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Article Summaries Alithea Price-Pearlstein FRIT 7235 Digital Learning Environments Spring 2014 Georgia Southern University

This is my final class in the Instructional Technology masters program and prior to this semester I completed my practicum at an elementary school in their media center. I learned my current school district students are not given textbooks, instead they access their books from online e-books. Students can access other e-books through a variety of different grade designated databases through the online library database. The article summaries focus on the impact of digital book technology in the elementary school and the future of books in media centers. The theory-into-practice Reading in the Digital Age: Using Electronic Books as a Teaching Tool for Beginning Readers, (Ciampa, 2012) was a qualitative inquiry studying a homogeneous group of 1st grade students motivation to read based on the constructivist learning theory. In addition to daily school reading activities researchers used e-books to provide students with another avenue to motivate reading. The results were assessed through observation and feedback from teachers, parents, and students. The students proved to be the most motivated to learn to read when presented with digital text. According to the author, growing evidence base on positive motivational effects of computer-assisted reading instruction (Ciampa, 17). The results revealed students were intrinsically motivated to read using e-readers as opposed to printed text such as books. In the end the students were motivated to read using the e-books due the easy use and interactive text. However this study lacked a strong heterogeneous group to further the development of the study, such as students that were either racial or mental development different in capacity. A professional practice article Digital Reading: a Look at a Second Grade Class, (Taylor, 2012). She examined a qualitative study on 2nd grade students preferred reading format in either digital computer or book form. The student surveys asked captivating questions such as

if the students preferred library or e-books. The students overwhelmingly choose library books due to the freedom to read on the floor or move around in their seat. With computers, there were limits to the way they could read. (Taylor, 14). However since the technology was limited to computers and not hand held devices such as a Kindle this is an obvious drawback to the ebooks. The most intriguing finding was that students were only interested in the e-books when audio was available. The audio gave struggling students more independence to view books that might otherwise be too difficult without teacher assistance. These advances in technology are enormous for struggling readers who would otherwise be limit to fluency text choices in the library. The author recommended a balance of both library and e-books for students to enjoy and learn new reading skills. This article was informative showcasing the positives and negatives of e-books in the classroom.

A professional practice article Technology Tools to Support Reading in the Digital Age (G. Biancarosa & G. Griffith, 2012) described different ways to effectively promote the use digital reading tools based on various research studies among staff and students such as systemic supports, Design for Learning, evidence based tools, and utilize new information technology resources. The authors made an excellent proposal for schools to set up systemic supports such as professional development resources to support new digital technology. Professional Development enables teachers to have an essential hands-on approach to becoming experts using new web 2.0 tools in the classroom. The Universal Design for Learning approach helps schools to consider the needs of all types of learners that use technology instead of a one size fits all, individualized levels of support are built into e-reading applications from the beginning rather than being added later. (G. Biancarosa & G. Griffith, 150) Also the article examined the use of technology chosen on the merits of evidence based tools. For example the authors examined two

large-scale studies that attempted to obtain evidence of effective e-reader software that improved student reading. Although the studies did not indicate if the software tools were accessed by knowledgeable participates and on a routine schedule.

The professional practice article Digital Readers: The Next Chapter in E-Book Reading and Response (Larson, 2012) examined the advancement of e-books have made to support in student learning. A small case study of two 2nd grade students first time experience with digital readers. The students used Kindle books which had 3 features to promote literacy response skills: adjusted font size, built-in dictionary, and an activated text-to-speech feature (Larson, 19). The study resulted in a preference of individual hand held digital readers compared to e-books accessed on the computer. For example Kindles compact size allowed the students to sit comfortably making the experience similar to reading a regular book. To effectively make this technology the author suggested teachers schedule uninterrupted reading time and establish class expectations for note taking in the digital books. However the limited number of Kindle devices will obstruct student usage, which is why many school districts have implemented programs allowing students to bring their own devices to school. The research paper E-Book Hook (Barger & Notwell, 2013) studied a 4th grade class science unit using e-books on iPads to promote students motivation towards nonfictional books and improve their literacy skills. The qualitative results from the study derived from student and teacher feedback. According to one teachers feedback the project would have been more successful if there had been more than 6 iPads for the entire class. Ideally I think there should be a class set of e-books for students, but this will happen in time with the increase advancements of technology further those needs in the classroom. A key feature of the technology was

