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Towards an e-Book Quality Rating Tool for Early Elementary Literacy Instruction

Browse recordings: livestream.com/educon6

Session Two: Saturday 1:00pm–2:30pm
Room 300
Jeremy Brueck
Affiliation: University of Akron
Conversational Focus/Audience:
Elementary School
Conversation Description:


e-Books for young children are proliferating, and are increasingly viewed as an appropriate source for early exposure to books and reading, especially by parents. Yet we know relatively little about what makes an e-book a good e-book for early literacy experience, particularly in relation to preschool literacy development and education.

What makes for a good, workable, instructive, enjoyable e-book for young children? Certainly the established criteria of quality childrens literature apply to e-book texts. Strong features of good storybooks over the ages are likewise the features of enduring e-books into the future: age-appropriate, culturally sensitive, satisfying plots, and rich expressions of human values, traits and struggles (Norton, 2007). In this respect, e-books are just like traditional books, and their literary or informational content can be judged by the same general criteria.

However, standards of performance and design in e-books have not been established and are the subject of considerable debate in the book industry. Where do educators factor in this discussion? Join us and begin to define our role in shaping the future of the e-book. Come ready to discuss the design of a prototype tool for evaluating the e dimension of the early childhood e-book. We will explore a matrix that provides a framework for organizing the tool (categories & elements) and specified criteria for judging the electronic reading environment.

Conversational Practice:
With the electronic book a rapidly growing alternative to the traditional book, there is an increasing need for classroom-based tools that support e-book pedagogy in early childhood settings. In this conversation, we'll examine a variety of e-books designed for the iPod Touch and iPad. Participants will learn interactively during a focused and intense conversation about what makes for a good, workable, instructive, enjoyable e-book for young children. We will explore how e-books are fundamentally different in that they are electronic which means information can be communicated multi-modally (audio, video, text) on the screen page. The presenter will provide a classroom set of iPod Touch and iPads to be used to examine several popular early childhood e-books. In small groups, well aim to apply an e-book Quality Rating Tool to an e-book and then share with others the merits and limitations of using that particular e-book for instructional purposes.


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