Interactive Videos in Novel Effect

Novel Effect is a great interactive reading app that many of our Media Managers use in their libraries when reading to students. Many teachers are using it, as well. Basically, while you read a story out loud, it enhances the story with music and sound effects. Students love it! Yesterday, Novel Effect just announced that they now have interactive videos. Currently, there are only 3 to choose from, but I’m sure there will be more soon. In the video, there will be speech bubbles that you, as the reader, will read aloud. The video does not proceed until you read the speech bubble. The extra fun part is that you get to make a choice when you read the speech bubbles. You’re going to have to try it in order to see what I’m talking about. When you’re in the Novel Effect app, just click on Videos at the bottom of the screen and follow the instructions.

Here’s how easy it is to use:

Novel Effect can be downloaded in Self Service. Right now we only have it available for staff, however, we’re hoping to have it available to students in the future.

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Using Video for Engagement

There are a variety of ways to engage our students. While routines are important and useful, it can also be fun to mix things up – to keep your students guessing. Ann Marie, at Silver Rail Elementary, has recently started using video to engage her students when they come into the library. Instead of standing in front and telling her students what’s new or what’s going on in the library, she sometimes shows a quick video that she has made. This frees her up to get the student’s books checked in while they are watching the video. Ann Marie has enjoyed the creative process and has come to the realization that it does not have to be perfect. If a student interrupts her while she is filming, she just incorporates it into the video. This idea could be used in so many different ways in the library and in the classroom.

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Reading with Novel Effect

I don’t remember who introduced me to Novel Effect, but I love it and think that you will, too – especially if you read picture books to kids! Novel Effect is an app that enhances the reading experience. Here’s how it works:

  1. Look through the app to find a particular book that you want to read.
  2. Find the actual physical or digital book.
  3. Tap on the play button in the app.
  4. Start reading the story.

While you’re reading, the app will play music and sound effects that go along with what you’re reading. When you pause, it will pause. Once you resume reading, it will pick up with you. If you skip a page, it will recognize that and keep up with you. It’s so much fun and really adds to the story. Kids love it. So far, we only have the app in Self Service for staff, however the makers of the app have told me that they are actively working on a classroom edition for students.

Some ideas of how you can use Novel Effect:

  1. The obvious one – Read aloud a book and use Novel Effect on your iPad to enhance the story.
  2. Find the book in Sora on your laptop and project it on the screen. Read it aloud while your iPad has Novel Effect open. You can have your iPad hooked up to speakers via Bluetooth so students can better hear the sound.
  3. Have a student read the story aloud while Novel Effect is open and playing along.

This app is great for use in the classroom, the library, and at home. Have fun reading!

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