Media Matters

April 4, 2015

Media Meeting Dates 2015/2016

August 25, 2015
September 22, 2015
October - Conference
November 17, 2015
December 10, 2015
January 26, 2016
February 23, 2016
March 22, 2016
April 26, 2016
May 26, 2016

Digital natives still clamor for print materials

Ubiquitous as electronic reading material (be it books, magazines and newspapers) may seem to a gadget-obsessed populace, the present state of reading, and maybe even its near future, actually doesn’t appear so bleak for those pining for the tactile pleasure of cradling a printed book, feeling its heft, inhaling its pulpy aroma and scribbling in its narrow margins.

There is evidence, a growing murmur, of an e-book backlash, even among the so-called “digital natives” to whom all things analog is anathema.

Since 2013, six years after the release of the Kindle reader saw electronic downloads soar three-fold, e-book sales have flattened. Global revenue for print books last year was $53.9 billion; $8.4 billion for e-books, according to the Association of American Publishers. Research by Nielsen Books & Consumer showed printed books accounted for 67 percent of all sales (hardcover and paperback) in 2014. Among e-books’ 23 percent market share, the highest percentage came from the romance category (47 percent), the lowest in children’s (13 percent).

Textbook publishers also have been shifting toward digital, but Don Kilburn, president of Pearson, the world’s largest textbook publisher, recently told The Washington Post that the shift “doesn’t look like a revolution right now. It looks like an evolution, and it’s lumpy at best.”

Even millenials, who have never known a world without digital devices, have yet to strike the death knell for print. A 2014 survey by Scholastic Press showed that, among ages 6 to 17, 77 percent of respondents say the majority of books they read are in print form, and 65 percent of the same cohort say they prefer print to electronic books.

In her new book, “Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital Age” ($24.95; Oxford University Press, 320 pages), American University linguist Naomi S. Baron conducted peer-reviewed studies judging the comprehension, ease and enjoyment of reading among students. She reports students found it easier to concentrate when reading print, easier to annotate and more aesthetically pleasing. They talked of a “deeper” reading experience with printed matter, as opposed to “skimming rapidly” and employing the time-saving Ctrl-F key function to find key words. Baron calls such skimming “reading on the prowl,” in which students toggle back and forth between the book and email, social media and texting.

Baron quotes one student’s reason for rejecting deep reading on a screen, in favor of a book, as “Life itself is in hard copy. … You lose the beauty of the words behind the screen.” Students also told Baron there’s a sense of “unreality” to reading on a digital device. She quotes a Singapore secondary school student who read a popular novel on a tablet as saying: “I loved it so much I had to save up and buy this (hard copy). Holding it makes it more real.”

In academic settings, a study by Ziming Liu at San Jose State University found 89.4 percent of college students favor printed media, compared with 2.7 percent who prefer electronic media and 8 percent saying “either one is fine.” Liu quotes respondents as calling electronic reading “shallower” and says, “When (students) need to read some documents in depth, they will print out and then annotate printed documents.”

One reason for print’s enduring popularity may be physical. In a study of several thousand South Korean students, researcher Hanho Jeong of Chongshin University found that “participants had significantly greater eye fatigue after reading e-books than after reading p-books,” the contributing factor being the “lower luminance” of words appearing on a screen.

Beyond the data, it seems younger readers aren’t as turned off by having to hold a book, magazine or newspaper and having to physically turn a page as most assume.

In a quiet upper loft at CSUS’ student union, Jose Diaz, a junior majoring in criminal justice, sat with a hardcover textbook balanced on one knee, a ring-binder notebook on the other and his smartphone just beyond reach on the arm of his chair. “I honestly would rather go with physical books rather than e-books,” Diaz said. “When it comes to stuff that I really have to remember and get into, I need a, you know, real book. I mean, I do have one e-book for a class, but it makes it easier for me to have it physically present instead of doing the online thing. I’ll get distracted (on an e-reader), like, if I get a message. Right now, I was trying to look something up (on his smartphone) and I ended up checking my Instagram and killing time. So, yeah, it is a problem, distractions.”

Baron, in her research, found that 90 percent of students were more likely to multitask during on-screen reading as opposed to 1 percent of print readers who said they multitasked while reading. But for students like Erica Skowronski, a senior sociology major, buying e-textbooks is cheaper and more convenient because “I don’t have to lug around heavy books.”

However …

“Staring at a computer screen a lot, it’s hard to concentrate always,” she said. “It’s kind of annoying. You get tired. I usually buy physical books (to read for enjoyment). I do like going into bookstores. So I still buy them. There’s part of me that likes that.”

Some high school students, who use laptops and tablets provided by the school almost exclusively on campus, aren’t among the most digitally gung-ho. At Da Vinci Charter Academy, in Davis, junior Joel Pion owns a Kindle and finds it preferable when reading books that feature “choose your own adventure games” that have “levels and power” that can be accessed easier and displayed more vividly than in physical books. But when it comes to reading a novel or biography or an assignment for school, he says e-books fall short.

“A disadvantage of the Kindle I use,” Pion said, “is that if I want to check something from far back in the book it is difficult to get there quickly. Another disadvantage is that a Kindle can run out of battery. … (And e-books,) at least for me, don’t have the same dynamic as a book. A book allows for comparisons of two pages together, while in a Kindle you are locked to what is often only part of a page.”

