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E-reader device encourages young Slatington students

Published July 02. 2011 09:02AM

Welcome to the wave of the future.

For students at Slatington Elementary, the world is readily at their fingertips thanks to a Nook color device.

The Nook Color is a color version of the Nook e-reader device. It is a 7-inch tablet with full-color multitiouch touch-screen input designed for full-color viewing of books, newspapers, magazines and children's picture books.

Kristie Borger, a Title I Reading Specialist at Slatington Elementary, said the district was able to utilize Title I funds to purchase the Nook colors.

Borger said 32 Nook colors eight per grade level have been purchased for students in grades 3-6.

"We wanted to get kids excited about reading," Borger said. "To get kids to pick up a book is the hardest part."

Borger said the devices have made students more willing to read.

"As a reading teacher, for me, you always have reluctant readers, and they love it," she said. "They're loving reading."

Just ask third-grader Cory Brezinskey, who seemed rather excited to use his new learning device.

"It's good because we don't have to pick up a book," said Cory, 9. "It's like a book."

Fellow third-grader Brandon Lamon appeared equally impressed with the Nooks features.

"It has a lot of books on it," said Brandon, 8. "And, we don't have to go to the library."

Third-grader Angelina Romito went a step further.

"You can go on Google, and look at the different kinds of web sites," said Angelina, 9. "And, you don't have to look at the dictionary to look up words."

Borger said the students can't get enough of their newest educational tool.

"This has really done a lot to get kids interested in reading," she said. "I actually have kids begging me to read another novel."

Technology devices such as the Nook Color represent a new trend to help students learn.

"This is the way we'd like go to; this is the way kids are learning now," she said. "We're trying to find more grant money."

Borger said the devices have had quite an impact on the students.

"The kids are really benefiting from getting technology in their hands," she said. "They just took to it."

Several benefits associated with the Nooks include up-to-date reference material; bookmarking, highlighting and annotating are several built-in features that students don't have available to them in a traditional text; with one touch of a word, students have access to a pronunciation and dictionary definition; and lower level students can read books independently with the "read to me" feature.

Students can also use the e-book to do an author study; look online to see all of the different books written by the author, see the cover of it, and read a synopsis. Students can also choose to download one of the books, read a sample of the book, or find the book in the library, and the e-book can be connected to a projector and displayed on the board as a "big book" for all of the students to follow along together.

Also, the Nooks hold about 1500 e-books on 2GBs of internal storage; the Nook can be read in direct sunlight with minimal to no glare; and unknown words can be looked up using the built-in dictionary.

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