Esperance teacher’s innovative books inform kids in the digital age

18 January 2019

Kim Maslin is passionate about helping teachers and students reach their full potential with the use of digital technology. 

The Digital Technologies and Science teacher at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School in Esperance recently launched her second book on cyber safety for children, titled The Surfing Penguin. 

Following the success of her first book The Tweeting Galah, which has sold more than 6500 copies Australia-wide, The Surfing Penguin sees new and familiar furry faces return to outback Australia, as they explore and navigate their way through the digital world.  

Over the course of four short stories, the characters overcome challenges such as cyber bullying, trolling, and viewing inappropriate content and also learn about safety and location services. 

The book is filled with quirky humour and vibrant illustrations by Perth-based artist, John Field, and includes several augmented reality experiences which are activated by scanning printed Zappar codes with a smart device. 

“Augmented reality can provide a wonderful opportunity for student engagement and learning,” Ms Maslin said. 

“I wanted to bring these elements into the book as a way of showcasing how we can blend traditional print texts with new technologies using our devices.  

“I’ve found primary school students still love having stories read to them, but of course they also love using their iPads and I think the mix of the two mediums within these books is something that is going to get kids really excited.” 

Each story in The Surfing Penguin concludes with reflection questions, and free lesson plans and resources supporting the book can be downloaded via the Lesson Library on Kim’s website.

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