What did she learn?

image by Mysticartdesign, downloaded from pixabay

Moons ago, in a faraway snowy land, a school librarian started her ETL 402 quest:  to develop a strong theoretical base on which to build a school library that fosters engaged readers and enhance life-long learning (Wocke, 2018, November 11).

 

LESSON 1: Know your readers
In the visually dominated lives of our students the screen has replaced the printed text as the main medium for communication and reading, according to  Lamb and Johnson (2010), is not done in isolation any longer (Wocke, 2018, December 19). Printed books alone, are never going to be enough again to ensure that our students are “engaged readers” and according to Hashim and Vongkulluksn (2018) this is a critical component driving student learning and long-term academic success (p. 359). They reason that engaged readers are motivated and self-regulate their reading and apply learned strategies to real-life and out-of-school reading experiences (Wocke, 2018, December 30).

Davila and Patrick’s (2010) offer advice: find out what interests your readers – do not judge their choices, but read their suggestions and facilitate their choice (Wocke, 2018, November 24). Utilising the affordances of ICT to enhance reading – by linking the reading experience to multi-media formats – expanding the reading experience to include social links, extension and exploration opportunities and personalised elements as (Cullen, 2015; Wocke, 2018, December 29).

LESSON 2: Promote
It is vital to  display and promote our collections in attractive and interesting ways. We need to organise our libraries in ways that make “browsing” easy and help students over the search hurdle (Cornwall, 2018). Kimmelman (2018) argues that uncluttered, quality collections counter choice overload and presents meaningful options to our patrons. Genrefication, for example, reduces the number of options and positively affects patron self-sufficiency and independence (Wocke, 2018, December 26). We recently implemented this by genrefication of our fiction collections and see immediate benefits for patrons and librarians. We are investigating expanding this further with our non-fiction collection and are looking at BISAC subject headings (2018) as a possible easier way of browsing than the DDC.

LESSON 3: Diversify
Librarians need to maintain diverse collections, not only in terms of genres (did this librarian fall in love with graphic novels and steampunk recently (Wocke, 2018, December 19, Wocke, 2018, November 29)!), but by incorporating cross-cultural and cross-curricular collections (Maclure, 2018, November 19). We must also expand outside of the walls of the library by including ebook and audiobook collections, even if these are not initially very popular, because it is important that we educate our communities to understand and embrace the value of multi-modal and multi-platform experiences as part of developing 21st century literacy (Horsley, 2018, December 27).

LESSON 4: Literary learning
The last lesson is one that I did not even know I needed to learn: Literary learning enhances access to curriculum content (thereby supporting student engagement and learning) through inclusion of carefully selected works of literature into content learning. Readers encounter people, places, events and situations that allow them to develop an understanding for perspectives and points of view that may be different to their own experience and understanding (Ross Johnson, 2014, pp. 477-478). I learnt many literature response strategies, such as literature circles, book trailers and story mapping with which to build links between literature and curricular content.

How did the ETL402 quest end? Hopefully never! Much has been done, much remains to do, and I realise that my learning will be a life-long quest.


References

Complete BISAC subject headings list, 2018 edition. (2018). Retrieved January 27, 2019, from Book Industry Study Group website: https://bisg.org/page/bisacedition

Cornwall, G. (2018, July 22). How genrefication makes school libraries more like bookstores. Retrieved December 26, 2018, from KQED website: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/51336/how-genrefication-makes-school-libraries-more-like-bookstores

Cullen, M. (2015, December 21). How is interactive media changing the way children learn? Retrieved December 29, 2018, from Education Technology website: https://educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2015/12/how-is-interactive-media-changing-the-way-children-learn/

Davila, D., & Patrick, L. (2010). Asking the experts: What children have to say about their reading preferences. Language Arts, 87, 199-210., 87, 199-210. Retrieved from http://www2.ncte.org/resources/journals/language-arts/

Hashim, A. K., & Vongkulluksn, V. W. (2018). E-Reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers & Education, 215, 358-375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.06.021

Horsley, D. (2018, December 27). Task 1: Ebooks & reading [Blog post]. Retrieved from ETL402 201890 Discussion Forum: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_35350_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_61731_1&forum_id=_143048_1&message_id=_2029004_1

Kimmelman, A. (2018). The wise whys of weeding. Teacher Librarian, 46(1), 20. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/discovery/fulldisplay?docid=gale_ofa562488215&context=PC&vid=61CSU_INST:61CSU&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&lang=en

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2010). Divergent convergence part : cross-genre, multi-platform, transmedia experiences in school libraries. Teacher Librarian, 37(5), 76-8.

