Creating Literate, Literary Kids in the Digital Age with ALEA Nth Sydney

August 27, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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This afternoon I had the huge privilege of talking to ALEA Nth Sydney about how to create literate, literary kids in the digital age. Those who know me will know how passionate I am about this subject, and how concerned I am about the over-exposure of children to digital toys and devices, as well as the increasing use of digital technology to deliver education in primary schools. We talked all about the latest studies from around the world indicating the vital importance of children being regularly immersed in the deep reading of print books, as well as troubling data coming out of studies in Europe and the States about reading on screens. It’s a fascinating subject, and one that needs careful study by educators everywhere. Special thanks to my hosts Alix McKittrick, Virginia Outram and Robyn (pictured above to my left). And many thanks to the 50+ teachers and librarians who attended for your feedback and participation.  Thanks also to Wendy Rapee of Room to Read who told the ALEA members more about Room to Read‘s essential work in promoting and building literacy in third world countries.

Introducing Britannica International – the School which Loves Books!

March 11, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Britannica #1

Today I had the great pleasure of visiting Britannica International School again! What a fabulous morning we had! We did writing workshops for the big kids, and story readings for the little kids, and learned sooooo much about what makes children into great writers. Like reading, and reading, and reading real books in our spare time, and TURNING OFF digital games and toys, and using digital technology as a tool, not a toy! Like playing outside with our friends, and spending time in nature, and having hobbies like stamp collecting. Because all these activities (and especially reading books), give us a great imagination, and a great imagination is the key to great writing….and a richer, happier, healthier life! Not surprisingly, all the kids agreed with me! They said that next time they asked for a birthday present, they were going to ask mum and dad to stop giving them boring digital games, and start giving them lots and lots of books! Yay! Here I am above with Britannica School’s enlightened and very impressive principal, David Goodwin, who believes that reading lots of books is the key to learning. And beside me is wonderful librarian Qing Zhang, who was the best host a visiting author could hope to have! And in front of us is just a small sample of Britannica’s horde of book-loving kids! BOY, do they love reading! If I were their mums and dads, I’d be so happy to have my children’s education in such wise hands!

For Teachers, Mums and Dads – a special plea!

February 18, 2015 at 6:32 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As you’ve probably gathered, I’m a huge fan of reading and writing, and I’m especially passionate about getting kids OFF digital games and toys and INTO books! So on my new Teachers’, Mums’ and Dads’ Page above, I’ve uploaded a series of articles published in Little Star Magazine in 2014 about How to Create Bookworms in the Digital Age. I’ve got Twelve Top Tips to help you – so please do take a look and let me know what your experience has taught you, as it’s really important we all collaborate to get kids back to books!

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