Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Young Childrens' Comprehension and eBooks

So how do ebooks compare to traditional print books in terms of how well kids' comprehend the text?  That depends on how you look at it.  In a recent study released by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, young kids remembered more details in narrative texts when reading print material. The good news was no differences were reported in overall comprehension.  An important consideration with young children is how the ebooks had a tendency to hinder parent/child conversation given the engaging nature of this platform.  Food for thought and definitely worth exploring in greater detail.  You can read a short piece from Kidscreen below and then link to the report from the article.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

So Do Digital Texts Save Money or Not?

The problem I have with all of these discussions is they seem to focus exclusively on the financial considerations associated with digital texts.  What about enhancing the learning and educational experience for kids?  What about connecting with kids and engaging them in digital environments in which they thrive outside of the classroom?  Wouldn't that be worth spending a little more?  It's a no brainer that costs associated with digital learning will continue to decrease while quality increases.  Most importantly, educators will continue to develop their capacity to use the technology to enhance student learning.  So what are we waiting for?  Hats off to McAllen Independent School District, Pinellas County Schools, Vail School District, Riverside Unified School District.

Attached is a well written article by Jason Tomassini in Education Week that summarizes the pros and cons of rolling out e-texts in schools.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Will iPads Replace Textbooks? Really?

Sorry, been away for a while trying to get through yet another hectic end to a school year. 

I ran across this editorial from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh questioning whether tablets will overtake textbooks.  Really?  It not a question of whether or not, but rather when.  With over 600 school districts issuing iPads to their high school students, the wave is building and will inevitably wash right over the textbook industry.  While pointing out the disadvantages of iPads, the Advance-Titan Staff did not mention the drawbacks to traditional print materials.  Besides those hated paper cuts, every text I have in my school is outdated before it even arrives in my building.  Come on U of W - wake up and smell the gorilla glass.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

300 Rubric Requests and Going Strong

I received an email from a research assistant working at the, are you ready for this, University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia.  Now as a student, who wouldn't want to go there? It marks the 300th formal request to use the Evaluation Rubric for iPod Apps from folks all over the world.    It is being used in school systems, agencies, universities, and by individuals from all over the planet.  And that's just the formal requests.  How cool is that?

With such a large and diverse group of folks using the rubric, I am getting ready to launch a formal research project as part of my dissertation research at Johns Hopkins to empirically establish content validity for the rubric.  If have requested permission to use the rubric and happen to be reading my blog too, look for a formal invitation in the coming month.  I have also had requests to publish a list of top apps using the rubric.  Look for that list to be in an upcoming blog (once school gets out and I have a little more time on my hands).  Thanks again for your interest in my blog, in the rubric, and most importantly in your work to get mobile devices into the hands of students.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Are a Committed Sardine?

Have you joined the army of sardines yet?  If not, it something to put on today's To-Do List.  I was privileged to attend a seminar conducted by Ian Jukes at Notre Dame College.  The guy was right on in his thinking about kids and what we need to do to connect with them if we are going to help them reach their potential.  I would highly recommend reading his latest book.  Additionally, go to the link below to read more about becoming a "committed sardine."  Join the wave....

Monday, May 7, 2012

Read All About It - It's In A Book!

The Evaluation Rubric for iPod/iPad Apps was just published in a book entitled, "A Complete Guide to Rubrics" by Dr. Audrey M. Quinlan, Chair of the Division of Education at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania.  Pretty cool.  The book is a great guide for anyone designing or using rubrics from elementary through high school.  The ISBN number is 978-1-60709-674-0.  Happy Reading.