e-books or replacing worn out hard copies of some titles in her library.A few students have asked to use the iPads for research purposes, but so far, leisure time interaction with books has been the main focus. Sylvia sees huge potential with the iPads opening up an increasing range of reading material for students. Her next move will be to get them used during class visits to the library.
She says that with these tools “transliteracy is not a problem, possibly due to the fact that many of our children are already using e-resources at home. Not keeping pace with this trend would be counterproductive to helping students to become life-long learners”.
Enthusiasm and the willingness to read are integral factors in developing reading competencies. At Westburn School the introduction of these two iPads has certainly worked in those areas.
There’s no doubt that online resources are going to get better and cheaper, and students will be able to do their research online from mobile devices wherever they are.
Seth Godin, in this important and thought-provoking blog post, proposes that: “They need a librarian more than ever (to figure out creative ways to find and use data). They need a library not at all.”
Arguing for a re-definition of the library as space, as catalyst for creativity, co-production and collaboration, he also redefines the librarian role through a similar lens.
Godin continues: “Librarians that are arguing and lobbying for clever ebook lending solutions are completely missing the point. They are defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future, which is librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario.”
Far from being an anti-book campaigner, Godin paints a scenario where the librarian is at the creative centre of a 21st Century space completely focused on access to data as well as connections to users. He sees ‘library’ as serving as the ‘local nerve center for information’.
We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don't need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime.”
Read more: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/05/the-future-of-the-library.html and see whether you agree.
flickr image by: ceslava
On 1 May, the results of the annual Technology Survey conducted by the School Library Journal (SLJ) showed a mix of responses among the 1,187 US school librarians who responded, with the emergence of some clear trends.
The number of e-books in US school libraries is growing, with 31% reporting that they have some in their collections already. The trend shows a jump in schools who plan to add e-books in the coming year.
Barriers to adding e-books include a lack of devices on which to read them, a confusing array of e-reader devices, the range of competing platforms, concerns about Digital Rights Management, and vendor practices that are not school-friendly.
There are four sets of charted results from the 2011 Technology Survey: Tools and Content; Going Mobile; E-Books; and Leadership. Click on each to see the graphed results.
Going Mobile explores to what extent mobile devices (including mobile phones) are allowed to be used in schools, and whether they are being used for instruction. There’s a clear difference here between public and private schools.
Read more…and enjoy how the infographics have been used to present the information.
Here in New Zealand Debbie Price-Ewen continues to lead the NZ e-Reader and e-Book Taskforce [ http://nzert.wikispaces.com/] wiki, worth joining if you want to keep abreast of this fast-changing scene.
flickr image by Frank Gruber
Something extraordinary happened after Eliana Litos received an e-reader for a Hannukah gift in December. “Some weeks I completely forgot about TV,” said Eliana, 11. “I went two weeks with only watching one show, or no shows at all. I was just reading every day.”
E-book sales are moving to a younger audience. The latest figures from HarperCollins show that 25% of their e-book sales in January were for young adult books, up from 6% the year before.
Initially e-books were taken up by an older audience, attracted by their portability, convenience, and range of best-sellers they could download – as well as the ability to enlarge text.
Now publishers are reporting a surge in uptake of e-books by teenage readers and even younger children, partly fuelled by Christmas gifts of e-readers. Kids are reported as huddling in groups reading their Nooks and Kindles, comparing battery life and functionality, and families being able to download e-books for free from the public library.
Read the full article in the New York Times.
Photo by jimmiehomeschoolmom
E-books back in 1971? Surely not. But yes, in 1971 Project Gutenberg was launched, and the US Declaration of Independence became the world’s first e-book. And in that same year, the first email was sent between two computers.
Progress was slow at first. By 1989 only 10 books had been digitised by Project Gutenberg. Eight years later the number had reached 1,000 – and by 2011 the total is 33,000.
In 1998, the year that Google was born, the first dedicated e-book readers were released: Rocket Ebook, and Softbook.
The infographic on this blog post from Stephen Abram, on Stephen’s Lighthouse, shows the huge leap in e-book sales between 2002 and 2010, and the falling prices of e-book readers such as the Kindle.
It’s fascinating to read the progress of digitisation over 40 years, and seeing the rapid acceleration of e-book availability and popularity in this decade. It’s been longer than I thought!
For the whole article and graphic, read here:
Photo by Aaron Gustafson
“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.
Six months ago Amazon’s announcement that Kindle sales had outstripped their sales of hardbacks made the headlines – although some of us might have said ‘So what? Hardback sales are way behind paperbacks anyway…’
But within six short months Amazon has announced that Kindle e-book sales have been outstripping sales of paperbacks.
Jeff Bezos of Amazon says: "Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com."
Since the beginning of the year, for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the Company has sold 115 Kindle books. In July, Kindle books surpassed hardcovers, selling 143 for every 100. This figure doesn’t include the free, out-of-copyright titles that are also available to read on Kindle.
eBooks in school libraries
eBooks. Love them or hate them for your personal use, there is no doubt that these resources will have an increasing impact on school libraries and learning. Of course their use will initially provide a challenge for the way collections are managed, and there is obviously a requirement for a technological component, and there will undoubtedly be many reasons to also keep a print collection but lets consider some of the benefits of working through some of the issues.
Most eReaders provide a great selection of tools. As a student researches, they can use highlighting tools, take notes, search, and click a word to access a dictionary definition. For students that require it, some eReaders provide a text to speech feature.
eBooks can very easily give access to additional content. Multimedia and interactivity can be powerful motivators for students, links to webpages can provide updates, discussion features and further information. Textbooks in eBook format can provide online exercises that reinforce learning as well as the benefits of the research tools. Speaking of textbooks, a large number of textbooks in eBook format are much easier on shoulders and backs than if they were in print.
And eBooks don’t need covering, or repairing, or shelf space.
There are fast changing issues around digital rights management and compatibility with all the different devices and these are well discussed on the New Zealand eReaders Taskforce wiki along with links to many other sources and research for further information. We also discuss eBooks in more depth on our website
and host a group in the online community.
Join the discussion, ask lots of questions, debate the pros and cons, the journey will be easier and more fun if we put our collective minds to them and learn from the global ‘each other’
Heard about the online Literacy Project? This international initiative (supported by LitCam, Google, and UNESCO) aims to become a resource for teachers and pretty much anyone else with a personal or professional interest in education and reading.
The website gives links to Google books where you can search for preset terms like e-learning and reading education. There is also a section on literacy videos. For example, you can view videos about: literacy, literacy skills and read aloud techniques.
The site also lists some innovative literacy projects, from free online e-books that support struggling readers, to Get London Reading , where book lovers can find out more about their borough, or rather the books set there, and the writers who have made it famous (via Google Maps.)
There is even a Get London Reading app for your Iphone including augmented reality if your phone is 3G!
Now wouldn’t that be a great idea for New Zealand. Mix and mash anyone?
flickr image by jessica beck
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