E-Books Need Mentors


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Lisa Guernsey
As books become adorned with interactive features, and as digital media and games of all kinds are now available at our fingertips, young children are going to need a little guidance. Building a good e-book experience means thinking not only about the technology and the content, but also supporting the adults and older children who are helping children seek, learn and explore in the digital age.

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  • In a paper for the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, we offer several recommendations. Two of them: Create a place in every community where parents and educators can experiment together with online and offline media as a springboard for children ’s literacy. Create partnerships for innovation. Stimulate collaboration among tech industry, educators, parents and community institutions such as schools, libraries and universities.
  • Earlier this year, we proposed to help the GLR Campaign by taking stock of how, where and if technology could make an impact on reading achievement in young children. This is a joint project of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the New America Foundation, and it speaks to an interest in exploring connections between literacy and technology that we have had for a long time.
  • Source: Joan Ganz Cooney Center (2012). E-book Quickstudy: Parent Survey. Sample – 1200 parents with a child age 2-6.
  • We came to this research with a grounding in developmental science on how children learn language skills. Children ’s language skills bloom when they have opportunities for contingent social interactions with parents and caregivers. In the research literature on electronic media this is known as Joint Media Engagement, a term coined by learning scientists at the LIFE Center, an NSF funded project. The Cooney Center recently hosted an event and published a paper – “the New Co-Viewing” -- on the promise of this approach. Can libraries become a central place for co-viewing and joint engagement? Can librarians embrace the mantel of media mentorship?
  • What about the very young kids who DON ’T have adults in their lives to give them those face to face and webcam experiences that make media meaningful? What about the babies in rooms with adult-directed TV on all day? What about the children who are growing up without media mentors – without someone to guide them to good content, to stretch their thinking as they watch something on a smartphone or video screen?
  • E-Books Need Mentors

    1. 1. E-Books Need Mentors Lisa Guernsey Director, Early Education Initiative New America Foundation NewAmerica.org
    2. 2. The Hazard
    3. 3. The Imperative
    4. 4. Smartphone ownership by age Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project, June 2013
    5. 5. Social interaction prompted by e-media? Flickr.com/Elaine and Scott van der Chijs courtesy Creative Commons license
    6. 6. The Three Cs · Content · Context · Child
    7. 7. Photo above: Darcy1b on Flickr; Screen shot to right: Nook children’s books by Barnes & Noble Growing Up BooksPlus
    8. 8. Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, 2012
    9. 9. Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West Empowering Parents and Educators Joan Ganz Cooney Center & New America Foundation The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
    10. 10. E-books in the app store offer features – but which ones help children learn to read? 11 Narration 95% Hotspots 75% Word/picture labels 15% Dictionary 5% Games/ Activities 65% Literacy activities 25% Music/ sounds 60% Text Highlighting 50% Animation 50% Tilt/ shake/ turn device 30% Record Own Voice 25% Different Languages 25% Parent Involvement 20% Rewards 15% Social Sharing 10% 3D effects 10% Camera 5% Photo by JGCC Research Team
    11. 11. Time is ripe for e-book guidance Parents are even reading e-books with their very young children. Survey results of 1200 middle class parents with child age 2 to 6 (JGCC, 2012). But they need training on the use of questioning techniques with the new technology (Vanderbilt study using videos of narrated Scholastic books, 2010). Photo by JGCC Research Team
    12. 12. Create place & time to experiment Create a place in every community where parents and educators can experiment together with online and offline media as a springboard for children’s literacy. For the full report, see: http://gradelevelreading.net/resources/technology-for-successful-parenting
    13. 13. Seek opportunities for joint engagement 14 Photo by Brigid Barron
    14. 14. Photo by Bonnie Blagojevic, Mano en Mano, Maine
    15. 15. Media Mentors
    16. 16. Smart conversation for the BooksPlus teacher •#ECETECH https://groups.diigo.co m/group/ecetech •Fred Rogers Center’s blog http://www.fredrogerscenter.org/blog/ •Many more from today’s conference
    17. 17. Lisa Guernsey Director, Early Education Initiative New America Foundation Earlyed.newamerica.net Author, Screen Time: How Electronic Media – From Baby Videos to Educational Software – Affects Your Young Child (Basic Books, 2012) www.screentimebook.com Thank you Contact Information: