Using eBooks in the class

In considering the question ‘how do you process information and read, and are young people different?’ one of the most prominant statements that came out of the readings was in Coiro (2003). When young people reading non-fiction on screen they became frustrated if there answers were not instantly provided in a way they did not when reading a print book. Also in their rapid search for information they adopted a ‘snatch and grab’ philosophy. They made hasty decisions with little thought and evaluation process.

I think that a part of our role as Teacher Librarians is to educate students away from this. Whether we have a regular release lesson with the students or work collaboratively with the classroom teachers we have to integrate this quick and immediate answers idea away from students. They need to apply the same critical thinking skills to the information they find in a book to the information they find on the internet. As we are teaching young students and they do not have all their reasoning skills yet, they need to be coached or trained in this idea as soon as they are competent readers.

It needs to be considered that Coiro’s article is now 13 years old and alot has changed since then. Yes, students still grab at the first piece of information they find. Yes, they hate slow internet or dodgy wifi. A lot of student’s internet usage is entertainment or social networking even from a young age. There are students who still struggle with reading who will use Youtube as a reference source to find information on a topic.

I am finishing up at my current school and moving to another school this year so I will base this on my old school. It is a high achieving city school. Students have many advantages and most have a device at home. iPads have been rolled out, but the new trend across ACT is chrome books and google drives for all. We have OLIVER and there is a person in the department who buys ebooks and makes them available for all through the digital backpack. Weekly emails with new acquisitions are sent out and by now the collection is quite large. But unless they are constantly being promoted they are not being borrowed.

The ‘readers’ still walk around with paper books. Very few students take out a device for silent reading time. Like many have already said, e-readers are for holidays or travelling. I like the idea I read in this forum of having photocopies of the covers available in the library as a reminder of the books that students can borrow. I think the visual acts as a good reminder and makes the product seem more real.

References:

Coiro, J. (2003). Reading comprehension on the internet: Expanding our understanding of reading comprehension to encompass new literacies. Reading teacher. Vol. 56 (5). p. 458. Available on Ebscohost

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