A Typographic Case Study: Children’s Digital Books in New Zealand Primary Schools

By Nicholas Vanderschantz.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Increasingly children’s educational reading material is presented in a screen-based environment. This includes a range of interactive learning tools, interactive whiteboards, on-line standardized testing material, digital books including CD-ROMs and E-Books, as well as digital reference books such as encyclopedia and dictionary. With this increase in on-screen educational reading material and use of on-screen reading material in the school, it seems clear that the quality of material intended for children’s on-screen reading requires careful consideration to ensure that it is of a high standard and that it will facilitate children’s learning. This investigation case study’s digital books intended for learning through reading as found to be available to students of New Zealand Primary Schools. The writer analyses a selection of the products of the two publishers that were found available to primary and intermediate school children at two different schools in two different socio-economic school regions. The writer outlines specific consideration of typographic presentation with respect to eye movements that will aid in the development of material for children’s on-screen learning including CD-ROM, E-Book, and web-based reading material.

Keywords: Children’s On-screen Learning, Children’s On-screen Reading, Design for Children, Design of On-screen Text, Design of On-screen Typography, E-Books, Enhanced E-Books, CD-ROM Books, Digital Books

International Journal of the Book, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.103-118. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 852.035KB).

Nicholas Vanderschantz

Lecturer, Computer Graphic Design, Department of Computer Science, School of Computing and Mathetacial Sciences, University of Waikato, Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand

Nicholas’ area of research focus has been in childrens’ on-screen reading. These investigations have specifically looked into how typographic spacing could best affect childrens’ eye movements during reading. This area of exploration saw him graduate with a Masters in Computer Graphic Design from Whanganui School of Design, New Zealand in 2007. Nicholas is a lecturer in Computer Graphic design at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. As a central part of his teaching and research at the University of Waikato Nicholas pursues his interests in typography for children as well as socially responsible graphic design and graphic design education.


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