Can ICTs play a vital role in developing children’s oral language and literacy?
I have decided to develop my unit of work for a Prep class with its focus on literacy. I was particularly interested in researching this focus, as I love to read and have instilled this love in my three children. In so much, that even if we have had a very late night, my six year old son still wants me to read him a story.
I cannot imagine a world without real, tangible paper books. Although I know that one day, it will be a rarity to see people sitting down reading a “real” book. During my research, I discovered a research paper written by Mary-Jane Shuker and Lisa Terreni, from Victoria University of Wellington, who investigate the role of self-authored e-books as a tool for facilitating early childhood professionals to engage young children in new literacy and language experiences.
The authors focus on the integration of digital texts and the importance of authoring e-books. They argue that e-books have “great potential to make computer use more interactive through the creation of these interactive texts”.
Some of the benefits that they identified during their research include:
- The opportunities for the development of bilingual and multilingual stories;
- The ability for children to share and distribute their work widely and easily with their friends and families;
- The exposure to important creative learning opportunities with digital technologies;
- Providing children with a more authentic reading experience instead of the more traditional drill or exercise way of promoting literacy.
- Substantive gains have been identified in the area of word recognition and children’s use of e-books;
- Fostering children’s phonological awareness by incorporating e-books.
They provided suggestions on how to incorporate ICTs into the classrooms to enable children to tell stories in ways that they have not been able to do previously. I definitely believe that creating e-books is an exciting and authentic way for children today to convey and exhibit their meanings, ideas and creative abilities with others. With this in mind, I look forward to the opportunity to support children in my prac class to create e-books and digital literacies and to observe the difference in engagement, enthusiasm, and quality of work.
Here is a quick video from KooBits Editor, an Ebook software program for children showing you how easily it can be used.