Friday, October 2, 2009

Vooks In the Classroom and Beyond

Books with pop-up videos create a new reading experience, and are finding their way into schools. Called Vooks (Video+Books=Vooks) can be read on computers, iphones, iPods, and online. While some experts contend that Vooks, multimedia books, are necessary to lure young readers accustomed to working interactively, others fear the new format forebodes the end of the reading experience as we once knew it. In addition to video feeds, social network tools are also finding intertwined with Vooks.

For instance, HarperCollins has added to its young adult mystery series "The Amanda Project" (check it out) the opportunity for readers to discuss plot hints with one another via an online discussion group, and plans to incorporate readers' comments into character and plot development in future books, making young readers collaborators in the authoring of the book.

The verdict on books with video clips, social networkings features, music loops, and other embedded media is mixed. Read more about the possibilities and responses to it at this article from the Oct.1, 2009 New York Times: "Curling Up with Hybrid Books, Video Included." Within 24 hours, the article had over 100 comments posted. Check the comment section after reading the article to see how readers have responded to the news. Also, check's article, video included, at: "What is a Vook and Will It Change the Way You Read?"

What do you see as the potential of Vooks in the educational setting? Will Vooks be welcomed in schools? What do you think will be the reaction of educational reading experts? Some are quoted in the New York Times article. Do you believe that hybrid books are a wave of the future that educators can't deny and need to embrace?

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Kim G said...

First, I have to say this article peaked my interest, however, I was unable to open the NY Times article.
I was able to check out the Amanda Project. It appears to be a very interactive and engaging site. And I'm sure it would be highly beneficial for its target audience. I could see the benefits of VBooks for upper middle and high school students.
Without reading the article I admit that my first reaction to this type of book is that students need to learn to read text that may not have all the bells and whistles to hold their attention. As an elementary teacher, I have difficulty seeing this type of book in my classroom where I have many reluctant readers. I think that we need to foster a reading environment that motivates students to read and gives them a purpose for that reading. They need to be able to read (decode) and comprehend ALL genres of text regardless of their interest. This is a difficult task facing elementary educators. An interactive VBook may help to motivate students in the beginning but as with other things, it will grow old. And what happens when a student who has learned to read with VBooks is faced with the task of reading an old fashioned textbook? Will they be successful or bored?

I would love to read this article!

Judy said...

Kim, try again to access the NYT article.

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