Mclure, I. (2018, November 19). Thread 4: Multicultural literature [Blog post]. Retrieved from ETL402 201890 Discussion Forum: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_35350_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_61731_1&forum_id=_143059_1&message_id=_2048880_1

Ross Johnson, R. (2014). Literature, the curriculum and 21st century literacy. In G. Winch, R. Ross Johnston, P. March, L. Ljungdahl, & M. Holliday (Authors), Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature (5th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Ebooks: yes, BUT…

Ebooks: Yes! BUT…

In my previous post Ebooks: yes or no?, I concluded “yes to ebooks”. This view was confirmed by those posted by classmates Horsley (2018) and Ali (2018) in the discussion forum, when they both argue that it is the role of TLs to make a range of literature formats available to our students and (Horsley continues) to educate our communities by developing an understanding of the value of multi-platform experiences and their contribution to 21st century literacy.

A number of readings from ETL402 Module 4 informed my understanding of ebooks and digital literature formats further:

image by Nadine Doerle, downloaded from pixabayHashim and Vongkulluksn (2018) identify “engaged reading” as a critical component driving student learning and long-term academic success (p. 359). They argue that the motivational and cognitive aspects of engaged reading reinforce each other and that engaged readers read and interpret content because they are motivated to do so. Engaged readers further learn to self-regulate their reading and apply learned strategies to real-life and out-of-school reading experiences. (How does this relate to ebooks? Keep reading…)

Cullen (2015) reasons that interactive media captivates children’s attention and allows them to engage with learning in a way that is intrinsically bound to their familiarity with technology. (Keep reading…) Utilizing the affordances of connected and digital ICT (e.g. accessibility, diversity, communication and collaboration, multi-model and non-linear, interaction, dialogue, creativity, organization, inquiry (Canole (2012, p. 84)) allow for the development of innovative forms of literature (or ebooks if you want) that engage multiple senses and encourage active learning through engagement and experimentation. Cullen sees this as an opportunity for active learners to build knowledge, allow for individual differences and provide achievement, success and progression.

In Lamb and Johnson’s (2010) exploration of the connection between literature and multi-media formats, they showed that students are extending their reading experiences, and exploring opportunities and options to include a wide range of technology tools as they explore cross-genre, multi-platform transmedia connections. In practical terms: they may read a book and then use different mobile devices and platforms to explore the topic online and discuss their thoughts on a social network.

The affordances of ICT can then be used to enhance reading in more than one way: through the connected options and opportunities explained above and through the actual features of an ebook.

image by chau_cn, downloaded from pixabayZipke’s (2013) evaluation of ebooks led her to describe the minimal ebook as including illustrations and animation, oral reading of the text, text-highlighting, built in dictionaries and foreign language translations, as well as the ability for the reader to interact with characters and objects (p. 375). Many newer ebooks make use of more advanced affordances, such as voice recognition, touch screens and manipulating (tilting and shaking) of the device (p. 375). The affordances should make reading deeper and richer and not be a distraction, in other words make good use of the medium, while still encouraging independent reading and good literacy practices:

  • the read-aloud enhances comprehension
  • text is displayed prominently, with some form of tracking option
  • word pronunciation and dictionary tools assist with decoding and vocabulary development
  • narration, animation and interactive media support emerging literacy skills (p. 377).

This is the reason I say “Ebooks: yes, BUT…”

Ebooks have the potential to motivate and engage, BUT it must be in conjunction with:

  • strong writing
  • interesting language
  • engaging subject matter
  • developmentally appropriate themes (p. 377)

Sekeres and Watson (2011) points out that the multimediacy (p. 264) of the multimedia literature formats encourages engaged reading and active audiences (p. 261). They argue that these formats of literature – ebooks and their connected environments – allow readers to develop the skills and strategies needed for the “new literacies” needed in the 21 century (p. 260).


References

Ali, S. (2018, December 30). Re: Task 1: Ebooks & reading [Online forum post]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_35350_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_61731_1&forum_id=_143048_1&message_id=_2029004_1

Conole, G. (2013). Designing for learning in an open world. New York, NY: Springer.

