ABC splash is a remarkable website that provides high quality educational resources for Australian schools and the public. One of its resources is a range of ‘digibooks’. For this assignment I will be focusing on the ‘digibook’ ‘Solar system and space exploration’ (Australian Broadcasting Corporation [ABC] Splash, 2012) and its associated website ‘Voyage to the planets’ (ABC, 2010). The resource is non-fiction and provides information on the Milky Way through a series of video and interactive media. Despite the ABC giving this resource the title of ‘digibook’ it really fits into two categories. The initial webpage is designed as an enhanced e-book, however the integrated website is a transmedia resource due to its use of a wide range of media (Lamb & Johnson, 2010) including, video, podcasts and interactive animation.
The quality of the content is exceptional, it is engaging through videos and the wording is simple enough for most upper primary students to understand. For school users the information is up to date and detailed enough to peak the interest of the students. It is designed by an Australian website for Australian schools and therefore has strong links to the Australian science curriculum (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2016).
In my opinion most of the digital content is a positive feature. It only adds to engagement and information as opposed to printed media. The inclusion of text means that what the student does not pick up in videos can be read over again. However, in the ‘digibook’ itself the text is quite small and the layout, with the text to the side, does make it difficult to read at times. The fact that this is an interactive book on a website means that it can be used across any platform with a web browser. Finally, the links within the text and the attached website are easy to use with a simple touch or click, meaning that students can freely explore on their own without too much guidance. A real highlight is the digital guidebook provided on the website. It offers a variety of ways for students to explore planets with information ranging from weather to your standard how big it is and how far away it is while all in a humorous manner.
One of the highlights of this text is that there is so much information presented in an engaging manner. It is a text that could be explored over a number of lessons and in students own time. Students could even create their own ‘digibook’ by copying the simple format of this resource, therefore exploring the online text features. Splash (ABC Splash, 2016) itself has recreated the formats on a range of other topics.
There are some negatives to this resource. The first being that there is no real opportunity to give feedback easily, though you can contact the creators if so required. Secondly there is no built in intrinsic motivation for students beyond their own interest and passion for learning. This could be because the resource is aimed at upper primary where intrinsic motivation is not as important. Finally the videos attached to this website are only available in Australia this is a huge negative for a teacher like myself who works overseas, however it does not make the other interactive elements any less useful in the classroom.
To conclude, this text is one that could easily be used in Australian classrooms. Although this resource is not on the cutting edge of digital literature it is a solid example that is clear to understand and simple to use in an every day context. It is interactive, engaging and a format that can easily be reproduced.
ABC Splash. (2012). Solar system and space exploration. Retrieved from http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/digibook/618096/solar-system-and-space-exploration
ABC Splash. (2016). Resources – all Digibooks. Retrieved from http://splash.abc.net.au/home#!/resources/-/all/all/digibook
ABC. (2010). Voyage of the planets. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/tv/voyage/default.htm
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2016). Science Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/science/curriculum/f-10?layout=1#level5
Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2010). Divergent Convergence Part 1: Cross-Genre, Multi-platform, Transmedia Experiences in School Libraries. Teacher Librarian, 37(5), 76-81. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/docview/609449034?rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo