Monthly Archives: February 2014

Read Across America Day

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March 2, 1904, was Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday. You probably recognize that middle name—he is Dr. Seuss. That’s reason enough to celebrate the man whose imaginative stories, rhymes and all, are known and loved all over the world. Arguably, few authors have had such an impact on the reading habits of so many children as Geisel. In conjunction with Dr. Seuss’s birthday, the National Education Association, the publisher of Seuss’s work, and others sponsor Read Across America Day every year in March.

Need ideas on how to celebrate with your students? Plan a read-in: invite the mayor, the fire chief, and the teller at your bank to stop at your school to read to and with students for a while. Dress up as your favorite Seuss character, or maybe a character from another book, and encourage your students to do the same. Ask your students to take an oath to be life-long readers. As you read earlier on this blog, March 5 is World Read Aloud Day. Combine events and make the first week of March a celebration of reading and the worlds it opens for students.

Watch this video to learn more about Read Across America Day in 2013 as you plan with your students and school partners for 2014.

Can’t see the video? Watch it here. 

Several Great Resources for Read Across America Day include:

So, plan your Read Across America event,
Get it rolling at school, or home, or even in a tent.
When everyone reads, we’re all winners, you know,
When everyone reads, our communities grow.*

*My apologies to Dr. Seuss!

 

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The Time is Ripe for eTextbooks

The use of technology in schools is increasing, and a tag-along trend is the increased use of ebooks for teaching and learning. More specifically, etextbooks are making their way into classrooms at all levels. Three key factors create a positive climate for etextbooks to increase in availability and popularity.

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First, the cost of print textbooks continues to rise, by some indications increasing at a faster rate than tuition (Rampel, 2012) and inflation (Perry, 2012). Second, the prevalence of e-reading devices makes access to textbooks easier, and in many cases, more cost effective. According to PEW Internet and American Life Project, the number of owners of either a tablet computer or e-reading device such as a Kindle or Nook grew from 18 percent in 2011 to 33 percent in 2012 (Rainey & Duggan, 2012). Third, consumer acceptance of ebooks continues to grow as familiarity and ebook reading experiences increase. About 20 percent of Americans in the 18–29 age group read had read an ebook in the past year (Rainey & Duggan, 2012), with the most preferred devices for e-reading being the desktop/laptop and cell phone. A shift in this device preference is anticipated as the purchase of mobile devices (iPad, Kindle Fire, and other tablets) has now surpassed the purchase of laptops (Paczkowski, 2013).

The number of textbooks available digitally continues to grow, but for now college faculty still primarily choose paper texts. To effectively integrate e-textbooks into a course, faculty must have knowledge of ebook reading in general, the digital reading process, and the issues with accessing digital content for teaching and learning. Faculty’s level of experience with these issues impacts the kinds of support that can be given to students as they embark on this learning adventure (Internet2, 2012).

References
Internet2 (2012). eTextbook Spring 2012 Pilot at http://www.internet2.edu/netplus/econtent/docs/eText-Spring-2012-Pilot-Report.pdf

Perry, M. J. (2012, January 4). The college textbook bubble and how the “open educational resources” movement is going up against the textbook cartel [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/12/the-college-textbook-bubble-and-how-the-open-educational-resources-movement-is-going-up-against-the-textbook-cartel/

Rainey, L., & Duggan, M. (2012). E-book reading jumps: Print book reading declines. Washington, DC: Pew Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved from http://libraries.pewinternet.org/2012/12/27/e-book-reading-jumps-print-book-reading-declines/

Rampel, C. (2012, March 2). Why tuition has skyrocketed at state schools. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/02/why-tuition-has-skyrocketed-at-state-schools/?_r=0

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