Cullen, M. (2015, December 21). How is interactive media changing the way children learn? Retrieved December 29, 2018, from Education Technology website: https://educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2015/12/how-is-interactive-media-changing-the-way-children-learn/

Hashim, A. K., & Vongkulluksn, V. W. (2018). E-Reader apps and reading engagement: A descriptive case study. Computers & Education, 215, 358-375. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2018.06.021

Horsley, D. (2018, December 27). Re: Task 1: Ebooks & reading [Online forum post]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&course_id=_35350_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_61731_1&forum_id=_143048_1&message_id=_2029004_1

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2010). Divergent convergence part : cross-genre, multi-platform, transmedia experiences in school libraries. Teacher Librarian, 37(5), 76-8.

Sekeres, D. C., & Watson, C. (2011). New literacies and multimediacy: The immersive universe of The 39 Clues. Children’s Literature in Education, 42(3), 256-273. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10583-011-9133-4

Zipke, M. (2013). Building an e‐Book library: Resources for finding the best apps. The Reading Teacher, 67(5), 375-383. https://doi.org/10.1002/trtr.1221

 

 

 

 

Ebooks: yes or no?

image by Perfecto_Capucine, downloaded from pixabayIs an ebook only an electronic version of a traditional print book that can be read by using a personal computer or by using an eBook reader? No, but they can be…  Is it  any digital publication that can be read on a computer, e-reader, or other electronic device? No, but some are…

O’Connell, Bales & Mitchell (2015) get it right, I think, when they say ebooks can:

  • be read or listened to;
  • can include images and multimedia elements,
  • can have tools for bookmarking and notetaking and links to related and extending resources;
  • they can be multimedia and interactive – allowing active participation (p. 196).

But…

“Are we there yet?” Asks Rothman (2017). Not yet, answers Gray (2017).

It is a difficult decision for a school library to decide whether ebooks are really worthwhile in a school library collection. Gray says they are wonderful, he reads them all the time, but… “they have not reached the tipping point for being the best option in our school library”, but he does admit “ebooks are a question, not of if, but of when”.

Rothman remarks that the use of ebooks in school libraries are relatively new and evolutionary in nature. At the end of her research project with middle school students and Kindle ereaders, she recommends restraint until a school librarian has determined how – or whether – students will use ebooks. But how, Ms Rothman, will you determine this if you do not expose your students to ebooks? Can we really afford to sit and wait until it is all sorted out?

There are so many advantages to ebooks:

  • Never lost, damaged, late
  • Do not take up shelf space
  • Hyperlinks to dictionaries, extended content and translations
  • Ease of reading with changeable fonts and background colours, text to speech features
  • Available immediately, 24/7 and 365

Disadvantages:

  • Device needed
  • Expensive
  • Different lending models from different publishers, copyright restrictions

It is true that many students prefer the tactile experience of a book, but they need to also experience – and obtain the fluency – of reading an ebook. Our students should be exposed to new ways of perceiving text, or re-imagining text (Parks, 2010, p. 15). Surely this can only happen in the digital connected world, not through paper-based books?

So here is what we are doing at ICSZ…

We have some Kindles with preloaded content (Ms Rothman does not approve), because they are relatively cheap through Amazon and each book can be installed on 6 different devices. This is a really good option of have many copies of very popular books, book club and book competition titles available without it costing too much or taking up shelf space.

We have just joined an Overdrive consortium of local international schools. By pooling our content we should be able to have a large enough group of funds, books and students for a viable option.

Ebooks: yes or no?

Yes, because we have to expose our students to the format to enable them to become first consumers and then producers of the next level, which will hopefully fulfil all the promise Of O’Connell et al.’s definition.

The trick now is: how do we successfully promote our ebooks?

 


References

Gray, M. (2017). Ebooks: To subscribe, or not to subscribe? Connections, (101). Retrieved from https://www.scisdata.com/connections/issue-101/ebooks-to-subscribe-or-not-to-subscribe

O’Connell, J., Bales, J., & Mitchell, P. (2015). REvolution in reading cultures: 2020 vision for school libraries. The Australian Library Journal, 64(3), 194-208. https://doi.org/10.1080/00049670.2015.1048043

Parks, D. (2010). Transforming the library – e-books and e-buildings. In D. Parkes & G. Walton (Authors), Web 2.0 and libraries : impacts, technologies and trends (pp. 13-29). Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/discovery/fulldisplay?docid=alma991012588295402357&context=L&vid=61CSU_INST:61CSU&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&lang=en

Rothman, A. (2017, May/June). E-books in public school libraries: Are we there yet? Knowledge Quest, 45(5), 30-37. Retrieved from https://primo.csu.edu.au/discovery/fulldisplay?docid=proquest1894939174&context=PC&vid=61CSU_INST:61CSU&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&lang=en