embedded video and sound, as well as read aloud feature (Barger & Notwell, 33) is not accessible on all types of e-reader technology. In addition to the research the authors speculated reading scores from the beginning and end of the year reading assessments increased due to the use of e-books in science. However anytime students are exposed and motivated to read in any subject they probably will become more successful readers in any format of technology displaying text.

Are E-Books Any Good? (Guernsey, 2011) a professional practice article debates the need for e-books compared to traditional print books at elementary schools. The format of e-books can vary from simple digital print to an animated book almost mimicking a cartoon. According to the author technology can be applied to the whole class, e-picture books are starting to be coupled with electronic white boards (Guernsey, 31). This method is applied in my school

district with nearly every elementary classroom having access to an electronic whiteboards. The author highlighted a literacy specialists quantitative research study that showed students exposed to e-books gained 23% higher than the control group access to only traditional print books. The students in the study read e-books on a software program called Tumble Books accessible through the library database that gives the reader the option to have voice-to-text and highlighted text. Overall the e-books are leading students to a library that can be accessed from anywhere a student has access to the internet. The professional practice article More than Just Books: Childrens Literacy in Todays Digital Information World (Gosto, 2012) examines the undergoing change of literacy format among young readers in digital format from e-books to online social websites. For example she promotes the use of online social networks as a way for students to advance their literacy and

social skills. This is a valid point prior to online social networks or texting students spent time writing notes or spent hours talking on the phone. These networks take on other forms such as online group projects where students are able to engage in strictly academic conversations. The author highlights the popular use of e-readers among adults, but recognizes lack of use from young readers. For example, Library collections, programs and services should include a wide range of digital text. (Gosto, 37) She views the popularity of e-books will likely be more part of the classroom setting as more research is conducted to validate the impact on advancing student reading skills. The professional practice article Embracing E-Books Increasing Students Motivation to Read and Write (Siegle, 2012) examines how to create e-books and promote reading with the wide range of available e-books. The creation of e-books is available through online websites for free to encourage student reading. There are 4 different types of e-books: computer files, on and off-line, and interactive apps. The biggest advantage for classroom teachers is being able to differentiate reading content for gifted and talented students thanks to millions of free books in the public domain that are now available online (Siegle, 138). In addition this promotes reading for all levels of learners such as those students in inclusion classes.

In conclusion the advancement of e-book technology is impacting how students learn literacy skills. The technology ranges from free online e-books, computer software, tablets, and hand held e-readers. The technology is allowing teachers is have a larger number of literature accessible in the classroom or students to access e-books anywhere through the schools online library. Finally the article summaries provided an insight to the different types of technology are becoming part of the daily life of students.

References

1. Ciampa, K. (2012). Reading in the digital age: using electronic books as a teaching tool for beginning readers. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology , 38, 1-26. 2. Taylor, M. F. (2012). Digital reading: a look at a second grade class. School Library Monthly, 29(2), 11-14. 3. Biancarosa, G., & Griffiths, G. (2012). Technology tools to support reading in the digital age. The Future of Children, 22(2), 139-160. 4. Larson, L. C. (2010). Digital readers: The next chapter in e-book reading and response. The Reading Teacher. 64(1), 15-22. 5. Barger, B. P., & Notwell, M. (2013). The e-book hook. Science and Children, December, 31-37. 6. Guernsey, L. (2011). Are e-books any good?. School Library Journal, June, 28-32 7. Gosto, D. E. (2012). More than just books: Childrens literacy in todays digital information world. Children and Libraries, Winter, 36-40. 8. Siegle, D. (2012). Embracing e-books increasing students motivation to read and write. Gifted Child Today, 35(2), 137-143.