Using electronic books to engage young readers
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Electronic books offer a fun, interactive, multimedia rich approach to sharing stories with children. Although teaching reading has traditionally focused on using conventional printed books, there is a growing shift towards interactive reading approaches, some of which may incorporate digital media. Accompanied by a variety of interactive features such as animation, sound effects, hyperlinked vocabulary, hidden hotspots and gradual revelation of text – e-books have the potential to further involve young learners in the reading process. While some studies highlight the impact of using electronic storybooks for independent learning purposes (e.g. Moody, 2010), this article explores ideas on how teachers can create and use electronic books with a whole class using the shared reading approach. E-books have the potential to be motivating, challenging and a colourful visual resource in the primary school classroom – use them to increase children’s interest, involvement and understanding of stories.