Thursday, June 17, 2010

Listen Up

June is audiobook month!

Celebrate this month by listening to an audiobook!  What's fantastic is that as technology has improved so have your options for fulfilling your desire to listen.  You can go old school and listen to books on cassette (this is how I personally am "reading" a favorite mystery series), or if cassettes are as outdated to you as records, well there's always books on CD.  

Oh you like media that's more "on demand."  No problem, just download an audiobook from sites like Overdrive or Netlibrary (these or similar databases might be available from your local library).  Amazon even offers downloadable audiobooks from  Here's the link for Treason by Don Brown and the results page where I found it on Amazon.

Downloadable material gives you portability, but what about not having to worry about how to get it off your iPod? Or maybe you're not as tech savvy? For that you should check out Playaways.  These self-contained MP3 players hold one book for your listening pleasure.  

In the spirit of the celebration of audiobook month, I have decided to make use of the new playaway technology and listen to my very first one.  I utilize books on CD and cassette in my car and at home, but have never listened to a playaway.  Hopefully Pirate Latitudes is a good listen!

Teens are not often encouraged to make use of audiobooks.  Some people even refer to it as "cheating."  This is a stance that desperately needs changing.  It's a good start to instill an interest in reading with the use of audio formats.  Hearing words can be as helpful to students as reading them.  Besides, not all books are available in audio formats, and many assignments and such are in print formats.  So traditional reading will not be lost.

Want to encourage your teens to listen up?  Here's a good place to start: Audiobook Community.  This recent development is modeled after social networking sites to bring together those who love to have others read to them.  There are various groups available to join.  One group of particular interest is Sync: YA Listening.  The individuals in this group share ideas and strategies for encouraging audiobook listening among teens.  Also, beginning in July Sync will be offering two free audiobooks a week until the beginning of September.  So check it out and encourage your teens to listen up!

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