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Women's History Month inspires kids in so many different ways. Here are two modern women that our kids look up to: author Jennifer Holm, and soccer star Alex Morgan. Each of these women gives the message to all our kids: you can follow your dreams and become whoever you want to be.
Madeline honors Alex Morgan, an American soccer player and Olympic gold medalist. Madeline was so excited to try out using Animoto -- and I'm really excited to learn about a new sport hero our girls admire.
I just learned that Alex Morgan is writing a new series perfect for kids in 4th through 6th grade: Booklist writes of the first Kicks installment, Saving the Team:
U.S. women’s soccer team player and Olympic medalist Morgan’s enthusiasm for the game is evident throughout this light and lively contemporary read. Though there are some predictable story elements, Devin is an appealing protagonist whose peppy first-person narrative incorporates abundant soccer details, along with familiar themes of making friends and the value of teamwork.
Stay tuned for my Animoto showing all the great posters that students have made. Thanks very much for celebrating Women's History Month with Emerson students!
If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.
Here are two more great projects celebrating women that our students admire -- both have strong roots in the Bay Area as well as national garden movement.
Kaiyah honors her mom, Kelly Carlisle, founder of Acta Non Verba, a youth urban farm project in East Oakland. Kaiyah was particularly excited to try out using Animoto, and she did a terrific job combining bold text and pictures. Watch her Animoto by clicking through:
Bella honors Alice Waters, chef and activist. Our students at Emerson have loved having a school garden, a project that Waters has been particularly instrumental in spreading throughout the Berkeley schools.
Did you notice how Bella included her photo credits on the last slide? This made my librarian heart smile -- here's a student really incorporating Digital Citizenship lessons. Hooray!
These are the first digital projects that these students have done. I love how they've ventured into this new way of presenting information. If you have a chance, they would love to hear what you think about their projects. Leave a comment below if you can!
This month’s free download plus a bonus title free until Easter – Two freebies for the Easter season from Christian Audio:
Normal Christian Life, by Watchman Nee, narrated by Paul Michael. This month’s free download is a 7 Hrs. 45 Min. classic work which unfolds the path of Christian faith and presents the eternal purpose of God in simple terms
A Spiritual Formation Primer, by Richella Parham, narrated by Karyn O’Bryant. This two-hour audio lays out the basics of Christian spiritual formation, free until Easter.
Emerson students are having so much fun creating projects to celebrate amazing women this month. Some are researching pop stars, others are celebrating their mothers or teachers. I'm excited to share two digital ways to create projects.
Animoto is an easy-to-use online video creation site that you can use to create short, dynamic slide shows. Kids love the music and movement. I love that you can add just a few words with the images to really communicate your ideas. Plus, it's free (for short videos)!
Here's an Animoto I created to celebrate Gabby Douglas, Olympic champion:
Our 4th and 5th graders are also learning how to use their school Google accounts, and some are taking the challenge to create a Google Presentation. Again, they love using images! For many kids, this is much easier than creating a poster board.
Here's an example I created about Jane Goodall. I really tried to show the kids how one simple picture with a short caption can communicate a lot of what you admire about a person. We talk about how this presentation doesn't have much of a conclusion, that I could have put in more of my own ideas.
I just read the book app Love and I think that it is amazing. Why I think that because I love how the company that made the app have a lot of interactive features but not too much interactive items that the reader wouldn’t get distracted from the book. This book app is about a girl who gets taken to an orphanage because her parents left and she has no relatives. And when she goes to the orphanage none of the other kids play with her just because she is ugly. But one day the manager of the orphanage almost kicks her out of the orphanage.
She didn't have any relatives.
I also really like the layout of this book app especially because of the transitions. Why I love the transitions of this book app is because you have to figure out how to turn the page, you don’t just swipe your finger and it turns the the page, you have to tap certain objects or you have to swipe the flaps in.
I think that the moral of the story is that even if someone looks different it doesn’t mean that they don’t have a kind heart or that they don’t deserve friends. And that you should always treat people the way you want to be treated.
