Book Business EXTRA! Q&A -- World Books’ Paul Kobasa talks about the changing landscape of encyclopedias
Kobasa -- The primary audience for World Book Kids is children in the K-4 age range. It’s also ideal for special-needs learners. Across the industry, we’re hearing that sales of print encyclopedias remain steady, while sales of information in digital form are climbing.
EXTRA! -- About how many students are initially expected to interact with World Book Kids as part of World Book Online Reference Center (WBORC)?
Kobasa It’s difficult to determine the exact number of students that will use World Book Kids. Initially, we’ve included it at as part of our World Book Online Reference Center, which is a leading general reference and learning resource in classrooms, school library media centers, and public libraries across the U.S. and Canada. Based on historical usage figures for WBORC, I feel confident that hundreds of thousands of children soon will be making use of World Book Kids.
EXTRA! -- How did World Book want Douglas Love to make World Book Kids unique from any other reference tools available to students? What was of top priority?
Kobasa -- Douglas Love is a well-known author of children’s books and producer of innovative children’s educational television programs. We asked him to help us create a site that not only enables children to access information easily but helps them to absorb and retain it in the ways most effective for them. With Love’s guidance, we have built three categories of activities into World Book Kids, reflecting children’s different learning modes. “Think It!” activities are designed for children that respond to facts and figures. “Be It!” activities are for those students that learn from role-playing. And “Make It!” activities are geared to tactile learners that need to feel and manipulate objects.
We also want World Book Kids to be a resource for educators, so Douglas created “Teach It!” guides correlated to each activity. The “Teach It!” guides provide teachers and librarians with tips about applying the activities to a variety of core subjects and show correlations to pertinent national standards. Educators can turn to World Book Kids as an easy-to-use resource for both helping their students learn and helping themselves create lesson plans that meet curriculum standards.