Technology is the new approach facing today’s teachers. SmartBoards, eMINTS, the Internet, iPods, digital cameras, digital video cameras, YouTube, TeacherTube and blogs have all found a home in the schoolhouse, especially elementary schools. The days of sending kids to computer class are dying, being replaced with computers on student desks.
One particular form of technology is particularly suited for literacy: the interactive CD. Capstone Press recently sent some graphic novels from their Graphic Library series complete with these interactive CD’s. I popped one into the computer and was blown away. I knew, right then, that I had to share these. They will not replace books or graphic novels, but can and will enhance the classroom learning environment, especially for struggling readers and those with many types of disabilities.
I contacted Jill Braithwaite, Product Planning Director of Capstone Press and she agreed to an interview, which is reproduce in its entirety here.
If you are looking for new ways to engage students in learning, I suggest you seriously consider the Graphic Library series of books and interactive CD’s either for your school library or classroom library. They are high quality products and are Highly Recommended by THE GRAPHIC CLASSROOM.
THE INTERVIEWTell me about Capstone's Interactive CD's. How do they work?
In Spring 2007, Capstone began offering multimedia interactive versions of some of our books. The various series available have different features, and all offer audio read-aloud of the text. The Interactive books for early primary students include word-by-word highlighting—a fantastic early literacy support. Interactive books from the Graphic Library series have animation and sound effects. When you use the Autoplay feature, the book plays on its own, with each panel highlighting and being read aloud as you progress through the book. You can also play it page by page, or start a page over, and the audio can be turned off if desired.
The Capstone Interactive CD’s are incredibly simple to use. You just pop them into a PC or Mac, and the Interactive book launches. It’s a Flash file, with simple navigation. System requirements are as follows: for PC, Windows 98 or later, with Pentium II 450MHz or faster processor; for Mac, OS Xv10.1.x or later, with PowerPC G3 500MHZ or faster processor.
We’ve currently got 64 titles available in the Interactive format, with 32 more coming in March 2008. The Interactive books are also now available as a subscription, either on an installed local network or web-hosted. Contact customer service at 1-800-747-4992 or visit www.capstonepress.com
for more information.What is in it for a teacher? Why would a teacher want to buy these interactive CD’s?
The Interactive CD’s are great for reading together, on a SmartBoard or similar device. Students can follow along as the book is read aloud and, in the graphic nonfiction, the panels animate. The audio, together with the matching art, reinforces content comprehension and literacy skills. All titles correlate to key curriculum topics, so they're a fantastic, engaging, and fresh way to kick off or enhance a classroom unit. They're also super fun for students as recreational reading.Does a teacher need both the books and the CD’s?
Most librarians and teachers like to have both the books and CD’s, but the CD’s work great without the books.What titles are available on the Interactive CD?
See attached. Thirty-two more titles will be available in March 2008, including eight Graphic Library titles, four of which are from the Graphic Science series.Why did Capstone decide to create the Interactive CD’s
Capstone is passionately committed to reading success for all students. We're always looking for new ways to support literacy development and to foster a love of reading among students. We've done that for years with a wide variety of hi/lo nonfiction books. Now we're bringing our expertise in supporting reading success to a new electronic format. Our books have always been great tools for helping English language learners improve literacy and comprehension, and the audio feature makes them even more effective for ELL's (English Language Learners).How do you see the CD’s fitting into the typical fifth grade classroom?
They're a great addition to any classroom library, both for recreational reading and for curriculum-related reading. Teachers can use them on a SmartBoard or similar device. Students follow along as the book is read aloud and, in the graphic nonfiction, the panels animate. The audio, together with the matching art, reinforces content comprehension and literacy skills. All titles correlate to key curriculum topics, so they're a fantastic, engaging, and fresh way to kick off or support a classroom unit. They're also super fun for students as recreational reading.Are they popular? Have teachers picked up on them yet?
When our sales reps demonstrate them, or we show them at trade shows, the most common response is "Wow, that's so cool. My kids will love these." Interest in these products is quickly growing among librarians, teachers, literacy coaches, ELL coordinators, Title I coordinators, special education teachers, and other educators. They’re hot!How does a teacher get these titles? Can they buy them straight from your site? Can they buy them individually or as a series?
To purchase the Interactive CD’s or subscription service, educators can contact customer service at 1-800-747-4992 or visit www.capstonepress.com
for more information. They can also request that a sales rep visit them to demo the Interactive CD’s. The CD’s can be purchased individually or as a series. If a customer purchases both the CD and its print companion together, they receive a 20% discount.Is it cheaper to buy the titles as a series?
There’s no extra discount for buying a whole series, but when you purchase the CD and print companion together, whether for 1 title or all 64, you’ll receive a 20% discount.
THE INTERACTIVE TITLES
Capstone offers Interactive CD’s for many of their titles, however I am only going to list those that are in the Graphic Library series.Grahic Biographies:
Jackie RobinsonGraphic History:
Boston Tea Party
Salem Witch Trial
Sinking of the TitanicGraphic Science:
Adventures in Sound with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
A Crash Course in Forces and Motion with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
A Journey into Adaptation with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
Lessons in Science Safety with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
The Shocking World of Electricity with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
Understanding Photosynthesis with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
The World of Food Chains with Max Axiom, Super Scientist
CONTACT INFORMATION & LINKS
For more information about the Graphic Library series of graphic novels, the interactive CD’s, or to set up a demonstration of the interactive CD’s contact:Capstone Press Customer Service
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