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an online  interactive  event  for  educators  and  early  childhood  specialists,   discussing  the  use  of  e-­‐books  in  early  childhood  learning   hosted  by  University  of  Southern  Queensland  Preservice  Educators,  Melissa  Ellis,   Ali  McDonald,  Rachael  Hardie  and  Katrina  Johnson  

Welcome! Thanks so  much  for  joining  us  on  this   journey,  as  we  discover  the  impact  that   e-­‐books  have  on  early  childhood   literacy.       Please,  join  in  the  discussion  on  our   Facebook  page,  follow  us  on  Twitter   and  have  a  look  at  our  Pinterest  board.       Make  sure  you  also  prioritize  joining  in   our  Friday  night  LIVE  session  on   Facebook.  With  interactive  audio  clips,   videos  and  more,  you  will  not  want  to   miss  out  on  this  important  event,   discussing  e-­‐books  and  literacy  with   other  like  minded  educators.       Our  aim  for  this  event  is  that   participants  gain  a  greater   understanding  of  the  potential  for  e-­‐ books  in  an  early  learning  setting,  and   are  equipped  through  professional   discussion,  to  begin  applying  this   knowledge   in  everyday  practices.       2  

Ali McDonald

Melissa Ellis

Katrina Johnson

Rachael Hardie

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Welcome Contents   Early  Connections  –  ICT  and  Literacy   The  Weight  of  a  Paperback   The  Extraordinary,  Exciting,  Efficient  e-­‐Book!   The  Tools  that  Make  it  Work   Learning  from  Your  Little  Ones   References  and  Resources  

Find lots  more  resources,  discussion  points  and   ideas  on  our  Facebook  page.  Please,  join  in  the   conversation  over  there!      


Early Connections – ICT and Literacy No longer  are  early  childhood  teachers  just  seeking  out  puddles  and   dirt   for   mud   pies,   or   cleaning   up   glitter   glue   spills   on   the   carpet,   or   discussion   disputes   over   a   baby   doll   having   two   ‘mums’.     Alongside   developing  creative  and  play  skills  in  young  children,  early  childhood   professionals  are  also  introducing  our  children  to  the  foundations  of   numeracy,   literacy   and,   increasingly,   technology.   With   iPhones,   Kindles,   Nooks,   iPads,   notebook   computers   and   hundreds   of   other   gadgets  becoming  increasingly  standard  in  an  Australian  child’s  life,   it’s   no   wonder   they   are   often   digitally   literate,   expertly   navigating   their  way  to  the  ‘Angry  Birds’  app,  prior  to  knowing  their  ABC’s  (or   perhaps  an  app  taught  them  that!)  or  even  starting  kindergarten.       No   longer   are   literacy   skills,   therefore,   confined   to   pen   and   paper   and   a   hardcover   book.   The   options   are   wide   open,   with   interactive   apps  for  iPads,  games  with  letters  on  the  interactive  whiteboard  and        


e-­‐Book downloads  for  Kindle  and  Nook.  So  what  are  early  childhood   teachers   to   do?   Is   the   e-­‐book   and   associated   device   the   new   bookshelf  for  our  classrooms?     The  Queensland  curriculum  Essential  Learnings  clearly  outline  ICT   (information,   communication   and   technology)   expectations   for   all   students,  beginning  with  standards  to  be  understood  by  the  end  of   year   three.   If   our   nine   year   olds   need   to   be   able   to   write   an   email,   participate   in   online   learning   events,   complete   Internet   searches,   use   word   processing   programs,   navigate   keyboards   and   USB’s…   goodness!   It’s   no   wonder   this   all   has   to   start   early   –   that’s   a   lot   to   know!  (view  the  P-­‐3  standards  here)     Our  society  moves  at  a  fast  pace   –  does  this  mean  we  will  lose  the   beauty  and  wonder  of  cracking  open  a  new  book  for  the  first  time,   or   rediscovering   a   100-­‐year-­‐old   hardback…   and   inhaling   that   beautiful,  new-­‐or-­‐musty  book  smell?  What  about  feeling  the  pages,   slowing  down  enough  to  take  in  the  texture,  to  ‘feel’  the  words,  and   trace  the  ink…  Are  books  on  the  way  out,  replaced  by  digital  texts?       We  invite  you  to  join  us  in  a  discussion  of  words  –  and  the  discovery   of  two  worlds  –  the  printed  and  the  digital.  It’s  Paper  vs.  Pixels.     by  group  member,  Rachael  Hardie  

Click each  video  below  to  view  on  YouTube,  and  consider  your  opinion  –   Paper  or  Pixels?  


