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Showing posts from August, 2011

Books with Sound

If a system can, will it? I suppose that sooner or later that answer will be yes. I'm sure that some will gnash teeth or rend clothes because some ebooks are coming with sound effects, but again this isn't really new. A book company is releasing classic books and adding music and sound effects to add to the background as the reader reads. Is this new, not really, after all if you ever look in the children's books section and find those books with the sound strip down the side (usually pretty icon buttons on top), then when a child reads that book and they see the icon they press the button and hear the sound effects. I once repurosed one of those side sound bars from a Robin Hood story and created a book for someone who had just had heart surgery (they work great with adults who have just been under anesthesia). As for the sound tracks, including it with the book is new, but otherwise many of us have been soundtracking books for a long time. When I was young I picked Chopi…

Serialize that Book

If someone prefers a certain medium over another, should not we as teacher then try to incorporate that medium as a learning or teaching tools/style to engage the student? Once we have them engaged, then we can expand the concept or relate it to another medium form. Back when I taught science, I used all kinds of science materials, labs, activities, field trips, anything to get them interested in the subject, so that they would want to learn. I also used books and films to teach, as many students were reading and they all went to the movies or watched TV (even the ones who were not reading). By using the film as an anchor for learning and then expanding it to more than just watching a film, but to also having discussions, finding out about the accuracy of the film and then doing labs based on what they saw, I was better able to engage my students in learning science, and show them that it didn't just have to be something that occurred in science class.

Now with this study, some ma…

The loss of a format

I just got a new work computer and was installing all the software that I use when I went to add MS Reader to the machine and found this:

Microsoft is discontinuing Microsoft Reader effective August 30, 2012, which includes download access of the Microsoft Reader application from the Microsoft Reader website. However, customers may continue to use and access the Microsoft Reader application and any .lit materials on their PCs or devices after the discontinuation on August 30, 2012. New content for purchase from retailers in the .lit format will be discontinued on November 8, 2011. 

Before there was ePub there was LIT, and I can remember reading a number of ebooks on my Casio handheld. This program was a leader in the interaction features of the ebook, things that I see just starting in some of the modern ereaders. It did highlighting (in multiple colors), linked notes, book marks, interactive dictionary (multiple languages), and you could even draw within the book. While I am glad…

Ebooks for a Village School

Ok, this isn't news but it is experience. I am currently working a project in the Dominican Republic that includes ebook reading. The project that we are working on is a multi-organization project between CEL & SIFE at UNF to build and deliver a working shipping container multi-computer classroom to a remote village elementary school in Pananao. In an earlier visit as part of a needs analysis to find out what the school needed that the computer lab could support, I found that books were one of the areas that the technology could help with. For example the Kindergarten classroom only had about 10 books for the children. In discussions with students and teachers it was found that reading materials beyond textbooks are a need. As the school is elementary I have been researching elementary reading ebooks (emergent readers, picture books, and chapter books) in Spanish (although if any one has more please send me the links to the sites). So far we have the room on site and a satelli…