Children in the cloud: Literacy groupware and the practice of reading

Eric M. Meyers, Lisa P. Nathan, Casey Stepaniuk


Through this paper we examine children’s literacy groupware, cloud-based reading management systems that combine digital reading collections with behaviour tracking and analysis, communication tools, and reader incentives. Children’s literacy groupware extends the notion of a digital library for children by providing value-added tools for teaching, monitoring, evaluating and encouraging young readers. We offer an analysis of two for-profit app-based systems that provide reading content and instruction for elementary age children in the United States and Canada. We question the influence of these systems on the practice of reading. How do systems for managing engagement with digital texts frame reading practice: the what, where, when and how of reading, including behaviours, attitudes and dispositions toward the practice itself?


literacy; e-reading; literacy groupware; digital media; children and youth; practice theory

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