The Weight of a Paperback – What are the unique benefits of traditional books? Speaking from   both   an   early   childhood   educator   and   parent   perspective   I   see   the   value   of   both   eBooks   and   paper   books.   I   can   understand   that   it   today’s   world   eBooks   are   important   for   children’s   learning  and  development  for  many  reasons  and  children  should  learn   how   to   use   them   and   gain   experience   with   them   but   particularly   for   young  children  (before  school)  I  really  notice  the  advantages  of  paper   books.   I   can   see   many   aspects   of   development   for   young   children   that   are   evident  through  the  use  of  paper  books  that  are  not  so  obvious  through   the   use   of   eBooks.   Advantages   that   stem   from   paper   books   spread   across   many   areas   of   development,   from   sensory   development,   to   social  skills,  fine  motor  and  even  emotional  development.   Sensory   development   for   infants   is   a   major   part   of   their   learning   and   the  different  textures  you  see  in  the  sensory  books  designed  for  young   children  are  not  something  they  can  get  from  eBooks.  Children  are  not   able  to  feel  the  fur  on  a  kitten  or  the  soft  fluffy  cloud  through  the  use  of   an   eBook   and   not   only   is   this   a   vital   aspect   of   infant   development   but   it   is  also  something  many  children  quite  enjoy  when  reading.   Learning  to  care  for  paper  and  turn  the  individual  pages  of  a  book  again   is   not   something   children   get   from   eBooks.   While   eBooks   do   have   their   own  aspects  for  developing  fine  motor  skills  and  encouraging  children   to   learn   to   care   for   them   they   are   not   the   same.   Children   need   to   development   the   skills   to   pick   up   and   turn   a   thin   piece   of   paper,   one   page   at   a   time.   They   need   to   understand   that   if   they   do   not   look   after   the  book  pages  can  go  missing  or  get  torn  and  they  will  no  longer  have   the  complete  story,  aspects  will  be  missing.   There   is   also   the   issue   of   cost,   the   cost   to   have   enough   eBooks   for   all   the   children   in   a   daycare   centre   would   be   quite   substantial,   not   to   mention  the  cost  of  electricity  to  keep  them  charged.  And  let’s  face  it  we   all  use  enough  electricity,  do  we  really  need  another  item  to  drain  the   power   when   we   have   perfectly   good   books   that   don’t   use   any   power     6   already.  

There is   also   the   aspect   of   display,   if   we   think   of   things   like   ‘book   week’   when  numerous  books  are  put  on  display  and  children  can  see  them  all   spread   around   the   room,   can   we   really   do   that   with   eBooks?   What   about  book  corners  in  the  classroom,  where  children  can  see  a  number   of  books  displayed  and  choose  the  one  they  would  like  to  read?   Finally  I  think  there  is  something  so  special  about  sitting  with  your  own   child,  reading  a  book  together,  each  of  you  holding  a  side  of  the  book.  Or   children  can  sit  together  and  share  a  story,  I  know  children  can  do  this   with  eBooks  but  is  it  really  the  same?   Why  are  we  in  such  a  rush  to  get  rid  of  the  traditional  ways  of  reading   when  they  have  worked  for  us  for  so  long?   Thoughts  from  group  member,  Katrina  Johnson  