Classmate Aviva North, a Da Vinci High senior, said if she wants to fully understand a work, she needs to read it in print. “Reading electronically doesn’t even feel like reading,” she said. “I always get distracted by emails, the news, or social media, so it takes me forever to read books or excerpts. Also I’m much less immersed. … Having a book where you can turn the pages and see how much progress you’re making feels so much more productive. I like being able to mark up books and take notes as I go for school assignments, and it’s a lot harder to do that electronically.”

For North and other “digital natives” who aren’t print-phobic, the prospect of a future in which physical books are little more than fossils denoting an earlier time, as Arnold depicted, is troubling.

“I’m starting college next year,” North exclaimed, “and I won’t be able to survive reading everything online.”

By Sam Mcmanis, The Sacramento Bee, March 25th, 2015 eSchool News, March 2015

NCCAT Summer Registration Open

NCCAT - All of you may want to attend NCCAT. It is a wonderful opportunity and all of my experiences at NCCAT have been wonderful.. Please consider attending.

Registration for summer professional development programs through the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) is now open. A variety of programs will be offered, including Digital Learning, Early Grades Literacy, Beginning Teachers, and Research and Development Teams. To view the calendar of programs, please visit Lodging and meals are provided. Participants are responsible for travel cost and substitute teaching fees. For more information on how to apply, visit

Learning Opportunity for SLMC's from NCDPI.

The Division of Digital Teaching and Learning’s latest installment of Library Media and Technology Tidbits may support your school library media coordinators and technology facilitators as they seek professional development to improve their practice: Please share. Thanks.

This would meet your goal : School library media coordinators link professional growth to their professional goals. School library media coordinators actively seek ongoing professional development to improve their practice and the effectiveness of the library media program. (Standard 5, Element B)

2015-16 EBOB Book List

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Summer Programs at Cabarrus County Public Libraries

I’m the Children’s Librarian at the Concord branch of the Cabarrus County Public Library, and I’m spearheading our county-wide Summer Reading Program. We are trying to get the word out about summer reading as much as possible, and I know that everyone with the library system would be very grateful for your help in promoting this program through your schools.

This year our program runs from June 15 through August 15, and it is open to all ages from birth through adulthood. We have separate programs for kids who aren’t yet reading (ages 0 to 3), juveniles ages 4 to 12, teens (12 through 18), and adults. Everyone who completes the program this year will receive a free book when they finish. The theme this year is all about heroes, and we’ll be hosting entertaining and educational performers and putting on fun, themed programs (Superheroes, a heroic zombie survival game, Wild West heroes, and many more) for all ages, all summer long.

We are currently working on promotional materials, hopefully including a short commercial that would air at some of your schools (currently in the developmental stages). But there’s much more we can do! In addition to paper promotional materials (like flyers and posters) and booking class tours, we can easily send library staff members to your school to:

-talk about the summer reading program and upcoming events (tailored to the age of your students)

-do book talks

-introduce some library resources, such as e-audio and e-books (great for students on vacation, accessible from anywhere)

-attend parent nights or other special programs

We are flexible, and we’ll work around what’s best for you and your school. If there’s something you’d like us to cover or a special event you’d be interested in having library staff attend, please ask! You can email me at this address or call me at 704-920-2059 to let me know what promotional resources and/or staff visits you would be interested in having.

Thank you,

Amanda Wilkerson

Text Complexity Versus Lexile Levels

“When do we need to read text closely?” asks author/consultant Stephanie Harvey in this article in Reading Today. When it’s complex. “To comprehend complex text,” she says, “readers need to slow down, consider what they know, ask questions, annotate, synthesize, think inferentially, and reread for clarification.” But Harvey cautions against using Lexile levels as the main criterion and forcing students to read too-difficult texts that aren’t conducive to good comprehension instruction. She cites several telling examples:

* J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has the almost same Lexile Level as Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. Why? Rowling uses long sentences, multisyllabic words, and made-up names while Hemingway’s prose is minimalist and requires us to stop, think, and infer what’s not said.

* Henry and Mudge is a beloved book among first and second graders, and its 460 Lexile rating compares to Sarah Plain and Tall’s 430 because of the repeated use of the word


* Tikki Tikki Tembo is a simple text with a Lexile level of 1090, and one of the most complex sentences in the English language, “To be or not to be, that is the question,” has a very low Lexile level.

* An article in United Hemisphere’s Magazine with an upper-elementary Lexile level says that humans kill about 73 million sharks a year. A fisherman in Palau makes $108 for catching a shark to make shark soup, whereas a shark left to live freely in a sanctuary adds nearly $2 million to that island’s tourist economy – which would seem to be a straightforward argument for not killing sharks. But the text becomes more complex – and more appropriate to close reading – when students learn that the average annual income of a fisherman in Palau is less than $1,000.

“It’s not merely the Lexile level,” says Harvey. “Complexity is borne from ideas, not words… If we want kids to be prepared for college, careers, and life, we need to engage them with true complexity. We need to help them distinguish between complex problems and simple ones, to look at the multifaceted nature of an issue and view it through different lenses. So let’s resist the urge to dumb down complexity to a Lexile level. Let’s excite kids with significant ideas and issues that permeate today’s world – and then give them the strategies they need to dig in and figure it out.”

“Digging Deeper: At Its Core, Close Reading Is Strategic Reading” by Stephanie Harvey in Reading Today, March/April 2015 (Vol. 32, #5, p. 30-31),; Harvey can be reached at