#cyberPD 2015 : Digital Reading - What's Essential in Grades 3-8
As a library media specialist, I am especially interested in digital reading not just in terms of learning occurring in the library, but in classrooms as well. In what ways can I support teachers and students, as well as families, for whom the idea of digital reading may be very new and overwhelming.
I was struck immediately with a line on page 5 about whether “we’re discounting much of the reading they will engage with in the future” followed closely by the next section about the disconnect between school-life and out-of-school-life. I hear from my students that they are already doing a fair amount of digital reading out-of-school, even many of our younger readers and very little digital reading in-school. When I look at my own reading life, it is a wonderful mixture of print and digital media. Whether students are reading “with intention” or not, they are reading digitally (and will do more of it in the future) and it is up to us as educators to help students learn best practices. It reminds me of those “avid readers” who will read for hours at home with books of their choice, but don’t want anything to do with the books they are asked to read in school. I especially was struck by Sara who was reflecting on her experiences. Her thoughts made me wonder: Why is research done at home so different than research done at school? Why is it that learning feels more real when it is their own and done outside of school? How can we change how learning happens in school so that it is more authentic?
Intentionality and the need for it also is critical. Teachers need to be intentional in their teaching of digital literacy and I think this brings out a need for reflection of our own digital reading. Do teachers use technology effectively in their own lives? Is their usage not intentional? If not, it will be incredibly difficult to help students learn. I think right now, for many teachers, digital reading is seen as a separate entity. There is little intentionality or thought about its purpose. When I talk with teachers about digital reading, they are often very afraid that it will take over print reading. I am hoping as I read this book to find suggestions for them.
On page 14, the idea that students do not have to be proficient with traditional texts before they have opportunities with digital texts is brought out. I think this is a place where some fear of the unknown happens. We would never tell kids that because they cannot read that they cannot look at books. Figure 2.3, where some of the differences between Reading Workshop and Digital Reading Workshop are outlined, clearly shows me some of the benefits. I love how the digital aspect adds to the quality reading workshop already in place. Now the types of texts used and the options for sharing and connecting for all texts are increased which seems to me allows for all kinds of learning.
As I was reading this section, I was thinking that it is interesting that digital writing appears to be integrated more easily (this is something many teachers do already), but not digital reading. What digital reading that does occur is not intentional and certainly not with any specific teaching. Sometimes the how to do it is taught, but not the why. This is an area I would like to focus on this year in the library.
“It’s about changing the way we think about interacting with ideas and content.” p. 23 I love the questions for students in figure 2.4, as well as the questions seen in figure 2.2 about the role digital texts play in the reading workshop. This is a big shift to make, but exciting too! In the library, I would like to help students and teachers become more intentional in their choices about what they are choosing to read, in what format, and thinking about how we use what we have read.