Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thing #1 Access Information

I dutifully checked “Book Trailers” in Meriwether and Aquabroswer and didn’t find much – which is pretty much what I expected to find – or rather not find. Meriwether produced some DVDs with the word “trailer” in the 505 contents notes. Aquabrowser pulled up all the books on trailers – as in tractor.

I then tried Bing – in fact it’s first time I’ve used it. I know from listening to NPR that Microsoft hopes Bing will go head to head with Google. Considering that Bill Gates usually gets his way I wouldn’t be surprised to see this happen. It’s a visually attractive search engine and it instantly produced a very good reference. . I also found this one , which I already knew about compliments of LM_NET. I like the fact that Bing shows related searches down the left sidebar and also keeps track of my search history. Based on the number of “ads” for book trailers I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a burgeoning business. I’m going to spend some more time with Bing and try to get myself out of the Google habit.

Since I work with K-5 kids I decided to explore some of the kid friendly search engines. Yahoo Kids produced nothing useful – all I got was a list of commercial movie trailers. I’ve never been impressed with either Yahoo or Yahoo Kids search engines and I long ago stopped using them in favor of Google. They both seem to emphasize commercial sites over educational sites. KidsClick came up with a big fat zero. Way back in the beginning of the Internet it was one of my favorites but it’s been some years since I’ve paid it a visit. I remember that I didn’t think it was updated often enough and after taking another look I haven’t changed my opinion. At the top of the page it lists “Hurricane Katrina” as a hot topic. Cybersleuth also came up with a big fat zero, though it did manage to fill my screen with taking pop-ups. I like the layout but not the sound level. My library is noisy enough, I don’t need a talking search engine to add to general buzz. It does seem to index a a large clip art library. I'm always in need to kid friendly pictures so I suspect I'll use Cybersleuth for that. Even with the school filters in place Google Images often pulls up some questionable pictures.
Bing pulled up a Wikipedia reference so I knew I’d find something there. I know Wikipedia is controversial but I’ve always found it to be immensely helpful, especially when dealing with popular culture. It pointed the way to a University of Florida site on Digital Booktalks, another site devoted to using Book Trailers to grab reluctant readers. Wikipedia also lead me to another good “how to make a book trailer” site.

Finding examples of book trailers isn’t difficult – there are almost 5000 of them on YouTube, ranging from the slickly professional to the “made at home by loving hands” variety. I struck gold in Teacher Tube – Dbeard65 posted a photostory on entitled Digital Book Trailer Project :
The photostory referenced Naomi Bates, who is one of the “founding mothers” of the educational book trailers – in fact her posts on LM_NET are what piqued my interest in the first place. Her blog is another source for “how tos” and she also has a Facebook page: and a website.

A quick search of Google Blogs pulled up a post on creating Book Trailers without pain and agony.
I like this one because when working with K-5 students there won’t be time to pull out all the stops and produce wiz bang book trailers. I added yet another blog to my Google Reader.
I found a post by Kait Nolan who calls herself an “indie author” entitled “Revisiting Book Trailers”.

She doesn’t like them and doesn’t ever watch them. I must admit I rather agree with her – I’m not one to watch a trailer either – I’d rather read a review (which, being that I am a fast reader I can do in less time than it takes to view a trailer). Then ,why am researching the things ? Well, for very same reason Nolan says they are worth doing – we’re a visual society and pictures grab the young better than words.

I know most kids would rather make a book trailer than write a book report. If my goal is to ensure students read and comprehended a book, there isn’t any reason the final product couldn’t be something they enjoy doing. And that brings it all together with the book – Differentiating Instruction – that I’m reading as my other summer hours project. On page 66 the authors state that the product can motivate the student to learn the content.

And I'm quite sure that the carrot of creating a book trailer using our new iBooks and Flip Video cameras would motivate many a reluctant student!

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree with most of your comments. The only exception is I do enjoy watching the trailers and sometimes I have found that a book trailer will get me interested in a book much better than some written reviews.