Shared reading is an essential part of learning to read. Sitting together with a big book and sharing the experience of reading with a class is incredibly important in developing early reading and comprehension skills in younger learners. However, books are changing; we are no longer limited to paper and ink. We have the advantage of document cameras (visualisers) as well as digital books of various kinds existing in multi-modal forms. Apps on our iPhone. iPads and other internet enabled mobile devices, Apps from the LION OS store, online interactive books… so many options! I decided to consider how these new books might change the way we take part in shared reading.
Keeping with traditional idea of “sharing” reading; that we would all sit together and read the book on a big screen (In this case an IWB) I played with some of the digital texts. The texts were busy moving onto the next page, playing music or showing jolly animations. All of these things work well to capture our little audience’s imagination and pull them further into the story. What they might stop however are those incredibly important moments where we pause to explore, investigate and ask questions. In the video below I explore how IWB software (Notebook 10.7 , Promethean Activ Inspire 1.5 and Easiteach Next Generation) can be used to help solve this problem. Using a range of tools such as “snap shot”, Zoom and annotate in I propose that it is possible to have the best of both worlds. Animations, sounds, images and shared learning about reading.
So many strands of the Australian National Curriculum for English could be covered using this technique. Of course, as a Teacher looking at the National Professional Standards you would also be able to tick off: 2.6 and 3.4 quite nicely too!
As these thoughts were developed as part of my work with the Teaching Teachers for the Future Project I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.