I think  that   so   much   of   what   reading   books  is   about   is   in   the   physical   book   itself.   Learning   skills   such   as   how   to   hold   the   book   the   right   way,  turning   pages   correctly,   appreciating  the   book   and   caring   for   the   book.   There   are   also   other  skills  that  are  much  easier  to   learn  with   a   book   that   is   physically   available   such   as   identifying   the   first   page,   return   sweeps,   full   stops   and   capitals   letters,   etc.   There   is   also   something   special   about   the   aesthetics   of   a   printed   book,  the   way   it   feels,   looks  and  smells   that   brings   a   special   element   to   the   whole   reading  process.     -­‐  thoughts  from  a  Kindergarten  teacher   Such  a  great  range  –  and  more  personal.   Exciting   and   engaging   as   it   offers   the   children   an   experience   –  to   touch   and  connect   with   the   entire  contents  of  the  book.       -­‐  thoughts  on  printed  books  from  an  early  childhood  teacher   They  are   easily  accessible.  Children  can  go  to  a  printed   book   at   any   time,   whereas   with   an   eBook   there   is   the   requirement   to   logon   to   a   computer   which   delays   the   amount   of   reading   time   a   child   has,   and   can   also   stop   some   children   from   being   able   to   use   whenever   they   feel.   Learning   print   concepts   is   easier   from   a   printed   book.   Artworks   in   children’s   books   are   often   very   beautiful  and  play  a  big  part  in  the  reading  of  the  text,  on   interactive  whiteboards,  the  image  quality  is  lost.   -­‐  thoughts  from  a  primary  teacher    


The Extraordinary, Exciting, Efficient... eBook! the great things about eBooks What exactly  is  an  e-­‐book?  An  e-­‐book  is  a  book  in  an  electronic  format.  E-­‐ books  are  downloaded  using  the  internet  on  many  different  devices  such  as   a  computer,  laptop,  smart  phone,  Ipod,  Ipad,  Interactive  white  board,  PDA   or  an  e-­‐book  reading  device  such  as  the  kindle.  Once  they  are  downloaded   to  a  device  we  can  then  read  them.     E-­‐books  have  many  great  features.  Some  of  these  features  are  the  same  as   ‘normal’  books,  such  as  numbered  pages,  a  table  of  contents,  and  pictures.   E-­‐   books   also   have   many   features   that   are   not   present   in   ‘normal’   books;   they   are   interactive;   containing   audios,   videos,   animations,   and   games.   All   of  these  features  are  very  appealing  to  children.     Many   e-­‐books   are   developed   from   ‘normal’   books,   giving   readings   the   option  to  read  old  beloved  stories  digitally.  E-­‐books  are  very  cost  effective;   there   are   no   packing   and   shipping   costs   although   purchasing   a   device   to   read  them  on  can  be  quite  expensive.  The  time  it  takes  to  download  an  e-­‐ book   is   almost   instantaneous   where   as   when   purchasing   a   ‘normal’   book   you  would  have  to  take  the  time  to  go  to  the  shop  and  buy  it  or  wait  for  it  to   be   delivered   if   you   purchased   it   online.   There   is   always   the   option   of   printing  an  e-­‐book  if  you  would  prefer  to  read  it  on  paper.  There  are  many   online   libraries   available   that   you   can   borrow   an   e-­‐book   from   which   will   save  you  a  trip  to  the  local  library.  


E-­‐books take  up  less  space  than  ‘normal’  books.  Hundreds  of  e-­‐books   can  be  stored  on  a  singular  small  device.  The  lifespan  of  an  e-­‐book  is   much  longer  than  that  of  a  ‘normal’  book;  ‘normal’  books  can  be  easily   damaged   and   can   deteriorate   over   time.   E-­‐books   can   be   easily   transported;  you  can  transport  hundreds  of  e-­‐books  on  a  lightweight   device,  this  is  not  an  easy  task  with  ‘normal’  books.     E-­‐books   are   an   extremely   valuable   tool   for   children   with   learning   difficulties  or  visual  impairments.  Most  e-­‐books  for  children  have  an   audio   option;   this   is   very   helpful   for  beginning  readers  and  children   that   have   difficulties   reading.   In   some   e-­‐books   the   font   can   be   resized   which  caters  for  children  with  visual  impairments.     Children   live   in   a   technology   filled   world;   it   is   all   around   them   and   they   love   it.   E-­‐books   motivate   children   to   learn.   What   better   way   to   enhance   learning   then   by   exposing   children   to   learning   experiences   that   they   enjoy.   Many   are   concerned   that   in   the   future   e-­‐books   are   going   to   replace   ‘normal’   books.   What   do   you   think?   Will   it   be   in   with   the  e-­‐book  and  out  with  the  ‘normal’  book?   Thoughts  from  group  member,  Melissa  Ellis  

