What it is: The International Childrens Digital Library (also known as ICDL) is an online digital library for children of all ages. The mission of ICDL is to “ excite and inspire the world’s children to become members of the global community – children who understand the value of tolerance and respect for diverse cultures, languages and ideas — by making the best in children’s literature available online.” When students visit the ICDL website they are brought to a simple search area where they can choose different options for finding a book. They can narrow down results by age (3-13), fiction or non-fiction, book length, award winners, language, picture or chapter books, subject matter, and even what colors that cover has in it. When students choose a book they can read the book in its entirety online. I learned about this site in the iTunes store, they have a free iPod Touch and iPhone application for downloading books from the ICDL in addition to their online content. So neat!
How to integrate ICDL into the classroom: The ICDL website reminds me a lot of LookyBook. The search options are extremely user friendly and allow even the youngest readers to find a book they are sure to love. Students can register for the library (free) and then leave an online review of the book. I like the idea of digital libraries for students because it opens up a number of books to them that they may not otherwise have access to. If a story is started during school, students can finish the story when they get home from any Internet connected computer. The ICDL is nice for reading groups. All students can be reading the same book from school and from home without setting aside a large budget for group sets. The search is a wonderful way for students to discover what types of literature they enjoy. Many of the books featured are from different cultures and languages, these would be perfect to bring into a foreign language classroom. ICDL books provide a fun way for students to gain global awareness. Books in other languages could also be used as a starting point for student created stories. Students can do picture walks through the online books and then compose their own story to accompany the pictures. ICDL is a great way to read with the whole class. Connect your computer with a projector and students can read the story along with you, everyone will be able to see the pictures as you discuss the story!
Tips: One thing that I really appreciate about ICDL is the ability to view the books full screen and zoom in and out of the pages. The site is easy to navigate and this feature makes it even more user friendly.
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using ICDL in your classroom.