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.
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
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