In conclusion I think Love is a great book app because it is a great story,it has interactive features, and it has a great moral too. This book app is great for all ages (even grownups!). Why this book is for all ages is because it is heartfelt, interactive, and it has a great story structure.
Do you want to learn more? Watch this video trailer:
Thanks, Emily! I really enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this. It's especially interesting how much you enjoyed having to "figure out how to turn the page". I agree that the moral of the story really shines through in this story.
The review copy of the app came from our home library. We purchased it after reading about the BolognaRagazzi Digital Awards in the excellent journal Children's Technology Review.
Emerson students have been so excited to share their projects on amazing women. I just love the way they're celebrating women who inspire them. Over the next week, I'd like to share several projects.
Orion was inspired by learning about Jane Goodall, through the Jane Goodall Institute and Patrick McDonnel's wonderful book Me, Jane. He worked with his parents to create a wonderful Animoto
-- click through to watch it.
Mykeia created a Google Presentation about Fantasia Bronno, an amazing winner of American Idol.
One of the things I've loved about this project is how excited the kids are to find out about these women and share their information in new and interesting ways. Because it isn't a required project, it's more fun to do! And, they've learned great presentation skills, while having fun.
If you see any projects that you like, it would mean a whole lot to our Emerson students if you left a quick note. Thanks so much learning about these great women --
YA author superstar, Nerdfighter & Booklist alumni Green has the solution to Back to School blues – this inspiring video ode to the value of public education. Perfect as I set off for a new day and new year in my school library. Thanks, John, for making my first day back AWESOME!
Nine free audiobook downloads – classics & current favorites. Load up your MP3 player or phone with these goodies!
From Random House Audio: The “Try Audiobooks” promotion has something for every type of audiobook listener – and their promotional ideas are a great model for libraries to replicate . Grab A Week in Summer by Maeve Binchy; The Cult of the Garage by Chip Heath & Dan Heath; Clan Rathskeller by Kevin Hearne; Lee Child’s Second Son, read by his partner in crime Dick Hill; and Jack London’s classic The Call of the Wild, read by Luke Daniels, the tile that inspired my Voices in My Head column “It’s on the Tip of My Tongue.” Here’s the promotion’s website where you can download all five: http://www.tryaudiobooks.com/
From Naxos Audio: Two free classic downloads. The Call of the Wild read by William Roberts will gives you a chance to compare how two different fine narrators can interpret a title when paired with the Random House freebie, plus Northanger Abbey beautifully read by Juliet Stevenson. Naxos also has a free nonfiction children’s title, Famous People in History, Volume 1, along with a supplemental informational booklet. Grab all three here: http://www.naxosaudiobooks.com/m4b.htm
And this month’s free download from Christian Audio is The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and John & Elizabeth Sherrill, read by Paul Michael – still a best-seller fifty years after its first publication. Click here to download.
What are the Top 100 audiobooks of 2013 as measured by library downloads? OverDrive Media released a list of the most popular audios downloaded so far this year. In this post on the company’s blog, libraries can take a look at the complete list in the OverDrive Marketplace, to beef up the audiobook collection. Or just click on the image above to read the list for yourself. I noticed plenty of the usual suspects – blockbuster bestsellers, novels turned into current movies, popular YA crossovers – and one surprise, Wheat Belly. But there are also titles that I’ve never heard of – I suspect these are the uber popular Romance titles that drive library downloads, a category that isn’t my strong suit. The titles aren’t ranked by number of downloads, so no one title can take the top dog honors. But take a look – you’ll find lots of great listening, and a good tool for library promotions & marketing!
