April is National Library month and I could not let this special month slip by with out sharing the story of how the DEN inspired one librarian to use her iPad to excite children about reading. This past January I had the pleasure of attending a Day Of Discovery with Dottie Smay, a librarian at Shorecrest Preparatory School. Dottie is the epitome of a Discovery Educator. She loves to learn and share that learning with others. If you ever want to be inspired to read, all you have to do is attend one of Dottie’s daily book talks. Dottie always finds creative ways to make children want to read, but this time she out did herself, and it all started with sharing ideas at a DEN event.
During an app sharing session Steve Dembo shared Aurasma, a great augmented reality app that allows you to create an aura that makes a picture look like it comes alive with something called an aura. After Steve shared the Aurasam app, Dottie also shared another augmented reality app for books called Imag-N-O-Tron,which had been taught to her by fellow librarian Courtney Walker.
What is the point of this story? The point is that sharing is what the DEN is all about. One simple act of sharing an app inspired a librarian to use augmented reality with her book talks. Using Aurasma Dottie hid auras all through the book , “The Five ChineseBrothers” by Claire Huchet Bishop. Dottie shared the book by placing it under her ipad which she used as a document camera. Next, Dottie invited the students to use the Aurasma app to see the hidden aura. The students loved making the auras appear with Dottie’s iPad. However, Dottie wasn’t done sharing, she then taught her students how to use the Aurasma app to make their own auras. The students were so inspired that Dottie is hoping to create a special book club next year where students will create auras for books in our school library. Dottie’s idea is to have students make auras for certain pages of their favorite book. These specially augmented books could be marked with an augmented reality sticker and placed in a special area where students could read the book and enjoy the special auraswith their iPads as they read the story.
In my opinion, this is a great way to blend 21st Century technology with reading. The students at our school are lucky to have librarians who know how to blend technology with books to create excitement and passion for reading.