Fredericton - In Fredericton, New Brunswick, sixteen students (eight in 5th grade and eight in 7th grade) enrolled in a French immersion program in School District 8 have been reading eBooks since February 2010 and then sharing their impressions of reading within a literary circle.
The eBook, also called an electronic book reader, e-reader or ebook, is a physical medium that allows you to store and read digital books, or the electronic version of a printed book. The eBook used by the Fredericton students is a Sony Reader PSR-300.
Chantale Cloutier, responsible for French immersion literacy, and Monique McMinniman, grade 7 teacher, are responsible for the pilot project. They admit that they had some difficulty with the devices initially, especially in transferring digital books from the computer to the eBooks. “Sony does not allow more than six eBooks per computer. So we had to use three different computers and buy the books three times. Now that we know how to do it, everything is working fine, ”says Ms. Cloutier.
According to her, the main challenge of the project is to find content in French; children's novels in digital version are still rare. Nevertheless, she stays the course: “Students love digital books”.
The two officials have already noticed a "huge increase" in motivation to read among students. They study at two different schools in School District 8: Liverpool Street School (primary) and Bliss Carman Middle School (secondary).
To complete the reading component, they have created a wiki site where students can post comments on their readings and participate in discussions. “Students do other activities such as literary circles, Jeopardy play and so on, all through technology and digital boards. Nothing is done with paper and pencil, ”says Ms. Cloutier.
“We are very satisfied with the results so far,” she adds. Moreover, the two officials already hope to open the project to more students and offer it to other schools.
To be continued…
By Martine Rioux