E-Publishing Childrens Work on Kindles, ipads, Tablet and Mobiles

Electronic Publishing (or e-publishing) is fast becoming the most common method to distribute books, magazines, and newspapers to people. The explosive growth in tablet reading devices, an environmentally aware society and the prevalence ofonline vendors such as Apple's iTunes bookstore, Amazon's bookstore for Kindle, and books in the Google Play Bookstore has seen the e-publishing marketplace grow at a remarkable rate. In the UK in 2012 e-book sales were 89% higher than in 2011, totaling £145 million, but physical book sales totaled £982 million, i.e., almost seven times as much. In America the number of e-books bought were significantly higher due to the higher number of adopters with tablets.

What I am interested in is the fact that most schools have not taken advantage of this technology to any great effect. We live in the current climate of cutbacks across the public sector, schools have had their budgets slashed and one of the real implications are for resources. In England we have had a huge wave of people from Europe come into the country with little or no English. Yet the dual-language books are very expensive or difficult to find. Why not use the best resource we have, the children in our classes to make their own books in other languages and why not make these books freely available and easy to download?

With my mind set on changing the status quo I got my children to e-publish their stories and made their stories available through our school blog as well as through the use of QR Codes around the school building. This led to an increase in dual-language books being available across the school and didn't cost us a penny!

Publishing children's work onto the Kindle is great for their self esteem.

Since starting on this initiative we have over 24 books available on our school blog and next academic year we hope to increase this further. To make identification of the language easier you can use a variety of different QR Code image makers, so you could end up with something like this:

You can add an image behind the QR Code so it makes the language easier to identify.

Here are a couple of dual-language books my children have made. Hope you enjoy them!

Using Limbo as a Story Starter- by Anjum Razaq

Limbo is an indie game which was released on Xbox Live Arcade in the Summer of 2010.  In the game the player guides an unnamed boy through dangerous environments, to what end.... is revealed later. The game is beautifully presented in monochromatic black and white tones with filters and lighting effects to add to the mood. The soundtrack is sparse and minimalist to add to the eerie atmosphere. There is no onscreen HUD (Heads Up Display) and so the game is an immersive experience. The art style is reminiscent of the great Lotte Reiniger and German Expressionism, leaving a lot up to the viewers imagination.

As a gamer I was in awe of the game and even though the game features traps, buzz saws and other inappropriate content later on the first few minutes or so of the game are an excellent story writing stimulus and is safe to use. I planned a sequence of lessons with some EAL children to develop their vocabulary, specifically their use of adjectives. The lessons took place once a week over 4 weeks, in which time we listened to the ambient soundtrack, watched my play-through of the first few minutes of the game (using careful editing I avoided any inappropriate material) and wrote the story in draft and then types and illustrated it. I converted the finished file into a pdf. and placed it on our school website so that parents could put it on their Kindle, ipads, iphones etc. Here is the work we produced.

LINK- TES lesson plans

Morris Lessmore App as a Writing Stimulus for EAL children- by Anjum Razaq

The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore is an Oscar winning animated short and app for ios. The short was shown in 2011 and received great critical acclaim for it's simple but beautifully told story of a man's journey from the mundane to fantastical in premise similar to The Wizard of OZ. In year 4 teachers used the app to support the Literacy topic of stories set in imaginary worlds. The teachers used the app to engage the children first, connecting the iPad to the IWB, that way they could either read the story aloud or have the programmed narrator read the story. Once engaged the children had an opportunity to play the mini games contained within he app, as well as the usual swiping and pinching there are some other activities such as playing the piano, creating words using alphabet cereal and writing and seeing the letters float away in the breeze.

The children then thought about their hobbies and what they were interested in and planned a scenario for their story. After initial planning they began to write their stories and the work they produced was great. However I want to share the EAL work here as I feel that this is the most interesting. The Morris Lessmore app was a great way to engage the EAL children as the images and animation connected with them, even if they didn’t totally understand the narrator. These EAL children created a bi-lingual story, using their home languages and English to create wonderful stories. I have placed two stories below, have a read and see what you think! (thanks go to Jeanette Haywood, the teacher who led the sessions and whose children produced the following work)

I have placed a one-off lesson plan in the 'lesson plan' tab above, use and enjoy!