I believe that one of the most important gifts we can give our children is the ability to read a book. As Kofi Anan said, “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.” Reading opens doors to new worlds, cultures, ideas and people. Today — UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day – is a global celebration of the importance of reading and the contribution of books in advancing social and cultural progress.
How can you promote reading and literacy in a meaningful way on World Book Day? Create and share an original e-book with the world. We’ve made it easy, and available to everyone through the Matuto™ Literacy For Life partnership. Here’s how:
- Use the online Chekhov multimedia book creator tool, with easy, step-by-step instructions, to create and publish your e-book. Here is your chance to write a story with your students. What do they love? Does your class – or one student in particular student – have a story that needs to be told? Now is your chance! Whether it’s a fun ghost story or work of non-fiction, all ideas are welcome. If you do want even more inspiration, you can also discover thousands of free e-books from The Microsoft Educator Network.
- Once approved (usually in a few days), your e-book will be published in the Windows App Store! Look for the category that is specifically dedicated to education, where you will find free e-books, apps, and so much more.
I am very proud of Microsoft’s partnership with UNESCO, including the The Matuto™ Literacy For Life partnership, which aims to reach 100 million new readers by the year 2020. Matuto leverages the power of mobile technologies and seeks to enable anyone, anywhere, to produce and distribute literacy content. But it will take a concerted effort by many to bring these goals to fruition, and these readers must also develop a broad set of skills to be successful in the 21st century.
At Microsoft, we believe that a great education must include building skills that lead to meaningful employment. Reading is step one in that skill set. We are also dedicated to helping educators easily access tools that can help students succeed as they advance in their learning, so we have made the following Windows Apps available in the Windows 8 store:
|Creating||Fresh Paint; Movie Moments; Photosynth; 3D builder; Kodu; Project Spark; Small BASIC; Touch Develop; Movie Maker; Visual Studio|
|Evaluating||Skype; Publisher; Yammer; Lync; Bing News; Project; Interactive Classroom|
|Analyzing||Sticky Notes; Excel; Chronozoom; Mathematics 4.0; Visio|
|Applying||iXplain; PowerPoint; Deep Zoom; Songsmith|
|Understanding||Word; Free Books; Flashcards; Project Tuva; Worldwide Telescope; IT Academy; Internet Explorer|
|Remembering||Notepad; OneNote; Bing Maps; AutoCollage|
E-books, combined with the knowledge and skills that these apps can build, are fantastic ways to help students access and apply knowledge in sophisticated ways, and increasingly, students are working on these complex problems in teams, as in the 2015 PISA collaborative problem-solving tasks. The Windows Apps are designed to build on these skills and more.
I hope you join us today as we celebrate World Book and Copyright Day. Thank you for encouraging your students to read, to learn, and to create. Make sure you let me know about the e-books you and your students create at @Anthonysalcito. I look forward to reading them all!