“New Sounds, Old Voices“, written by Jacob Mikanowski in this week’s New Yorker, holds interest for recording techies and audiobook historians alike. Mikanowski follows the research path of Carl Haber, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and winner of the MacArthur genius grant for his work on sound restoration. Haber and his team have developed a technology which can more or less photograph the earliest methods of recording sound and translate into digital audio – from disintegrating wax cylinders to the phonautograph, or “speech writer.” The most interesting part of the article, for me, is Haber’s work with Milman Parry’s recordings – here’s a quote form the article (and you can see the inspiration for ALA’s Odyssey Award):
Since receiving the MacArthur grant, Haber has been working on restoring a collection of sounds that might shed light on the origins of the Western literary tradition. In 1933, a young Harvard scholar named Milman Parry travelled to Yugoslavia in hopes of solving the Homeric Question: How were the Iliad and the Odyssey composed? Classicists had debated for over a century whether the epics were written by a single, literate author or improvised in stages by numerous musicians and bards elaborating on a series of set themes. Parry believed that the answer could be uncovered by analyzing the work of living bards, mainly found among Bosnia’s Muslims, who still sang tales of heroes and wars, especially during the thirty nights of Ramadan.
Check out free streaming video & audiobooks from your library and enjoy on Roku. OverDrive will roll out its free Roku channel later this year, and those attending the PLA Conference can have a sneak preview March 11-15 in Indianapolis. Here’s a quote from the full press release:
Libraries and schools that have MP3 audiobooks and Streaming Video through OverDrive will have their library’s available titles in the new Roku channel. After registering their library card number in the initial visit, users simply choose the OverDrive channel from the Roku menu, select their library, and borrow Streaming Videos and audiobooks that their library has available for checkout.
Nice! Hope that Apple TV and Chromecast get similat treatment, as well.
The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, is available as a free iTunes app from L.A. Theatre Works. Download this free app to any Apple device, and enjoy not only the full play, but also the entire text so you can read it standalone or follow along with the audio. The app also includes an interview with director Michael Hackett, Professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA as well as pop-up annotations that follow the audio. The production stars James Marsters as Jack, Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell, and Emily Bergl as Cecily. A must-have for any educational drama program!
The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale), written by Michael J. Sullivan & narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, is a free short story download from Audible. This hour-long production will give you a stand-alone introduction to Sulivan’s action-packed epic fantasy world.
More options for audio. Findaway World, the parent company of Playaway, has partnered with the 3M Cloud Library to offer 40,000 eAudiobook titles though 3M’s established library download interface & app, and all eAudio titles will be compatible on all devices. This new enhancement to the 3M Cloud Library will debut at the American Library Assoication’s PLA division conference in Indianapolis next week. Find out more on this press release.
6 million more audiobooks were sold in 2012 than were sold in 2011, representing a 13.5% increase in revenue reported by the publishers who shared data for both 2011 and 2012. The sales growth can be attributed in part to the fact that the total number of titles published in 2012 in the audio format has nearly doubled year over year. The format is thriving with the widest selection of titles ever available—13,255 titles were published as audiobooks in 2012, up from 7,237 the previous year. Publishers continue to increase their output to ensure that the most popular trade titles are released simultaneously in print and audio formats.
As media combine into transmedia formats blending text, visuals, and audio there’s a growing need for trained voices and technical experts. There have long been audiobook narrator workshops, led by industry experts such as Pat Fraley, Johnny Heller, Robin Miles, Paul Ruben & Bettye Seitz. In response to this growing need for audiobook artists and technical gurus, Bob & Debra Deyan have announced the creation of the Deyan Institute of Vocal Artistry and Technology, a campus environment where, according to the Institute’s press release,
This believed to be the first of its kind worldwide… Institute’s initial lineup of courses includes introductory intensives and master classes for audiobook narrators, specialized courses for voiceover artists, as well as technical courses on production and post-production for both voice actors competing in the ever-increasing self-recording market and audio engineers alike. Deyan Institute instructors are each acclaimed experts in their respective areas of specialty.
I featured the Deyans in my “Voicing a Cause” blog post after the Audio Publishers Association honored the pair with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. For over 20 years, Bob has been dedicated to creating great audios, in partnership with his wife Debra. But the couple has turned their focus to making a positive impact in the world of ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Now Debra Deyan says,
It’s hard to express how much it means to me to launch this school in honor of my husband, Bob Deyan. Bob is riveted by excellent acting, loves the human voice and particularly the ancient art of storytelling. He spent his life’s work directing actors and preserving the human voice experience for generations to come. It is my vision that Bob’s legacy will live on through Deyan Institute.
