Reading and Audiobooks

img_7512-html-smlThe SLAV conference, Engaging teen readers, last Friday was very interesting and informative. We had great presentations. Many of the presenters were practising teacher librarians who gave many examples about how they support and encourage reading in their schools. The last session was a panel discussion about the definitions of  “a reader” and  “what constitutes reading” where panelists discussed their ideas. Playing the Devil’s Advocate, I asked the question “Is listening to Audiobooks cheating?” The panel answered and it also got quite a reaction from the floor. It certainly livened up the following discussion when we opened up the discussion to the conference delegates. Their ideas were collected on a Padlet for use later.

Personally, I love listening to audiobooks. I especially appreciate them when I am travelling in the car on long journeys. I particularly like the unabridged versions of novels and also the BBC radio plays.  I still read a lot of print books and I have both versions of the books. Both pique my imagination and I can remember just as much about the book no matter whether I use my eyes or ears. I teach some dyslexic boys who really appreciate having audio as well as text available to them. Digital technologies have made it even easier to support these students with audio as they all have their own personal devices with which to obtain their audiobook.

Some of the links provided/shared supporting audiobooks  were excellent.

One of the infographics I liked is below. It seeks to describe the benefits of audiobooks by debunking some of the myths that circulate. It also offers some ideas that teachers could pick up on and use with their students.

It was published by Learning Ally and We Are Teachers

We Are Teachers offers educators inspiration for lessons as well as professional development resources. Their mission is to promote innovation in education through collaboration and connection to the most effective classroom resources

Learning Ally offers more than 80,000 human-narrated audiobooks through an easy-to-use online platform. Audiobooks are proven to help students with reading disabilities become better readers and learners. Find out more about how Learning Ally helps students with reading disabilities achieve academic success.

audiobooks-forget-the-myths-infographic-html

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Free music for student projects now on YouTube

I have been trying to teach the students good digital behaviours. When students are trying to create multimedia presentation we remind them about Creative Commons licences. When shown where to find images, sounds, videos that are allowed to be used they are more than happy to do the right thing. There are many times our students are looking for sounds or, more often, music to put the final polish on their multimedia project. There are a few I put onto a list available via our school intranet and linked to the sites. I often have to remind the boys about these sites so I was very pleased to learn the other day that YouTube is now offering music through their YouTube Audio Library. It is not a comprehensive library at the moment with about 150 royalty-free instrumental tracks people can use for free, indefinitely but it is a good start and on a site/platform that many students are very familiar with.

AudioLibrary-YouTube

The music embedded in the YouTube Audio Library is music that you can download to use in projects both online and offline. You can search the library of music according to:

  • Genre – Some of the genres you can choose from include: Alternative & Punk, Classical music, Country & Folk, Hip Hop & Rap, Jazz & Blues, Pop, Reggae and Rock.
  • Mood – Students are often interested in finding music for mood. Some of the moods represented musically include angry, bright, calm, dark, funky, happy, inspirational, romantic,and sad.
  • Instrument – Allows you to search for music according to the instrument being played in it. These include: Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Strings, Synth and Trumpet
  • Duration – Where you can search for clips ranging from 1to 25 minutes

You can listen to the tracks before downloading them as MP3 files. To download any tune you click on the arrow pointing downwards put on the line that has the title. You can also click on the star button next to it to add the tune to your favourite list. It really is very easy to use. I look forward to sharing it with our students next term.

AudioLibrary-Mood-download

There is also an opportunity to have a look at the most popular hits that people have downloaded by using the favourites list.

“For the Term of his Natural Life” now has an app

Last week (Thursday, 1st Aug) on ABC’s Radio National Books and Arts Daily (presented by Michael Cathcart) there was a program with some news about the classic Australian novelFor the Term of his Natural Life.It was written in the 1880s and it has never been out of print. Now there is an e-book app which the creators hope will extend its life into the future. The app is a condensed version of the novel interspersed with segments of the mini-series, interactive footnotes, historical documents, video notes, bios, maps, and photos and there’s even a bonus song from the 1927 silent film. ”

If you are interested – you can listen to the discussion podcast and/or go to the website. 

The website offers some good information with a books synopsis, information about the mini-series and also links to where you can purchase the app and the mini-series as a DVD or from iTunes, The app looks to be a great resource and may bring a new audience to this Australian story. I am only disappointed that (at for the moment at least)  the app is available for iPads only.

For the Term of his Natural Life

Tohby Riddle’s Unforgotten

I have always liked Tohby Riddle’s work, especially his picture books or graphic novels. He has created some wonderful picture books over the years and he has developed different styles of illustrations to fit his stories.

I loved his sense of humour and the light comic touch in My Uncle’s Donkey and The Great Escape from City Zoo, which I had to buy and read to my young niece and nephews. His comic illustrations in the WordSpy books were fantastic as well as the collections of cartoons in Pink Freud.

He now has a new picture book just published and it is quite different from those I mentioned above. It is however wonderful with illustrations that evoke all sorts of ideas. As with most Allen and Unwin books there are teacher’s notes prepared already for you but I think that the illustrations will mean many different things to all those who read the book.

The was an article recently in The Age but I enjoyed listening to a broadcast from an ABC (Central Victoria) program. You can listen to the ABC’s children’s literature expert Sarah Cox and presenter Ann Jones talk to Tohby Riddle about his new book Unforgotten. In the interview he discusses the technique he used to illustrate the book and some of his ideas.

The book itself has been very popular with our teachers here. The students have not yet had the chance to have a look at it. I thinks that a few of us will be buying our own copies.

Tohby has also created a book trailer, see below, and my very favourite illustrator, Shaun Tan, has been quoted on that site.

‘Reading this book is like being quietly ushered into another dimension by winged strangers, a place beyond the tread of normal earth-bound language. Ephemeral as a feather, timeless as a rock, and as true as both, Unforgotten is a magical experience.’
– Shaun Tan

There is nothing more I can really say except to quote a well-known media celebrity from Melbourne and say “do yourself a favour, and go out and get/read a copy for youself”

Useful links (Weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful Links (Weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful Links (Weekly)

Imagination is intelligence having fun by shareski, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  shareski 

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.