Students and teachers at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School are using tablet computers, smart phones and social media to encourage young people to read more books.
Students use an iPad to record short video reviews called Banting Book Talks, which are uploaded to Banting’s YouTube channel. A QR code containing a link to the video is created and then attached to the cover of the book.
Students who pick up the book can simply scan the code with a smartphone or other device and go directly to the student review.
“The idea is to try to entice other students to select books that they may enjoy reading,” said teacher-librarian Martha Grandmont. “Students are participating because it’s fun and voluntary. And they see the value in helping other students enjoy reading.”
History teacher Bill McKeown, who believes it is a “good mix of literacy, technology and student engagement,” first pitched the idea.
The Book Talks project is currently limited to just three classes. “We’d like to see this project expand in second semester,” Grandmont said. “We think it’s really going to take off.”
There is reason for such optimism, as students outside of the pilot classes are asking to be a part of the initiative.
The Book Talks have received rave reviews from parents, as well.
Principal Paula Greenberg recalls a recent encounter with a parent, who “immediately started talking about the project. Her son, who she didn’t see as overly fond of reading, suddenly wanted to take part in the project.”
Book Talks are produced in English and French, depending on the language of the book, to further develop a culture of reading at Banting.
You can see Banting Book Talks on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/bantinglibrary.
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