Ways To Live Forever
by Sally Nicholls

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The introduction by Alec Williams provides lots of handy tips on getting everyone reading!


11. Using technology

For many students (including less able readers, and boys) technology can appeal more than reading - so don’t set up a ‘books versus technology’ vibe - use them both together, and get technology to lead young people on to more reading. For example: books and magazines help students get the most out of computers, and websites about fiction can help lead students back to books. Remember also how much reading is being done from the screen, and the natural narrative quality of many computer games.

  • Websites can include review sites, authors’ own sites, word game sites, book festival sites, and a variety of games sites - some of which are book-related. Vampirates is only one established example.
  • Get students involved in designing and maintaining the school library’s own website. There are lots more ideas in the SLA’s ‘Fully Booked’ guideline, Appendix H (see http://www.sla.org.uk/sla-guidelines.php).
  • Use Inspiration mind mapping software: a) to recreate the ContinYou Reading Clubs’ ‘Flow chart’ idea to recommend reads, and b) to create bookmap reviews.
  • Programmes like Star Reader and Accelerated Reader can create quizzes based on your library stock.
  • Boys in particular can enjoy being involved in the technical aspects of producing a school library newsletter - and in this way they can start to become contributors.
  • Make ‘public use’ of your library management system data - publish regular ‘Top Tens’ for both boys and girls, for example, and announce chart positions at assemblies.

Don’t forget other technologies, too, which appeal to most of this list’s key audiences:

  • Using mobile phones to do short text reviews, or send video reviews
  • Using PDAs to read e-books, or swapping ‘book bites’
  • Using videoconferencing with other readers, across the region or across the world, through paired schools. The British Council’s Global Gateway is one approach to this.

There are many more tips on using technology in the SLA’s ‘Fully Booked’ guideline; 25 great ideas in Appendix G alone! (see http://www.sla.org.uk/sla-guidelines.php for details)

Supported by:

Department for Children, Schools and FamiliesSchool Library AssociationReading for Life

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