Tue 2nd March 2004 - 23:00

Reading: An On-line Pleasure

Encouraging students to read a book is a task that gives more than a headache to some schoolteachers and parents. Different studies have proved that children would rather play with their computers than sit on a comfortable armchair and read a book. Although, Internet seems to be giving answers to this problem: Interactive books, a wide offer of multiple reading resources and insertion of ludic activities are some of the features hypertext and multimedia have brought to help stimulating reading. Children can sit now in front of the computer and get the pleasure of reading a book.

Many web-based resources promote both reading and writing literacy. We have collected some examples, among many others, of networks and initiatives, that might help to keep promoting these on-line skills.

· Educnet: Hypermédia et apprentissage provided by the French Ministry of Education, has a collection of reports about the impact of hypermedia on reading and writing skills and new modes of reading, writing and creating.

· Reading is Fundamental, UK is an initiative of the National Literacy Trust that helps children and young people (aged 0 to 19) to realise their potential by motivating them to read, promoting the fun of reading, pointing out the importance of book election and the benefits of having books at home. This project provides motivational activities, opportunities for family and community, and free books for children. The National Literacy Trust carries out the National Reading Campaign, which gives on-line resources and links to websites about children's books and reading

· The Italian Culture On the Net, ICON was created by the Italian Educational Ministry, and is an example of an on-line library . Like most on-line libraries it provides resources to reach the world of literature.

· The site of the Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes is another example of the possibilities on-line libraries give to encourage reading skills.

· The Storybookweb, a site of the Scottish NGfL provides a collection of activities to support early literacy and numeracy skills for children aged 5-8 years. Based on popular children's stories, the website contains clips of the authors, and reading excerpts telling how they get their ideas for writing.

· Gridclub an initiative of Channel 4 television. The site holds different activities to encourage children to read.

· The Teacher Tap is a professional development resource that helps educators address common technology integration questions by providing practical on-line resources and activities. It holds Electronic Books and On-line Reading, which explores interactive stories, articles, and books. It involves readers in writing by letting them come up with new endings, create illustrations, and facilitating discussions. It also holds the Literature Learning Ladders, which encourages active reading through book-technology connections and provides links to resources.

· The École Jean de la Fontaine, a French school, is an example of the activities done in schools. It presents on the web their reading and writing project.

· The Ideal European Library is an example of an European project, awarded in the Comenius Week 2003, devoted to enhance reading and writing skills of children. Children from 5 countries chose their ideal library.

· Los cuentos de Ika Bremer is an example of a personal initiative. The site presents attractive interactive stories for children to read.

· Le site de la petite souris is devoted to first grade teachers. It provides worksheets for each reading activity and the option to produce particular attractive reading worksheets, with a gallery of images, different tales and songs as well as pedagogical clues.

· LIS, proposes a trip to the youthful literature. To make the trip a novel must be chosen and, to make it more interesting, the reader is asked an enigma which has to be solved in order to continue reading.

· Clicksouris provides interactive stories, games, reading workshops and poetry for children.

· Big Books from Nature Grid, an example of interactive books to be read on-line.

· Kids on the Net this site apart from encouraging reading offers activities to enhance creative writing.

During our contest "Reading On-line" we've collected many other experiences and webpages. You can read the summary and check the links our participants gave us by clicking here.

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