In the UK, reading for pleasure is at an all-time low: in 2020, less than half of children and young people said they enjoy reading, according to the National Literacy Trust. Short Édition is on a mission to change that and will be at BETT show (stand NK31) to introduce the Short Story Cube, a device that encourages primary, secondary and higher education students to read, write and share their work, via a connected creative writing platform: the Short Story Portal. The Cube is designed to encourage young people to discover the joy of reading and the pride of writing, within a framework set by teachers on the Short Story Portal to ensure the content is suitable and relevant to each class’s curriculum.
Behind the Short Story Cube
Short Édition is best known for its Short Story Dispensers, which provide free reading experiences, or ‘fiction on the fly.’ The Dispensers can be found worldwide, including 3 Dispensers just around the corner from the BETT show in Canary Wharf! In the UK, the University of Lincoln and Sheffield Hallam University also have 2 Dispensers each, and Epsom College is due to receive one in June.
Short Édition worked closely with the French Ministry for Education and teachers across France to see how they could make the Dispenser more suitable for the classroom. Teachers were unanimously convinced by the technology and the idea, but wanted a lighter, smaller, more economical version that was easier to transport, and so the Short Story Cube was born! It was put to the test by over 2,500 pupils in 11 primary schools and secondary schools and proved to be popular with teachers and students alike.
Create a love of reading
The Short Story Cube is designed with users in mind. It can be used to access a wealth of content – both from Short Édition’s curated library with collections (language, contemporary, classics or themed), and from your imagination! When combined with the Short Story Portal, the Cube can also publish students’ compositions.
The combination of both an in-classroom and an online experience has been proven to inspire creativity, thinking and analysis. For students, this encourages them to write, which is the basis of a love of reading. It also gives them a creative outlet that, conversely to gaming, gives them a physical object and the pride of creating a story that is then publicly available.
The Short Story Cube makes literature accessible to everyone and can be configured to different levels of difficulty. It includes a specific module for neurodivergent users, to support students
with dyslexia, dysphasia, dyspraxia and multidys with the reading comfort they need to gain confidence as well as boosting attention and comprehension skills.
The Cube produces diverse forms of literature, from short stories to poetry to comics. As the educator is in charge of programming the settings, themes, genres and length, it is as relevant in a leading university as it is in a Year 7 classroom. Short form literature is less intimidating for struggling readers, whereas the possibility of publishing student texts is rewarding for both students and teachers at any level.
For educators, set up couldn’t be easier and the Cube requires very little attention. It is a plug-and-play device with easy content configuration, using 4G to function – no WiFi or wires are needed. It’s easy to transport, to share with other teachers, librarians and partners, and the admin portal allows real-time monitoring of each Short Story Cube (statistics by location, paper consumption), and there are alerts when a roll of paper is running out. The paper itself is 100% recyclable, FSC and BPA-free, and as printing is only on demand there is no waste, ink or cartridge!
Short Édition will be on stand NK31 at BETT Show, as part of the French Pavilion, and will have a Short Story Cube on site for you to try for yourself. To organise an interview, or for any more information, please contact:
Penny Atkinson / firstname.lastname@example.org / +44 (0)20 81 32 45 89