A big thanks to everyone who joined us last night at the Housing Works Bookstore to enjoy the "Changing World of the Foreign Correspondent" panel moderated by The Paris Correspondent author Alan S. Cowell. Joining the panel to discuss the rapidly changing world of journalism in the digital age were Chrystia Freeland, global editor-at-large of Reuters News; John Darnton, award-winning journalist and bestselling author of Almost a Family and Black and White and Dead All Over; and Peter Godwin, author of Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa and When a Crocodile Eats the Sun.
How does the job of the foreign correspondent change over time? Will on the ground foreign correspondence be necessary in the future? Does the rapid pace of web journalism compromise credibility in foreign reporting? Last night's panelists tackled these big questions about the state of global journalism in the age of Twitter and shared stories from their backgrounds as pioneers in the field of digital media.
The Princess and the Pea & transliteracy. Naxos Audio’s free MP3 file can be played on your computer, or dragged & dropped on any player (just scroll down, right-click link & save). Perfect for your little princess! And perfect timing for me. I’m developing a transliteracy unit for gifted 6th graders, examining the concept of theme in folk & fairy tales, looking at how different formats affect the message and address personal learning styles. This audio will be a perfect addition to the traditional picture books, retold modern versions, graphic novel adaptations, poetry, short novelizations, reader’s theater, novels in verse, video, and long-form literature. A short audio listen-aloud is a wonderful addition to the classroom (or family room!), no matter the students’ age.
Pass out some 11×17 blank paper, fold into frames, turn out the lights and press play. Encourage the kids to visualize as they listen. At predetermined plot points, press pause and have the students illustrate the audio segments in sequential frames focusing on a particular literary element such as setting, character, mood. Later, cut apart the frames and create posters that have the enlarged text of the audio selection as a heading, with all of the different visual interpretations below. Voila! Instant concrete example of transliteracy
Read into the Nook’s microphone , and add your own narration to kid’s picture books. There’s plenty of press on today’s announcement of the newest competitor in the eReader wars, but the unique addition of an on-board mic really caught my eye. The promo video highlights the “Read and Record” ability, which allows a child or adult record the text for later playback – a do-it-yourself audiobook + narration. Details are few right now, but I can see this as a fantastic literacy tool in the classroom to foster fluency, or as wonderful cross-generational storytime sharing. But that’s just one of the very attractive features of Nook Tablet. So yes, I did just pre-order the Nook Tablet. Which should arrive 4 days after my Kindle Fire. To add to the drawer with the Nook Simple Touch, Kindle Keyboard, Nook Color, and (now antique) original Sony Reader. Promise you won’t tell my family members.
20 kid’s audiobooks for 99 cents – Tales2Go Happy Holidays app from iTunes has over 30 hours of winter-themed listening goodness, from traditional tales such as The Brave Tin Soldier and The Story of Hanukkah to favorite characters Clifford and Clementine available here for Apple iOS gadets. This stand-alone audio app is a great way to sample Tales2Go’s unlimited access, single fee subscription, which recently added a single-month option. Plus, Tales2Go now allows five devices tied to a single account – toddlers can use mom’s iPhone, preschoolers dad’s iPod Touch, and tween can have the iPad. Instant back seat bliss! Tales2Go has baby books to chapter books, with original storyteller fare – from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to favorite songs from Bill Harley. There’s even school pricing. Check out the Tales2Go web site for more: http://tales2go.com/
It’s official. Downloads = 52% of sales in 2010, while CDs = 43%, as reported in the newest industry survey conducted by the Audio Publishers Association. That leaves 5% for other formats such as cassettes (yes there are still a few produced) or Playaways. Yet the statistics also show that the shift doesn’t necessarily mean more dollars for audio publishers – there’s more revenue from physical media. But the shift to digital has also triggered a huge jump in the industry’s growth – 2010 had twice as many audiobooks published than just three years before. You’ll see the survey highlights below, but only members of the Audio Publishers Association can see the full survey results – and librarians are welcome to join
These statistics mirror the reactions from five industry insiders I recently interviewed for my upcoming January “Voices in My Head” column titled “Digital Shift Happens,” which will include the abridged version of fascinating insights into the changing world of audiobook creation. I’ll be featuring my complete interviews here on Audiobooker over the next few weeks, so stay tuned for more on the subject from Johnny Heller, Paul Gagne, Tavia Gilbert, Barbara Rosenblat, and Paul Ruben.
