Page 11 - Ziptales Program Manual - AU
P. 11

The Advantage of the Digital Book
The digital story ‘books’ on Ziptales have many added advantages. There are interactional features that
expand the options, reading paths and experiences of young readers. The use of music is optional but it can
be used as a topic of discussion, looking at comparisons among the genre categories. The voiceovers provide
an optional read-aloud feature, useful for shared and guided reading and helpful in that it provides a model
of correct intonation and sentence patterns for developing and struggling readers. There is also the dramatic
element brought out by the experienced voiceover actors who can use different ‘voices’ to develop key
characters. Such multi-modal features as animations, voice and music can provide opportunities to show how
certain modes can alter or enhance the visual and verbal narrative.
Interactive Readers offers support for readers’ developing vocabulary with click on definitions for more difficult
words and coloured word by word roll out of the stories.
The interactivity prized by researchers also includes the two comprehension quizzes found at the end of all
stories. These give children immediate feedback on their reading comprehension and the chance to re-read
(an essential element in fostering reading skills). Similarly the What’s my Ziptales Reading Level? test guides
teachers and students towards the titles that they will find most appropriate and pleasurable.

The Ziptales Program
It helps to think of Ziptales as a very large online ‘library’ for all levels of primary school. Our philosophy is to
make reading enjoyable - not a chore for which there are rewards or penalties.
The Ziptales program is not a ‘reading machine’, but an ‘open’ library. There is no ‘lock step’ progression, or
any question of banning children from ‘going on’ if they ‘fail’ a test. We encourage children to reread in order
to master a text. While the teacher is ultimately in charge of what children read, or what lessons they do, it
is perfectly safe for children to browse the library, and find things that interest them. The Ziptales experience
should be one of pleasure, as well as one to increase skill levels.
“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty.
It should be offered to them as a precious gift.” (Kate DiCamillo, children’s author)

   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16