For a number of years, pupils have been asking if I could stock e-books in the school library. I was keen to do this, but was experiencing problems with the technology required to access them, and I wasn’t sure where to purchase books from. When the opportunity arose to become a part of the RM Books/NLT study it seemed too good an opportunity to miss, and the ideal way to pilot e-books in this school.
An S1 class was chosen at random to participate, and contains pupils with a wide range of different reading abilities and experiences. I also used a different class as a control group. As we don’t routinely collect data on pupils’ reading ages, this was the first task. The data was very revealing, and has proved useful when guiding readers from both classes towards their next book. Having this data has meant that I have been able to purchase titles from RM Books specifically for the abilities in the participating class, which was really quick using the filter facility.
All pupils also completed a survey about their reading habits before starting reading. Again, the results of this were very interesting, and will influence my planning of future literacy initiatives.
So far, pupils have responded well, and have enjoyed the novelty of using their phones and iPads in class. The study will run until May. If successful, pupils across the school will be offered the opportunity to use e-books. (Shona Page, Librarian, Forfar Academy.)