Nonfiction 2.0: Digital Extensions of Text to Support the Common Core

Dr. Marc Aronson, Author, Lecturer Rutgers

Knowledge is inherrently changing quickly — ability to process data, doubles every two years. [More’s law]

We have to begin to give them the context that information changes. Ability to process knowledge as it changes. Pluto perfect example of this.

Marc is telling stories about fossil finding.

Lee Berger used Google Earth and had a new perspective looking down. Because he looked w new eyes and asked new questions, he found new answers. And we can do the same.

Story told in print form. How does the story change in digital form? Marc showing book in iBooks format (not out yet)

The story opens with a video, explaining how Lee Berger used Google Earth for new fossil discoveries. No hominid clavicles had ever been found before.

Digital platform — freedom where you more space on digital platform.

As science changes, Marc & Lee will be tracking changes at

The print book that narrates a story to the iBook that shows the story. To the experience that allows you to see change as it happens.

InFORMation. Knowledge as it takes form. That’s what is exciting about Common Form.

Read for evidence, argument, POV. Compare/contrast. To see one view against/another. Not passively absorb, but actively think through reading, writing, and speaking.

That is the only training that will prepare young people to deal with 9 planet solar system vs 15 planet.

Knowledge is In – Form – Ation.

Melissa Jacobs Israel, Coordinator of Library Services, NYC Dept. of Education [@missyji]

“How can the use smart tech web tools and apps build curiosity, critical thinking and independent inquiry amongst students?

You can’t just teach to a standard, still have skills to teach. Many skills needed to get to the standard. These skills scaffolded. To meet a standard, you’re teaching over time. You have to break down the standard to the individual skill.

Teaching kids to critically think through these digital apps/ebooks. Not necessarily teaching a site. Teaching kids to critically think about the items they are extracting.


Bats! Flurry Fliers of the Night book. How does this change the learning experience for kids vs. flat book? How does it extend idea of inquiry? Repetition, further discovery of the bat’s life, there’s being the bat. The book uses the space of the iPad (horizontal/verticality). Understands that digital space is different from print space.

It understands that kids have questions. What does it mean to be a bat? Where would I live? What would I eat? Can I survive during the day?

Al Gore’s Our Choice book. An app like this is changing the way we interact with books. Changing the way kids are reading. They are empowered as learners, to dive deeper in the process of thinking, gives the context and the content to deal with the information and the problems.

Web Tools

Provide historical context — Tour collections. Narrow by date, area, subject. Look at two photographs and seeing how they’ve changed. Capturing first hand account information when something happened. Gathering that from around the world. This is a way of starting inquiry, critical thinking, and getting kids excited about learning about the world around them. Also teaching kids copyright, authoritative sources, debate.

Extend conversations and inquiry w Multimedia Resources from ARKive Images of life on earth. Photos & videos of wildlife of endangered species around the world. Help students see beyond facts of the animals, the information. Why are these animals endangered? Why do they need to be saved? It has a kind of wiki feel to it. People can edit the entries, ARKive verifies the posted info and if it’s correct, will incorporate. Gives credit to the videos and images. Post, comment, share information.

Education part of the site, resources for different age groups. It has teacher notes, presentations, and activity packs. Edit presentations/resources to what you need.

AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning project

NEW! AASL Best Apps for Teaching and Learning project