Discussion is gradually increasing regarding the classroom implementation of an increasingly popular and critically acclaimed new online platform included in several countries’ public and higher education: interactive books. A 2019-2020 study conducted in Hungary within the framework of an agreement between the Ministry of Human Capacities Klebelsberg Center and BOOKR Kids has shown that interactive books accessible on tablets and smartphones provide a revolutionary opportunity to maintain the interest of younger generations in literature and cultivate a culture and habit of digital reading.
A total of 34 public education institutions, 42 teachers and 2219 students took part in the project. In short, its goals were to introduce these interactive books to both the target audience (students aged 7-12) and mediators (primary school teachers and teachers of literature) in a professional, structured setting, and to provide assistance in the process of implementing these new opportunities in developing (digital) reading and comprehension skills in the classroom. More specifically, the goal was to prove that the discretely animated interactive books by BOOKR
- develop students’ language awareness,
- have a positive transfer effect on students’ reading comprehension skills;
- can be implemented in the classroom by teachers and meet the goals and requirements defined by the National Core Curriculum and Curriculum Framework.
- The project should convince teachers of the advantages of implementation.
In all three stages of the project – PRE, INTRA and POST – data collection was done through a total of 13 online questionnaires, each containing roughly 30 questions, and through the teacher’ dashboard of the BOOKR software. During the INTRA period, the performance of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders who listened and read these interactive books were compared with that of a control group in which students listen and read printed texts and audiobooks (synchronic data recording). In the case of 5th and 6th graders, data collection was diachronic: first, they worked in class with printed texts and then were measured using our interactive books.
The BOOKR pilot goals were achieved, the most significant result being that students working with our interactive books were on average 15-20% more successful in various aspects of reading and comprehension.
Children spent more than 250 000 minutes reading, and they downloaded books more than 21 000 times from the BOOKR audio-visual library. Beyond these overwhelming numbers, BOOKR Class was also validated by the Educational Authority of Hungary as an official textbook. It is the first and only fully online tool that made it on the accredited and approved list of teaching materials for public schools.
According to the pilot subjects, interactive books allow the educator to incorporate the differences in learning abilities in the classroom and use it to mitigate socioeconomic and socio-cultural disadvantages. Simultaneously, the still images and motion pictures inspire them to implement visual reading as a part of their literature lessons.
The fact that the young population is attracted to the techno-media approach of viewing was clearly confirmed during the pilot. Responses indicate the existence of an emotional attachment. The clearly high enjoyment index could not be justified solely by the novelty of technology or genre. Instead, positive responses were primarily related to the actual use and experience of the BOOKR app.
According to the teachers, the mood of the lessons was positively influenced by using the BOOKR application in the classroom. The reasons for the positive feedback were as follows:
The children enjoyed it immensely.
They liked the new method.
The students were more motivated by the use of the application.
They see it, they hear it, so they find it interesting.
It was exciting and inspiring to discover more of the story page by page.
It can be stated that activity, motivation for the task, desire to communicate, and discipline during the task all significantly increased in students.
Publication is coming soon:
The advantage of teaching literature with interactive books
A summary of the results of research regarding the interactive books available on BOOKR Suli software, sponsored by the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities
Gabriella Daróczi – Emőke Varga