2011 Industry Sales Survey Report reflecting sales data from the 2010 calendar year
Unit sales were up nearly 10% in the past year, showing continued consumer interest in audiobooks.
Based on the companies who reported (representing 61% of the industry), total net sales (after returns) are up by 2 million units and $2 million.
The total number of audiobooks being published doubled in the past three years, from 3,073 in 2007 to 6,200 in 2010.
Audiobook downloads continued on a growth trend representing 36% of dollar volume (up from 29% in 2009) and 52% of unit sales (up from 48% in 2009).
In the past five years, downloading has grown 300% by dollar volume (from 9% in 2005) and 150% in terms of units (from 21% in 2005).
The CD format still represents the largest single source of dollars but showed slight declines overall in 2010 – 58% of revenue (down from 65%) and 43% of unit sales (down from 46%).
Unabridged editions (89% of the market by dollars; 85% of the market by units) continue to lead in sales.
Returns are down for the third straight year.
There has been an increase in the number of companies with sales over $10 million.
Katherine Kellgren reads this cozy mystery written by Rhys Bowen, a limited time freebie from Audible. Grab this 2011 Audies Award nominee for “Best Mystery/Suspense Audiobook” - pure fun narrated by Booklist‘s “Voice of Choice” Kellgren. No doubt they’ve decided to offer this introduction to the Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie series to hook you on the series – be prepared to devour all five of these light, frothy treats! Here’s the download link
And check out the video below for a guided tour of Audible’s headquarters, an episode of Cubes hosted by the lovely Katy Kellgren
Love. This. The Guardian imagines the story of the Three Little Pigs, 21st century-style, in print and online. Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith – are you taking notes for The True Story of the Three Little Pigs 2.0??
The importance of audiobooks for those with disabilities was Voice of Choice narrator Vance‘s topic in his most recent blog post. I know the resources available through Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic) and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) are life-changing – the continued response to my Booklist article “That All May Read” has shown me that listeners of all ages depend on these services. If you serve patrons or students who have vision, physical or learning disabilities, please take time to learn about the huge variety of materials available for free – and if you have a family member that qualifies, assist them with signing up! In years past, specially-formatted audios came through the mail, but now digital technology allows instant downloads and app-based access. Many times, those with vision or learning disabilities are frustrated when a particular title is unavailable in a commercially-available audiobook through a vendor or public library – yet that same title (and hundreds more) are readily-available through the NLS, or you may even request that Learning Ally record that title for you! The amazing volunteers who record for these organizations provide a marvelous service and often go on to become top audiobook narrators – here’s what Vance has to say about…
Creating audiobooks for the blind, partially sighted or dyslexic. When I began 30 years ago we recorded on reel-to-reel 1/4? tape machines and had one engineer between two recording studios – yesterday there was one engineer to each narrator and everything was recorded onto a computer’s hard drive using rather strange software.
I’m choosing this topic for my first blog on the re-designed “me” website because yesterday I donated some time in support of Learning Ally’s Record-A-Thon (the organization formerly known as “Reading for the Blind and Dyslexic”) and had a wonderful morning down at their studios in Palo Alto which made me recall the many pleasant hours I spent at the Royal National Institute for the Blind’s Talking Book Service (now more than 75 years old) in London in the 1980?s. I always say it’s where I served my apprenticeship in audiobook narration.
