It’s Bloomsday!

I remember  being in Dublin on Bloomsday on June 16th  back in 2004. Amazing!

Now I admit that I wouldn’t be expecting too many of my students to dip into and enjoy James Joyce’s book Ulysses in its full glory-  but on the other hand  it’s important to find ways to allow students to dip into good literature. Igniting an interest is important!

Reading ‘Ulysses’ can be hard work.  So here’s an abbreviated form…Ulysses Seen a serialized cartoon App, which is also now available for your iPad, as well as online at http://ulyssesseen.com/

Robert Berry’s comic adaptation of the 1922 edition of James Joyce’s epic novel, ULYSSES is accompanied by a page-by-page reader’s guide, dramatis personae, and pop-up translations of non-English passages. The reader’s guide is enhanced with discussion groups and links to online information sources, photos, videos, and other assorted bric a brac allowing you to dive as deep as you like into the world of Ulysses.

This is just another good way into good literature.

Book bonanza – buy online and save

Lot’s of people still buy books – interesting books! There are so many to choose from, but sometimes our local store/s may not have what we want – or we may just want to shop from home.

My friend Gary Molloy @chemedlinks is always on the lookout for an online bargain. Darcy Moore is also always on the lookout for an interesting read, and his latest purchase according to his FB status  is Tokyo Vice.  I should put those two into the same room!!

Perhaps Darcy  purchased this book for his Kindle.  That’s a whole different ball-game! But anyway – what if you do need to buy a book and want to same a few dollars too?

Gary pointed me to Booko ages ago for price comparisons  – and I have to vouch for the value of this service. http://www.booko.com.au

I rarely need to shop at Amazon any more.  Best service for me so far has been with the Book Depository.  Books arrive quickly, and are often cheaper than Amazon – postage is included in the cost! Gary tells me that the UK and US online stores are the same source, but often better pricing from the US.com site.

You can even visit Book Depository Live – and watch the  stream of books being purchased from countries around the world.

Of course, I still love to shop in a good book-store – that will never change!  I also borrow books from my local library and my school library. But I also enjoy  being able to get the book I want, delivered to my door, is good value.

Check it out next time you’re shopping around for that special book. There are also other good sites, which I have lost track of.   If you have any more to recommend, please share the sites you know  in the comments.

Augmented Reality – it’s literacy!

While I’m really interested in all sorts of technology possibilities, as a person responsible for a huge library facility and resource centre I passionately believe that the first and most important ‘augmented reality’ option for children and youth are found in books, magazine, graphic novels and more.

Good books. Good literature. Good augmented reality!!  Through books you can experience so many possibilities, so many  passions and emotions, so much history, exciting mystery, and more.

This week has been a big one for us on the ‘augmented reality’ front!

As our visiting speaker Paul MacDonald from The Children’s Bookshop said to our Year 7 students: “A good book should leave you slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it”.

Paul challenged the boys for an hour with many exciting ideas, and reasons to get into ‘what’s hot’!  He even got into quiz mode to capture every single boy – the prize?  A Cherub beanie!  You’ve never seen such a sea of hands desperate to answer a question about books and authors!  Heaps of boys charged over to the library after getting out of the dining room at lunch time – and queued to grab or reserve the books that Paul had been enticing them with.

Patrick Ness

We also had a fabulous visit from Patrick Ness, who spoke to Year 9.  Talk about mischievous but exciting! He also sat down for a literary lunch discussion with our Extension English students. Patrick was just fantastic at pitching the literacy message to active adolescents.

Oh, and don’t forget the magic of buying your own signed copy of an author’s book!

For me – the first and best form of augmented reality – guaranteed to impact on every aspect of a students learning future – is reading and more reading.  More important than any other technology tool in the whole world!

The Digital and Literacy World of Young Children

A new report from the Pearson Foundation examines how digital media is affecting early literacy around the globe.

How is digital media changing the way young children learn? Could the way young children learn be evolving to meet a new, dynamic digital media format?

Authors Jay Blanchard, a professor at Arizona State University, and Terry Moore ask these and other questions in their new report: “The Digital World of Young Children: Emergent Literacy” (PDF), out this week from the Pearson Foundation.

The white paper was released at the annual Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) International Symposium.

Blanchard and Moore conclude “developmental milestones are changing as today’s children approach learning and literacy in new ways, not thought possible in the past. “

The paper is worth a read, especially for understanding our current context around the  emergent literacy needs of primary-aged students.

(via Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning)

The Art of (old) Books – publishers’ bindings

Publishers Bindings Online, 1825 – 1930: The Art of Books is a wonderful gallery of decorative bindings with supporting essays.

The aim of this digital collection of decorative bindings, along with a comprehensive glossary and guide to the elements of these objects, is to strengthen the growing interest in and create broader awareness for the “common” object called the book.

The digital galleries of bindings  reflect distinct eras, geographic locations, and single authors and titles. They are useful for learning about aspects of 19th- and early 20th-c. American history, life, and culture.

You may just like to browse the Artistic Movements Galleries. Publishers bindings are an interesting way of exploring the advent of modern art and the impact on the artistic styles of the time on book design.

Also includes historical galleries; literary galleries; teaching tools and lesson plans; research tools and bibliography resources.

Worth a visit!

Espresso on demand – and that’s not coffee!

Xerox has entered the 21st Century publishing game, reaching a joint selling and marketing agreement with On Demand Books– the company that makes the amazing Espresso Book Machine that can churn out a book in a few minutes. There are only 21 stores and libraries that currently have the machines, but through this agreement, you can bet you’ll see more of them. On Demand hopes to get 80 machines in the world by the end of 2011.

(via GalleyCat and @creativepenn)

The Espresso Book Machine