Exposing children  to  different  mediums  of  communication  and  learning   is   always   valuable   within   an   early   childhood   classroom.   Allowing   children   to   be   exposed   to   different   text   types,   multimedia,   ICT’s   and   other  technology  enhances  their   learning  in  all   areas.  The  use  of   eBooks   is  a  way  to  ensure  that   exposure   to  these  elements  is  presented  in  a  way   to   ensure   quality   learning   occurs.   Additionally,   reading   and   hearing   books   through   sources   and   text   types   such   as   eBooks   allows   new   and   different   dimensions   of   stories   to   be   heard,   allowing   children   to   be   exposed  to  wider  literature.     -­‐  thoughts  from  a  Kindergarten/primary  school  teacher   E-­‐books   are   engaging   for   children.   Some   eBooks   will   read   the   book   to   the   child,   which   can   be   beneficial   if   students   are   working   by   themselves   to   read   a   book.   -­‐  thoughts  from  a  primary  school   teacher   9    

What do you see as the advantages of using eBooks in an early childhood classroom? ABSOLUTELY NONE!!!!! - renowned children’s author, Mem Fox

The Tools that Make it Work practical inspiration for integrating ICT in your classroom All around the world, early childhood teachers are using ICT’s in their classrooms to enhance learning. Here are a few examples of how they are being used. A kindergarten class in Indonesia used twitter to connect to another kindergarten class in Canada, which was part of a project called ‘Kindergarten Around the World’. Through twitter the two classes communicated and taught each other about their culture and lifestyle by typing questions and answers and sending videos and pictures. This project allowed the children to not only learn about and appreciate another culture but to learn communication skills, ICT skills and develop an appreciation of their own culture and lifestyle. This project really shows that ICT’s are a great learning tool to have in an early childhood classroom and that young children are more then capable to use technology. For the full story, click here. Richard Colosi is a grade one teacher from New York who uses interactive technology in his classroom to enhance his students learning. He uses technology such as the ipad and ipod touch to improve his student’s literacy skills. Richard’s students learn to read by using the ipad to echo read. Echo reading involves the students opening up an e-book, listening to the narrator then copying what the narrator says while looking at the words. If the student gets stuck on a word, all they have to do is tap on the word and the e-book will tell them what the word is. Not only is this method of learning to read efficient and effective, it’s also fun for the students, which will help them to develop a love of reading. To watch a video of Richard’s students echo reading plus other great ways that he uses technology in the classroom, click here. Minnetonka Public School in the United States uses interactive technology in all year levels including kindergarten and special education. In the early years the school uses interactive whiteboards to capture young children’s attention, which enables them to teach them early literacy concepts through many different applications that can be used on an interactive whiteboard, one of these being interactive e-books.


The early learning teachers at Minnetonka Public School have found the interactive whiteboards to be both fun and exciting for the children and have found that use of the whiteboards allows the teachers to be more involved with the children when reading stories. Have a look at these two videos, which are about the use of technology at Minnetonka Public School. For the first, click here. To view the second video, click here. Thoughts from  group  member,  Ali  McDonald  

Three More Resources... ICT in  the  Early  Years   –  resource  filled   website  from  the  UK  

Free e-­‐Book  by  Practical  Preschool  –   Using  ICT  in  the  Early  Years   Early  Childhood  Australia’s  article  on   “Learning  with  Technology”  

Click the  image  to   visit  each  site.    


