eBooks – Week 5

Today we were looking at how iPads and eBooks could be valuable tools in the classroom. When most people are asked to describe what eBooks are, they normally will state that it is simply a book on an electronic device, for example an iPad. However, an eBook can be a lot more interactive, as we discovered today.

Throughout the course already we have discovered that children are growing up as “digital natives” (Prensky, 2001) and are experiencing technology from a very early age. This is important to remember when looking at the use of iPads and eBooks as this is becoming the norm with younger generations. As educators, we must adapt so that we can support children and their learning. Therefore, the Scottish Government wants to “enrich” learning with the use of digital technologies in the classroom (Education Scotland, 2016).

It has been found that the introduction of iPads in classrooms has benefited development, despite some negative thoughts towards the introduction. In a study conducted by the University of Hull they found that children are found to be more motivated and engaged during their lessons if they get to use an iPad. Furthermore, children believed that they learned more by using iPads (Burden et al., 2012). The use and introduction of iPads in classrooms is working towards the Scottish Governments goal of making digital technologies accessible to everyone, as some children may not have the opportunity to do so at home (Education Scotland, 2016).

For our task today we could work on our own or as a pair to create a summary of a well-known story book using the app Book Creator. The Book Creator app is an app available on iPads which allow you to create an eBook. It has lots of features that allow you to create many different types of eBooks. Some features you can use on the app are text, photos and sound.

My partner and I decided to base our eBook on Room on the Broom in Scots. We thought this story would be a good book to choose because there are so many literacy learning opportunities. For example, looking at the Scots language and rhyming. There were multiple experiences and outcomes that our eBook linked to:

  • As I listen or watch, I can identify and discuss the purpose, key words and main ideas of the text, and use this information for a specific purpose. LIT 1-04a
  • I can show my understanding of what I listen to or watch by responding to and asking different kinds of questions. LIT 1-07a
  • I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts. TCH 1-01a

Also, Scots language is highly encouraged through primary schools as it is still used regularly throughout Scotland. It had also been found to support and develop children’s literacy skills and included others who might have felt excluded (Education Scotland, 2017)

We started by discussing where we could shorten the book down and what main points of the story we should put in, this took us a while as we wanted to ensure that we kept the main parts of the story in. After that, we ensured the background we chose was accessible for all children to read as some children struggle to read off of a white background. This was something I was not really aware of before the workshop, however I will be aware of this for future lessons or activities that involve children, ensuring that everyone is supported to the best of my ability. We simply then added different pages in with pictures, text and sound making it more interactive as it was multi-modal. We even created the opportunity for children to record their answers back. This would be a great and different way of collecting children’s responses and participation to a lesson. In our eBook we provided a link to an online Scottish dictionary to support children if they didn’t understand some of the Scottish words. Finally, we finished the eBook by asking the children to write about how they felt about the story and some of the new Scots language they had learned whilst reading the eBook.

Luckily, we had already interacted with the app during our first term of university, so it wasn’t a completely new app to navigate, helping add to the success of the end product. Personally, I had always found the app very simple and easy to use, meaning it would be a great app to use in classrooms because teachers can quickly discover the different tools and become comfortable with it. This helps to achieve the Government’s goal of wanting teachers to be educated and confident in technologies to best support children in their understanding and development (Education Scotland, 2016).

Overall, I think that iPads and apps like Book Creator are a fantastic way of enhancing learning. I could see myself using these again in a classroom setting as I fully believe that it would engage and motivate children as it isn’t the traditional way of learning.

Sophie


References:

Scottish Government. (2016) Enhancing Learning And Teaching Through The Use of Digital Technology: A Digital Learning And Teaching Strategy For Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Government

 

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