Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Session 3: Let's Make Literacy Accessible for All!

I promised myself this morning that I wouldn't attend any sessions that mentioned the words "PowerPoint, "Office," or "Inspiration." Not because the programs are bad, but because conferences like this are often beyond saturated with sessions that show how to use those programs. I want something more.

So now I'm sitting here waiting for this session about PowerPoint (Presented by Jeanne Noorisa and Marsye Kaplan) to start. Why? Because it's about making books. Now that's just cool.

Hm, this is the first session I've been to all day that actually has a handout. Using three sessions isn't much of a sample size, but it seems like we're moving from dead tree handouts to digital ones - a welcome change.

This session's al about "talking books," which are more or less digital presentations that include text, images, and audio components. They're created to help students that have mental, physical, or motivational reasons why they can't always enjoy paper books.

With those requirements in place, the rest is totally up to you. You don't even have to make the book yourself, since your students can create their own books to enjoy. I'm imagining my students creating a story, then having each kid illustrate a different page which they will then read into a microphone.

Hm, she's focussing mostly on Windows. I'm not surprised, since that's what most people use. This stuff will all work with Mac anyway.

Ah, she's touching on copyright - there's a copyright law amendment that allows teachers to make multimedia copies of books for students with disabilities. If your students fit into that category then remixing an existing book is fair game.

Tricks to make the books better:
  • Time delays to prevent "happy clickers" from fast forwarding to the end of the book.
  • A back button so students can read previous pages.
  • Include pictures to go with the words to help beginning readers. (She used a program called "Boardmaker Plus," but I found a website called Phrasr that does something similar.
More Talking Books:
(I'll add these later)

... what, no Flickr: Creative Commons or YoToPhoto?

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