Find out more by visiting the link to Simon’s blog & exploring both the NLS and Learning Ally websites!
Powered by WestCAT and the Contra Costa County Library
Listen to over 600 audiobook titles on the bus with the Contra Costa County Library’s Snap & Go mobile library access. Wirelessly download audiobooks directly to your cell phone for FREE. It’s a great way to pass time on the bus.
Easy as 1-2-3
1) Download a free QR code reader to your phone fromsnapngo.ccclib.org (1x only)
2) Scan the code from a library poster on Tri Delta Transit buses or wherever you see it posted.
3) Select an audiobook to download and enjoy the ride!
I immediately thought about how to make this happen in my school library, stole shared the idea and brainstormed with my public library partner George Morrison. We’re dreaming up ways to pilot this idea on school buses this fall, with the tag line “Stuck on a Bus?” How about QR codes for links to audiobooks of required classroom reads? Bookmarks with QR codes to a genre list of top teen audiobooks or list of always-available classics in both eBook and audio format? What a great project to tweak and tailor to your population – find out more in this article.
The National Endowment for the Arts has released the newest batch of ” “The Big Read” classic titles for adults and teens. The 31 titles each include a “Learn More” tab for an introductory Preface, a Reader’s Guide, Teacher’s Guide and an awesome Audio Guide for each title. The approximately 30 minute Audio Guide is perfect to expand a listener’s appreciation of a book, to add to your library website or for teachers to add to a novel unit. The Big Read will highlight a different audio guide about a Big Read book and author every 2 weeks. You can subscribe the podcast using iTunes, or any other podcatching tool.
“To Prep Or Not to Prep? That Is The Question” is the title of Grammy Award-winning audiobook producer/director Paul Ruben’s newest blog post on the positives & pitfalls of narrators preparing a book for recording. If you’d like an insider’s view of the art & craft of audiobook production, you can’t get much better than the revealing posts in Ruben’s blog.
NPR’s Press-Play Poetry website is the perfect antidote for listeners with heat-induced short attention spans. The newest post of audible poetry is “Summer Song” by William Carlos Williams, along with the poem’s text and background information.
Post a clip of the first chapter of hot new titles along with cover art and satisfy fans and entice new readers of both print & audio editions. Libraries have full permission from publishers to include the audio files and widgets on library websites & social media posts. Hearing a short clip is a great way to gain interest for new titles in your collection and increase circulation of all formats. Highlight your digital collection with direct links to download titles below an embeded clip to make things easy for your online-only patrons. Many audio publishers have email newsletters, such as Macmillan’s “Hear, Here!” newsletter, that will feature cover art and clips for you to use. Promoting Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card? Grab the clip. Book club reading Where We Belong by Emily Giffin? Play the clip to kick off your discussion. Check the Audiobook Reference Guide on AudioFile’s website for audio publisher websites where you can find audio clips, or sign up to get news alerts which will include links. No need to ask for permission – at the recent Audio Publishers Association Conference, I heard a panel of publishers begging libraries to make use of these promotional clips.
Olympic sports to family-friendly classics, teen favorites plus a Playboy short story – these 8 freebies have something for everyone. Enjoy but remember: these are limited time offers that may disappear at any time, so download now to build your audio library!
The Poetry of Sport. And speaking of the Olympics, don’t forget that you can listen to NPR’s broadcasts as audio links and create a playlist for download. Here’s a story on the Olympic sport of… Poetry!
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Read by Grover Gardner. Published by Blackstone Audio.
Direct link to zipped downloadable MP3 file or M4B file.
“Romance” by Chuck Palahnium. Read by the author. Published by Blackstone Audio.
Originally published in Playboy magazine, “Romance” is a twisted love short story like only Chuck could tell.
Direct link to zipped downloadable MP3 file or M4B file.
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Read by Anne Hathaway. One of Audible’s A-List Audiobooks – a classic listen, great for the whole family. And spoiler! – it’s different than the movie