Digital Reading: What’s Essential – Ch 1 and 2 #cyberPD

Digital Reading: What’s Essential Ch 1 and 2 #cyberPD

#CyberPD is an online professional development learning community where teachers read and discuss a common professional development text. Visit Reflect & Refine for more details and links to connect with the group. This year’s book isDigital Reading: What’s Essential in Grades 3-8 by Franki Sibberson and Bill Bass.

digital reading

Last school year, I dove into technology with great enthusiasm.  In my professional life, I continued blogging about reading and writing workshop practices and teaching in general,on two fronts: my own blog, A Teaching Life, and as a member of the Two Writing Teachers team, I became a much more frequent presence on Twitter and joined in chats, and I continued exploring digital tools.  In my classroom, I set up Google Classroom sites for multiple purposes so that my sixth graders could share their thoughts about what they read, create and revise new writing pieces, and participate in numerous social studies projects and investigations. We had a class Twitter account to follow authors, and we shared our writing with a   Slice of Life every Friday. But, even as we jumped into each of these ventures, I felt something was missing from the way I was leading my students through our journey through digital tools.  It was a great relief, therefore, that this particular book was chosen for this summer’s cyberPD.

Chapter 1: I read and re-read this particular quote many times, for I think it points out the difficulty both my students and I had as we made our way through the course of the year:

…even though they’ve internalized how to use technology, too many students still use it on a superficial level.  They may know where their games are bookmarked or where their app folder is on a device, but they aren’t necessarily digitally literate.  This knowledge makes them technology users but certainly doesn’t give them a deep understanding of how the tools work, what the best tool might be for a specific task, or even what other tools might be available – skills that are vital to becoming truly literate.  It takes time and experience to become a true digital reader…

I think the way I’ve been leading my students through digital experiences has not helped them make the move from superficial to true digital readers.  This chapter’s focus on developing an intentionality in the way I teach digital literacy was especially powerful.  I loved the way the authors explained the critical developments that readers from grades 3 to 8 pass through, and how passive digital reading becomes an ingrained habit and stance, “they begin to expect that these texts will not always make sense of have meaning. They become passive consumers…”.  The injunction that “learning to read digital texts must be embedded in the ways we do our literacy work on a day-to-day basis” really resonated.   As I go forward with Digital Reading, I hope to learn methods of doing exactly this.

Chapter 2:

I loved the story that this chapter began with – Moriya is exactly the type of reader that we want to nurture and inspire in our classrooms. Here’s what she thinks of as linked parts of her reading life: the desire to talk about a book experienced as part of a community of readers,a firm reading identity with favorite authors she knew she could connect to and continue the reading experience with, and the idea that a book lives with you long after you put it back on the shelf.  The tables on pages 19 through 21 really helped me analyze the way Franki’s questions about traditional reading workshop and digital reading workshop were linked as well as where extended teaching needed to take place in order for intentionality with digital reading to stick.   It was teaching with this type of intentionality that made Moriya “independent and flexible” in her very rich reading life.

My assignment for myself – create a list of questions such as the ones Franki posed on page 19: What role do digital texts play in my literacy workshop?

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5 thoughts on “Digital Reading: What’s Essential – Ch 1 and 2 #cyberPD

  1. I agree with you and had similar feelings as I read the two chapters. I felt like we read digitally and responded, but I didn’t encourage the deeper thinking and problem solving that goes along with being a digital reader. I am anxious to read your questions that you think about for the role of digital text in workshop. PS: I love the right column with the visuals that support your writing.

  2. I haven’t gotten my book yet! I so appreciate your take on the first two chapters. Your question is mine question, and it tortures me as I use digital tools in the classroom. I worry about wasting precious literacy time. The digital world must enhance their reading and writing lives. And to make things more complex, I believe it varies for each student. Can’t wait for my book and your follow up posts!

  3. Thanks for the update. I am on vacation this week and wasn’t going to participate, but your recap will permit me to zoom through the first two chapters and jump in next week.

  4. Tara,
    I’m so glad that you are joining in the #cyberPD conversations, as you always have so much to offer and share! Look at all that you have included into your reading/writing workshop! I’m impressed and not surprised as I have read about your journey in your classroom here on your blog and over at the TWT. But … moving from that superficial level to deeper understanding and use of digital texts and tools is the heart of our digital reading workshops — with authenticity and intentionality. I also appreciate the vision of a true digital reader in a classroom — an expectation that helps us inspire readers in our classroom. Bravo for giving yourself an assignment as well! I found those reflective questions thought provoking and need to consider what they mean for me and my intervention classroom.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Michelle

  5. I had so many questions that I was asking myself as I was reading. There was a lot to think about in this chapter. I want to do a better job of embedding technology into my workshops too. I think we are going to have to be really good kid watchers to know which students are being intentional and strategic and which ones need more support. One of my goals will be to make sure kids are doing deeper thinking with their reading.

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