Category Archives: ETL402

ETL402: Module 4 – Trends in Interactive Media for Children

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These are my thoughts on an article by Amy Friedlander (2013).

Trend # 5: Apps with strong curriculum focus are on the rise

An increase in Apps with a strong curriculum focus is a positive trend (Friedlander, 2013, para. 11). Embracing these new and innovative ways of embedding and supporting the curriculum is an area in which TLs can be leaders by being knowledgeable, current and introducing these teaching and learning tools to the whole school community. The rise of Apps which have a strong curriculum focus provide new ways for TLs and teachers to think about effective and engaging teaching and learning tools. These teaching and learning tools may offer many valuable opportunities to support students learning and an engaging avenue to demonstrate student understanding (Lamb & Johnson, 2010, p. 76).

The impact on the TL’s role regarding these types of Apps will involve a clear evaluation and selection criteria (similar to that used for evaluating other digital resources for the collection). TLs will need to be aware of the costs involved and the fine print for conditions of use. Importantly, TLs will need to collaborate with teachers to make sure that the Apps being selected for use meet the specific learning needs of the school community and effectively support curriculum outcomes.

References

Friedlander, A. (2013, November 26). Ten trends in interactive media for children from dust or magic [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/ten-trends-in-interactive-media-for-children-from-dust-or-magic/

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://www.teacherlibrarian.com/

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ETL402 – Module 2: Three things I’ve learnt about diversity in children’s literature

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Series Fiction

In research it has been argued that series fiction can support reluctant and early readers to develop confidence in their reading ability, due to its predictability and formulaic nature (Gutierrez, 2012). Research has shown reading series fiction aids in the development of reading for pleasure. Once a student finds a series they enjoy, the pleasure derived from reading these books can motivate them to want to read more of this series. Reading more often helps to build the skills needed for competent readers (Truby, 2003, pp. 21-22). It is essential that the school library has a variety of series fiction as part of the collection. In this way the TL can support the literacy needs of reluctant and early readers, and the whole school community.

Indigenous literature

It is essential for school libraries to include indigenous literature that is written by indigenous authors and illustrated by indigenous illustrators, in their collection. It is vital for “black voices” to tell their own stories so all students can have a truer understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s stories, histories and culture. The school library can promote and provide easy access to indigenous literature (print and digital) to support the cross-curriculum priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014). Aboriginal publishing houses such as Magabala Books can support TL’s to locate indigenous literature written and illustrated by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Picture books for older readers

Picture books support students with learning difficulties, EAL/D students and reluctant readers through the combination of the images and text. Readers can more easily make connections between the images and text, which supports successful reading (The National Library of New Zealand, Services to Schools, 2013, Advantages section). Picture books lend themselves to opportunities for group discussions amongst readers. These discussions can help readers to gain greater meaning. The images in picture books can aid in engaging readers and can create many layers of meaning; teachers and TL’s can use this quality to encourage students to critically reflect on the narratives. Picture books for older readers often address and promote discussions on complex issues.

References

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2014). Australian Curriculum: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/crosscurriculumpriorities/Aboriginal-and-Torres-Strait-Islander-histories-and-cultures

Gutierrez, P. (2012, July 4). The R.L. Stine interview, part 2: The value of series fiction [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://blogs.slj.com/connect-the-pop/2012/07/english/the-r-l-stine-interview-part-2-the-value-of-series-fiction/

The National Library of New Zealand, Services to Schools. (2013). Sophisticated picture books. Retrieved from http://schools.natlib.govt.nz/creating-readers/genres-and-read-alouds/sophisticated-picture-books#advantages-of-using-sophisticated-picture-books

Truby, D. (2003). A fresh look at series books. Instructor (1999), 112(8), 20-22,62. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/instructor

ETL402 – Forum Post 1: Why Read?

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There is an abundance of evidence that supports the benefits for children to read. The value of children’s literature goes far beyond pleasure and enjoyment, although these are extremely important factors as to why children should read. The enjoyment derived from reading stories promotes a “love of reading” in children. Doing something they enjoy is always a motivator for children to pursue such activities. It is important to allow and encourage children to read the fiction they want to read, as this promotes a “love of reading” (Gaiman, 2013, para. 10).

The value of children reading narratives / stories includes (not a definitive list):

Improves comprehension

Reading and listening to stories helps to improve comprehension in children from a young age. It improves comprehension with all texts. Reading stories helps children of all ages understand and retain complex concepts and information. Introducing new concepts and information to children in a story structure is easier for them to comprehend and recall. Regularly reading or listening to stories being read will improve the comprehension of a child in both areas (Haven, 2007, pp. 97-98).

Creating meaning

Children reading stories and having stories read to them helps make sense and meaning of the world they live in. This includes the society they are part of, self-identity and relationships. Reading stories is easier for children to understand and retain complex concepts, societal and cultural values, attitudes, beliefs and information (Haven, 2007, pp. 105-106). The meaning that is created for children through reading stories can promote a sense of belonging and community. Shared stories create shared experiences and shared understandings which can be discussed amongst children and teachers, creating a sense of belonging (Haven, 2007, p. 113).

Improved literacy and language skills

From extensive research it is well established that reading improves literacy and language skills. The research highlights the importance of reading stories to children from a young age as this facilitates improved language skills and gives them a developed sense of story structure. This in turn will facilitate improved literacy skills (Haven, 2007, p. 114).

References

Gaiman, N. (2013, October 16). Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/oct/15/neil-gaiman-future-libraries-reading-daydreaming

Haven, K. (2007). Story proof: The science behind the startling power of story. Retrieved from EBook Library.

ETL402 – Notes on the key elements for a definition of children’s literature

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  • Reading material usually written by adults for children and that which is widely read by children
  • Designed for an audience of children
  • Literary material targeted with children’s developmental level in mind – reading, maturity and cognitive levels
  • Influenced by society and culture – current concerns of society – therefore changes with the times
  • Influenced by how childhood is viewed by the society and culture – therefore will change with times and attitudes
  • Influenced and molded by many stakeholders – authors, illustrators, editors, publishers, educators, critics, parents and children
  • Imaginative works
  • Early years to adolescents
  • Amuse, enlighten or entertain children
  • Empowering tool
  • Vehicle for learning, enjoyment and self-discovery, self-identity

ETL402 – My ideas on the future of children’s literature

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Do you have a vision for the future of children’s literature? Who will be the drivers of change?

As I worked through the readings in Module 1.2 about the history of children’s literature and the history of ideas of what childhood has meant in society, I have clearer ideas about my vision for the future of children’s literature and who will be the drivers of change.

My vision for the future of children’s literature encompasses narratives that help children to understand the world and the society they live in, it offers different perspectives, it helps them discover self-identity, it challenges them, it produces more questions, it ignites their imagination and fundamentally gives them enjoyment. My vision for children’s literature is that it embraces and utilises both traditional print books and books in the digital environment, a partnership that enhances, offers choice and supports each other to offer a rich reading experience for children.

In today’s world children are surrounded by digital technology and they seem to embrace it with much enthusiasm. The digital environment offers children much more power about what they want to read and explore (McLean, 2013, p. 25). Due to this fact, I believe that children will be the drivers for change in the future of children’s literature. In saying that I do believe as educators and parents we will always have an important role in helping, guiding and posing questions for children’s reading journeys.

References

McLean, K. (2013). The future of children’s books in five trends [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/BKGKristen/toc-bologna-2013-keynote