Learning from Your Little Ones what the toddlers become the teachers Personally, I’ve   found   that   integrating   ICT   into   an   early   childhood   classroom   is   more   of   a   learning   curve   for   me   than   the   children!   As   a   digital  native  (the  baby  of  my  uni  course  at  only  18  years  old),  parents   and  co-­‐workers  often  ask  me  questions,  as  I’m  the  one  that  apparently   knows  everything!     Well,   none   of   us   do   know   everything.   And   so,   we   are   constantly   learning,  and  it  seems  the  way  we  do  that  best  is  by  doing  two  things…   1)   Watching   or   hearing   someone   else   do   it,   and   2)   Just   having   a   go!   Little   ones  are  keen  to  jump  in  and  try   something,  even  if  it  means  that   ‘something’  gets  broken  in  the  process,  or  they  don’t  quite  get  it  right.   Having   a   go   and   being   wrong   is   more   enticing   than   sitting   back   and   never   knowing.   Rightly   so,   I   say!   Let’s   take   a   risk,   and   just   see   what   happens.       As   educators,   we   need   to   never   be   closed   minded   to   the   way   things   should   be…   the   way   things   can   be.   Perhaps   early   childhood   literacy   is   becoming  less  about  the  story  Miss  Rachael  read  to  us  and  more  about   the   games   we   played   on   the   interactive   whiteboard,   and   the   story   we   listened   to   on   the   iPod.   And,   while   I   don’t   want   to   ever   do   away   with   sitting  on  the  mat  to  share  a  story,  maybe  e-­‐Books  and  technology  are   okay…  after  all.    

Reflections from  “Miss  Rachael”,   Rachael  Hardie,  pictured  at   right  with  some  of  her  past  


References Dell Antonia, K.J. (December 28, 2011). Why Books Are Better Than eBooks for Children. Retrieved March 24, 2012, from Finger, G., Russell, G., Jamieson-Proctor, R., & Russell, N. (2007) Transforming learning with ICT: Making it Happen. Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson Education Australia. Honormoorman. (2010, June 10). Ebooks How Electronic Books are Changing Our Future [Video file]. Video posted to Moody, A. K. (2010). Using Electronic Books in the Classroom to Enhance Emergent Literacy Skills in Young Children. Journal of Literacy and Technology, 11(4), 22-52. Retrieved from Mussey, S. (2010, December 19). CES - eBooks, Tablets and more! [Video file]. Video posted to Pariente, G. (2011, December 12). Paper books vs. eBooks [Video file]. Video posted to Animation RichardColosiMedia. (2011, April 15). iPad in the Classroom: 1st Graders use iPad/iOS Devices [Video file]. Video posted to SekolahTanpaBatas. (2009, March 7). SMART BOARD – ELEMENTARY EDUCATION [Video file]. Video posted to Sniderman, Z. (January 20, 2012). Do Tablet Apps and Ebooks Spell the End of Pop-Up Books? Retrieved March 23, 2012, from Thank you  to  Katrina  for  compiling  our  resource  list.      


Image sources:  

Cover  page:   Blackboard  –  Mark  A.  Hicks,   2012   (image  also  used  on  contents  page)     Page  Four:   “The  Boy  who  Liked  to  Read”  -­‐­‐artwork-­‐to-­‐ encourage-­‐read-­‐157095?image_id=2898074  (original  here  -­‐­‐boy-­‐who-­‐liked-­‐to-­‐read-­‐8x10-­‐signed)  Life  is  Like   a  Dream,  2012     Page  Seven:   “Children  reading  books”  -­‐­‐a-­‐book-­‐baby-­‐shower  jsoh,  2012   Photo  of  baby  with  book  -­‐­‐books-­‐for-­‐your-­‐favourite-­‐girls/   Danielle  Carey,  2012     Page  Eight:   Little  girl  with  ereader  -­‐­‐to-­‐choose-­‐ipad-­‐ebooks-­‐suitable-­‐for-­‐ kids,  2010   Parent  and  daughter  with  e-­‐reader  -­‐­‐ 12/libraries-­‐still-­‐an-­‐important-­‐discovery-­‐source-­‐for-­‐kids-­‐books-­‐says-­‐study/  Huffington  Post   2012     Page  Thirteen:   Image  from  Rachael  Hardie’s  personal  collection.  Used  with  permission.    

We also  thank  the  many  early   childhood  teachers  and   professionals  who  shared  their   opinions  with  us  through   questionnaires  and  discussion.  We   also  recognise  authors  Mem  Fox   and  Jackie  French  who  also   responded  and  shared  their   thoughts  on  Paper  vs.  Pixels.  


Paper vs. Pixels Discussion Booklet  

online discussion booklet for educators and early childhood specialists, looking the use of e-books in early childhood learning written by U...

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