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Keeping the Learning Going At Home: Digital Libraries - Bringing your local library home


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In this series, specially written for Independent.ie, the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) offers some valuable pointers to parents across a range of different learning areas.

In this series, specially written for Independent.ie, the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) offers some valuable pointers to parents across a range of different learning areas.

In this series, specially written for Independent.ie, the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) offers some valuable pointers to parents across a range of different learning areas.

In this series, specially written for Independent.ie, the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) offers some valuable pointers to parents across a range of different learning areas.

PDST is a Department of Education and Skills support service.

With parents and kids missing their trips to the local library, the latest edition provides lots of ideas about where to access the vast, and growing, array of reading material for children available on online, along with tips about how to create their own digital books.

In previous weeks, the PDST shared tips on how to make the most out of reading time, how to support children in developing digital storytelling, how to keep happy, healthy and learning movement skills and how to measure a minute.

Digital Libraries- Bringing your local library home

"Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life." (Sidney Sheldon)

For many adults and children, libraries have traditionally been places of relaxation, learning and discovery. An escape from the busy world and a place to foster adventure, imagination, curiosity and creativity. During current restrictions limit the physical act of going to a library. However the digital world can provide an opportunity to continue and enhance the traditional benefits of libraries.

A digital library can provide users with a wide range of resources from digital books and audiobooks to digital and online newspapers and magazines. There is access to ranges of genres for all ages and abilities. Irish public libraries offer a wide range of services online. Through Libraries Ireland, it is possible to borrow from over 12 million items. The new ‘Home School Gems’ section for children provides unlimited availability to many popular publications.

There are many online providers of digital books for children. World Book online is free to access through Scoilnet.ie and has over 2,500 books to choose from. Some other widely used online options include, Collins Big Cat, Oxford Owl, Vooks, and GetEpic. Many of these digital books have read aloud and interactive features, which are particularly useful for younger readers at home.

Digital books are also available ‘as Gaeilge’ from online sources such as Séideán Sí, Leighleat, agus Róbó.

If children have limited access to devices at home adults can avail of free printable books online. Making a book is a great way to foster a love of reading in children. DLTK-Teach.com is an example of a site that offers a wide range of printable mini-books in a variety of themes. This is a great activity for young readers and a way for them to create their own mini library at home.

Create a digital book!

The task of creating a digital book is one that children derive great enjoyment and satisfaction from. This is a great activity to do at home and even very young children can create a book. Making digital books is easy and helps give a voice and an audience to children. There are many different free resources available online. Bookcreator, WriteReader and Storyjumper are popular options that are available on the web or as an app. These digital book creation apps take traditional books a step further, combining text with audio and visual elements to make students' publications multimodal. Start by brainstorming topics, characters, and settings. Then collect photos as story enhancers or even story starters. For younger children collect photos or drawings of their "favourites", such as favourite toys, foods or places. They then have to explain the images and share the reasons why these are their favourites. These books can then be printed or published online for all the family to access and keep for life!

Links to resources

Libraries Ireland: https://www.librariesireland.ie/

World Book Online (through scoilnet):https://www.scoilnet.ie/

Collins Big Cat: https://collins.co.uk/

Oxford Owl: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/

Vooks: https://www.vooks.com/

GetEpic: https://www.getepic.com/

Seidean Si: https://www.seideansi.ie/

Leigh Leat: http://www.leighleat.com/#h3

Robo: http://robo.ie/

Printable Books: https://www.dltk-teach.com/

Bookcreator: https://bookcreator.com/

WriteReader: https://www.writereader.com/en

Storyjumper: https://www.storyjumper.com/

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