How diverse is your child’s library? How diverse are the apps on your digital devices? I’ve collected some resources to help parents and caregivers build diverse digital libraries.
At the American Library Association’s annual conference, the “Promoting Cultural Competence in Digital Storytimes” session explored apps that parents can use to build a more diverse digital library. I’ve embedded the slides from that presentation below…
The Effectiveness of Free eBooks is Declining: Smashwords
Offering up a free copy of your eBook has been a good way for self-published and first-time authors to promote their books to new readers. However, according to a new report from self-publishing site Smashwords, that tool may soon be played out.
In 2013, Nelleke Belo, Susan McKenney, and Joke Voogt conducted a review to further understand research outcomes in the use of technology for early literacy acquisition in the kindergarten classroom. Drawing on four academic literature databases, the research team narrowed 13,070 initial hits to 46 articles that met their selection criteria. These articles, explicitly focused on technology as an independent variable, were aimed at kindergarten-age students, included early literacy development, and were published after 2001. Drawing on previous research affordances as well as gaps in the literature, the authors asked:
Carisa Kluver's insight:
Great review of research literature, concluding that: "technologies have affordances and constraints making them more or less useful in different circumstances. The review provided evidence that electronic storybooks can lead to significant early literacy gains. However, there were also other technologies highlighted in this review that were successful in literacy acquisition. More importantly, electronic storybooks impacted literacy skills differently based on the interactivity they afforded and the number of student interactions offered."
While paper books might be harder to distribute, they have one huge advantage over ebooks: as long as an archivist or collector can keep them from falling apart, they’ll be as readable in a century as they will in a year. Keeping ebooks in the historical record is harder. How do you preserve something that can’t be locked in an archive, sold in a secondhand bookstore, or even converted to a new format without first navigating an arcane copyright system.
elf-published authors gathered Saturday at “Moving beyond online sales: Marketing to libraries,” a program that was part of uPublishU, a conference-within-a-conference at Book Expo America. The presentation, in New York City’s Javits Center, was moderated by Patricia Payton, Senior Manager, Content Relations at Bowker, a company that produces bibliographic reference materials such asBooks in Print and is the official ISBN Agency for the United States and its territories. Most relevant to this panel, however, is Bowker’s SelfPublishedAuthor, a service that offers advice and tools to those trying to bring their material to the attention of readers.
Co-play is tricky business. A couple of years ago Emil Ovemar, Executive Producer and Co-founder ofToca Boca, the company that I work for, asked me to come up with a digital toy concept that would encourage children and parents to play together. The next day, I suggested an app based around the idea of a bike shop. The children would assemble the bikes and the adults would manage the business of the shop, pricing the bikes and selling them to virtual customers. Imagine: a giraffe comes in and needs a tall race bike. The parent says: “Hey kid! Do we have that? No? Can you build it? I’ll tell the giraffe to wait.” Next, a hippo comes in and needs a sturdy beach bike… I thought it was a good concept— the kids get to be creative and the adults handle the books. The app didn’t get made, though, and we never came up with another concept for co-play.
Eventually, we abandoned the idea of designing specifically for child-parent play altogether, and I’m happy about that. Here’s why: many parents, myself included, stink at playing with their children.
Why? Let me give you three reasons ...
Carisa Kluver's insight:
Excellent piece from Toca Boca, developer of many popular, open-ended play-based apps for young children ...
I need your opinion. But first let me tell you why…Ensuring that your digital publication—whether StoryApp, interactive eBook, or print-on-demand product—is discovered and read by customers continues to be one of the greatest challenges facing authors and publishers in the digital space today. * Online distribution channels are “noisy” places. They are flooded with content, not all of it good. (Some might even say most of it.)
* Online distribution channels are not well organized, especially the App Store, making it difficult for publishers, both big and small, to successfully “shelve” their digital offerings for easy discovery. (In fact, it remains quite mysterious how to best choose your categories.)
* Online distribution channels can be daunting for the consumer, many of whom never dig deeper than what is “fed” to them by way of top picks, editor's choices, and other recommendations. For the producer, the mere act of being on the App or iBookstores, Google Play, or on Amazon does not mean your job is done. Far from it. You now need social proof that your content is worth someone’s attention. This involves marketing. Lots of it. Ongoingly. And for the long haul.I can state from experience, that digital publishing, while seemingly the opportunity of our age, is not for the faint of heart.Because the name of the game—the way to get highlighted by Apple or Amazon, for example—is through downloads, lots of them, as well as high ratings and positive reviews. The more you get, the more likely you are to hit that magical tipping point where the system works for you, so you get even more. Only then does quality content rise above and get noticed in the crowd.Developers with big marketing budgets know this. That’s why they allocate resources in an attempt to trip the system: giving their product away in order to boost downloads and/or paying for reviews are just two examples. These practices prove my point: To survive in the digital ecosystem, you need ratings and reviews. Reviews, especially good ones, are a kind of social currency. If I give your book a positive review, someone else is more likely to take your book seriously, purchase it, and also post a glowing review.Even a bad review, if well-founded, can be turned into a positive if you use it to update and improve your book or product.True, not all good reviews guarantee quality content. Some are just plain fake. But the power of a positive review cannot be overstated.It’s exactly this type of community engagement that has driven such powerful social engines as TripAdvisor.So, on behalf of all content creators out there, when you buy your next favorite book or app, the one you think deserves mention, please take a moment to go back to the store where you bought it and send up a starred review.It takes many years, a lot of faith, and valuable resources of both time and money to write a great book or to produce a winning app. Yet, it takes mere minutes to let an author or developer know how much you appreciate their efforts.* * * Consider adding Beware Madame la Guillotine to your reading list this summer. Request your FREE pdf download in exchange for an honest review directly on Amazon. I will be forever grateful.
Why read nonfiction? The utilitarian reasons are the ones cited most. We read to understand the fine print of contracts, how to operate the new-fangled gadget we just overpaid for, to make sure we don't get the side effects of a new medication....
The book publishing industry is going through a huge transition. It’s easier than ever to get a book out into the world. All the resources you need to publish a book are available you. You no longer need to go through the traditional gatekeepers (publishers) to publish a quality book.
When studying media for early learning, researchers must keep equity at the forefront, says Shelley Pasnik.Screenshot/ Sesame Street
Pasnik, director of the Center for Children and Technology, was one of a group of media creators, scholars, and educators who met in Pittsburgh in early June for the 2014 Fred Forward Conference. Experts discussed how to help children build consistent, positive, and meaningful connections with human beings and new media.
When I conceived this series, Take Five for Family Engagement, the goal was to have lists of five apps, websites or tips for families to make the best use of our 21st century digital tools. This list is based on the FIVE early learning practices recommended by Every Child Ready to Read® (ECRR). Young kids need to be engaged in reading, writing, talking, playing and singing for healthy literacy development. We can use these five practices as a lens for selecting healthy media activities to do together with our young children - See more at: http://digitalmediadiet.com/?p=3185