The educational thoughts of Jason Epstein
THE PERSONAL VIEWS, OPINIONS AND COMMENTS CONTAINED HEREIN ARE SOLELY THOSE OF THE BLOG’S AUTHOR IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY, AND ARE NOT ENDORSED BY ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY.
Public libraries have long lived by the "Blockbuster model": require people to drive to a physical location, pick up a physical book, then drive home, only to repeat the driving a few weeks later when the book is due. And how well did that approach work out for Blockbuster as iTunes and Netflix made digital delivery a reality?
But books haven't gone digital as quickly as music and then movies did. Early attempts at e-book lending were execeptionally clunky affairs involving special OverDrive software, few choices, and a poor browsing interface. Getting books onto devices involved downloads and USB cables.
Enter the Kindle. Amazon's hugely popular e-reader hardware and apps recently opened access to public libraries in the US, which can use the Amazon account and distribution infrastructure to control and distribute time-limited e-books to library patrons. Will we ever drive to physical libraries again? After testing the new system, it's safe to say: yes. Yes we will. But Kindle library lending provides a glimpse of the future rushing so quickly at us.
Making your own comic at the website is a simple matter of first choosing a layout. On the next screen, you are shown your layout and must add characters, objects, settings and bubbles to each frame. There are menu controls: flip, delete, make bigger/smaller, bring forward/back and rotate to help customise the pictures. The speech bubbles are easily edited for text. Kids can also see sample pages for inspiration. Once done, a child's creation can be printed out, or he can take a screen grab to save a digital copy.