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Banned books 2018

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When Science Fiction Become Reality

Back in 1997 Charles Sheffield and Jerry Pournelle (in the style of R.A. Heinlein) wrote a "juvenile" science fiction series with the central characters being young adults. These books used real science as did the R.A. Heinlein ones. In one of the books, Higher Education, a large part of the focus on the education system. As part of that story the students in school didn't read their books, instead, they watched videos and had electronic readers read the books aloud to them. So it looks like to some extent we are now approaching that science fiction waypoint, as now less than half prefer to read a textbook versus watching a video of the content. This could also mean that we need to work harder to make the books more enjoyable and understandable. I can say that as a science teacher, especially when teaching in middle school, I and my students would become frustrated with our textbooks, as most science textbooks were written two grade levels above the grade that they were…

A Problem of Paper (or Paper, we don't need no stinking papers)

Ok, this has been an interesting kind of converse experiment, and an unintended one too. What had happened was this, I had a book that I had purchased, a paper printed book, that had been sitting on my shelf for quite a while that I started to read the other day. Now the resulting experience has been a surprise to me. I normally read over 100 books a year, but for at least the last four years none of the novels or other tradebooks that I've read has been on paper, instead they have all been through electronic means. Which does mean that I've become very comfortable with my ereader (usually my Kindle) as a method of reading.  And I know that more and more people are reading text from screens, but that includes things like google search results and email. Even my students have commented that once they start noticing much of what they read is on the screen, but for most of them pleasure reading is still something done with paper.

As a proponent of differentiation I do try to get…

Try the Settings - Find your Goldilocks Zone

This last semester I was teaching a graduate technology and literacy course. As part of that course all my students were to do some action research. We did get some great results, for example one student’s work on using refreshable braille display for elementary children which saw an improved fluency of 4-5 letters per minute over those just using embossed paper, and another student I was working with developed her project on guided writing, saw an overall writing increase of 50% in just a few weeks using Google Docs as a writing system tool. The one though that I wanted to talk about here though was one student who was doing his action research on himself, to try and get better at reading from an ebook. He does great with paper, but found that he had trouble focusing with reading with technology. In his final report he had a number of things that he found that are of interest:

"During this process I learned that I read materials online a lot more then I originally thought. I rea…

Elementary Summer Reading

Here is a great summer reading opportunity. It is for elementary teachers and student. If you are not an elementary teacher, but have an elementary school child or know an elementary teacher the program may be used by individual students or if a teacher or school participates they have an opportunity of earning free books, as well as a one year ebook subscription to over 140 books. Best of all the books have a strong science and math connection. 

Children who read all 25 interactive ebooks will receive a free book!Teachers who organize the effort and submit passports for 10 or more children will receive one-year free access to all 140 Arbordale interactive ebooks and 5 books for their classroom. If five or more teachers from the same school submit passports, the school earns 25 or more books and unlimited school-wide and home ebook access.

Arbordale has a free program for children to read over the summer to avoid a summer slump. Their “Read around the World” summer reading program has 2…

A Little Ranting on Will ____ Ever Completely Replace _______

I do get so tired of seeing headlines like "Will Ebooks Ever Completely Replace Print?"



I put such things up there with:
Will Cars Ever Completely  Replace Horses?Will Microwaves Ever Completely Replace Stoves/Ovens?Will Color TV Ever Completely Replace Black & White?Will TV Ever Completely Replace Movie Theaters?Will Talkies Every Completely Replace Silent Movies?Will Cell/Smart Phones Ever Completely Replace Land Lines?Will Cloth Ever Completely Replace Animal Skins?Will Self-Driving Cars Completely Replace Standard Cars? I seriously doubt that anything ever gets completely replaced. I see it more like a half-life decay/reaction, things are changing and often by quite a bit, but in the end there is always a bit left of what you started with, it never seems to go to total change over. Horses still have jobs, black and white movies are still made, some people still use land lines, and some people still wear fur. With things like books, I think that it will be that way too…

Study: E-readers tied to less frequent reading

Ok, from my experience there are a few things here that should be addressed. I don't think that they study is wrong but there are some considerations about the situations. First, not surprised that there is the interference issue. I would much prefer to read from my Kindle than my computer screen, we have lots of years reading with a position and focus range that has become comfortable, so with that and the lack of things like email popup or text messages, it makes sense that readers with physical books or devoted ereaders would be better, also while the iPads have a nice size screen, they do have all the other distractors and most phones have a much smaller screen for reading.  To me Madeline has the most important quote "I don't mind what I read as long as it's interesting,"  to her it is the story, and she is fine with Kindles. The part about the pictures is also important and is something that I think that ereader programs should consider. We already have lo…