Last fall when we went on a trip Randi finished the book that she was reading but hadn't had time to go by the library or bookstore to get a new book. She complained several times during the trip that she wished she had a new book to read. When it came time to purchase her a Christmas present, I was reminded of that trip and how she would have loved the idea of having a new book right then. I decided to invest in a Nook. If anyone deserved one, she did. I didn't know if she would really love a Nook because I've always hesitated for myself because I really like the feel of a book, but I thought, with two little kids, the ease of carrying the Nook along with the other hundreds of things that you have to carry for children might be appealing.
I think Randi was thrilled with the gift and that could be the end of the story, but it's really only the beginning. Randi is also a teacher. When I purchased the Nook for her I never really thought about how it could be used in the classrom, but Randi is a child of her generation and technology is just a part of her everyday life. I do know, as a teacher, that I am always looking for picture books to read to my class - ones that are recommended in curriculum resources, or another book by an author that the children have really engaged with, or a book on a certain research topic or Science of Social Studies theme. I am always going to the school and public library or going by the book store on the way home to see if I can find something that I'm looking for special. Occasionally I find what I want, but more often than not it has be ordered - which, of course, takes a few days. By the time it comes in, the moment I needed it has passed. I never want it in just a few days. I always want the book that very minute! So, I guess it should be no surprise that Randi started downloading picture books on her Nook to share with her class. She just slips the book under the document camera - no special hook up - and uses the Nook for read alouds or just a passage from a book to teach a Skills lesson or a mini-lesson for Readers' or Writers' Workshop. She stores and organizes the books right there on the Nook, buying them for a third of the cost of actually buying the book.
Last year she actually used the Nook for her teacher observation and so today, our Principal, using her as an example, gave away two new Nooks to classrooms in our school! I can't wait to see how these tech savvy teachers find other ways to use the Nook in their classrooms. In a perfect world, I would have Nooks for every classroom at my school. A Nook in every classroom would go a long way in providing the variety and depth of literature that children need. In a perfect world every child would learn to LOVE reading and would hear lots and lots of wonderful stories every single day. Anyone have a suggestion on how to make that dream a reality?