My students were very excited to have the option to have the book read for them aloud. As we have continued working with the book, most of my class has continued to chose to listen to the text being read aloud. This feature has allowed some of my students who have trouble accessing text being able to participate and achieve exactly what the other students who are ‘readers’ can, which supports the research by Douglas, Ayres, Langone, Bell, & Meade (2009) that low and non-readers can improve their comprehension when video and audio supports are embedded in instructional texts.
I have found that the information we have chosen to include is of interest to the students and often my class is making connections or comments that show they are understanding what they have been learning. As well, the activities that are included in the eBook have been very successful so far. All of my students have been able to use the Pic Collage and 30hands apps with minimal support. They have enjoyed having a choice on how to demonstrate their understanding, which is in accordance with many UDL studies (Dymond et al., 2006; Flores, 2008; The Staff at CAST, 2006).
Before watching the videos, I will pose one or two questions for the class to think about while they are watching the video. After watching, they will have a small group or partner discussion to help them get the key ideas from the video. At the end of each of the chapters, we have been keeping a ‘Community Fact Sheet’ on a shared Google Doc to gather and record the key information we have learned.
My students have been very successful in navigating the eBook. They are able to navigate from Safari and the apps used for the activities back to the eBook with no difficulty. I often see my students referring back to the pages in the eBook to help them complete the activities within the eBook.
So far, I am very happy with how the eBook turned out and has translated into a positive learning experience for my students. I hope to continue to develop further chapters and eBooks to teach about other topics in the Canada’s Dynamic Communities topic. I also plan on looking for other eBook resources that would be appropriate for my students to access.
Berg, S. A., Hoffmann, K., & Dawson, D. (2010). Not on the same page: Undergraduates’ information retrieval in electronic and print books. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(6), 518–525. doi: 10.1016/j.acalib.2010.08.008
Douglas, K., Ayres, K, Langone, J, Bell, V. & Meade, C. (2009). Expanding literacy for learners with intellectual disabilities: The role of supported eText. Journal of Special Education Technology, 24(3), 35-44. Retrieved from http://www.tamcec.org/jset/
Flores, M. M. (2008). Universal design in elementary and middle school: Designing classrooms and instructional practices to ensure access to learning for all students. Childhood Education, 84(4), 224-229. doi:10.1080/00094056.2008.10523013
Larson, L. C. (2010). Digital readers: The next chapter in e-book reading and response. The Reading Teacher, 64, 15-22. doi:10.1598/RT.64.1.2
The Staff at CAST. (2006). A UDL case story and model lesson: Reading challenges in geography and social studies. In Rose, D.H. & Meyer, A. (Eds.). A Practical Reader in Universal Design for Learning. (pp. 15-32). Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard Education Press.
Wen, J., Chuang, M., & Kuo, S. (2012). The learning effectiveness of integrating e-books into elementary school science and technology classes. International Journal of Humanities & Arts Computing, 6(1-2), 224. doi:10.3366/ijhac.2012.0051