CMF Research Blog Research Forum

Natalia Kucirkova

Natalia Kucirkova is senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research concerns innovative ways of supporting shared book reading and the role of personalisation in early years. She is particularly interested in fostering children’s trans-media experiences and identity growth. Natalia’s research inspired the development of the Our Story tablet/smartphone app and has been published in a variety of outlets . She has been commended for her engagement with teachers and parents at a national and international level.

Parents express concerns as more toddlers switch on tablet computers

Most parents have profound concerns about their children reading digital books on tablets. In a new survey of 1,500 parents of under-eights in the UK about their attitudes to children’s use of technology and digital books at home, we found that only 8% have no concerns about them using tablets to read. For using digital […]

Kids in the driving seat: personalised digital & printed books

On Friday, 25th of September 2015, academics and three key UK publishers of children’s personalised books met at The Open University, London Camden, to discuss the current status quo and future of children’s personalised books. Personalised books are books which use key information of the reader (in this case of the child), such as their name, […]

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Which digital books work best in the classroom?

The argument over whether children’s digital books count as educational storytime or just screentime has been going on for a while. Given that digital interactive books (often called storyapps) are hybrids of books, short films and digital games, their educational value largely depends on whether they are used to promote specific literacy skills or just […]

The first UK Children’s Digital Book Award judged by teachers!

The quality of a child’s digital book is measured by several criteria and there are currently several evaluation rubrics available for evaluating children’s digital books. This is why I’m very excited that in the first UKLA Digital Book Award it will be teachers who will vote for the best children’s digital book. As announced on […]

What defines an effective community member in the 21st century?

Before the advent of social media, community engagement typically involved meetings and conversations in meetings, conferences, summits and rendezvous. Now much community activity happens online and there is considerable academic and practical effort to foster children’s effective understanding and safe and active involvement in online environments. Community engagement in the 21st century is therefore about […]

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Children’s reading heroes of today

Many people feel that reading fast is the only way to keep up with the large volumes of text they encounter on a daily basis. For some people, to read fast is to follow in the footsteps of their favourite super (s)heroes – the latest of which is played by Scarlett Johansson in her new […]

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Best apps for schools: what do teachers want?

As part of our ongoing work to develop criteria for assessing the quality of children’s digital books and apps, we ran a number of workshops with teachers in local schools and asked them about what they think a good digital book or app should look like and contain. Some of these teachers had never used iPads […]