Please allow me to introduce myself .
For the past 29 years I have enjoyed being an elementary school teacher, and am excited to be the Literacy Coach for CFE this year. I am also an avid photographer, grandmother, and business partner. That's a lot of careers, but when you figure that I've been an educator for several decades (let's just say that bellbottoms, big hair, and add a bead necklaces were part of my early teaching wardrobe).
I love anything that has to do with teaching and learning. I truly believe that all children can learn and it's up to us to do whatever we can to help them succeed.
My position allows me to reach out to teachers and parents of all students at CFE. We can think through some of the biggest questions "out there" in the digital age, given that we have no official guidebook or roadmap. The world as we known it is changing too rapidly for the research to keep up with the trends and innovations! How much screen time is okay? Which apps have the most educational value? Is the time children spend reading a book that glows in the dark any less valuable than the time they would spend reading traditional books with you? And if it's not quite as beneficial, is it okay for children to read e-books once in a while when you're really, really busy?
Let's put our heads together and come up with a few guideposts for the educating children who some refer to as Generation Z, meaning children born between 1995 and the present. Believe it or not Gen Z is 46 million strong!.
For now, I'll tell of my experiences and give thumbs ups and thumbs down about digital tools — as well as more traditional ways to get children excited about reading and writing.
E-Books are great! I-Books, meaning those that are "i" for interactive, can be even better, especially if the activities deepen the plot or mood of the story. Often children can opt to have the books read aloud to them, with the text highlighted as they go. And while children can experience digital books on their own, a shared reading is so much richer. A shared reading allows you to ask "What do you think will happen next?" "What kind of a bear is a persnickety bear?" "Did anything like that ever happen to you?" Questions like these help children understand and interpret what they read, as well as give them extra practice with language. They also make reading even more fun.