Musings from a K-5th Reading Specialist. I encourage my students to think, speak, read, and write, with my support.
I parent two amazing young adult daughters with my husband of 28 years.

July 10, 2015

Digital Learning Chs. 1 & 2 #cyberpd

Text available from NCTE

Happy collaboration time!  Thank you to Cathy, Laura and Michelle for hosting this summer's edition of #cyberpd.  A place to read a professional book with other like-minded people and have a great conversation!  Grab a copy of Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8 by Bill Bass and Franki Sibberson and join the discussion!


Chapter 1 & 2 

This year I taught a classroom of first graders.  Everyone had a tablet.  The kids loved them.
I was not as excited.

I really thought I needed to hold back the reins on the tablets or my six- and seven-year-old charges would become completely dependent on their devices, needing to use them 24/7.  Yes, I am the same person who encouraged blogging and online reading just a year ago, but this felt different.  Would I be able to model the "right" kind of digital citizenship and using tablets as a tool?  I wasn't feeling confident, so I reluctantly let my students have access to these shiny, speedy digital tools.  I tried my best to provide guidance and anchor charts, yet I worried that my students would end up shunning our extensive library of books.

While reading the first two chapters of Digital Reading, I kept writing down the same word over and over on my sticky notes...
We (I, I, I) need to be intentional when making decisions about our instruction, our beliefs and our students.  First, we must decide what is digital reading. I love to read blogs and read lots of them.  They are snapshots of real people dealing with real situations, and I enjoy the insight into their thinking and feelings.  I have encouraged my students to write blogs, but I've never intentionally
showed them other blogs (written by kids and adults) that they can read and use as mentor texts.


Digital Reading Workshop
During my many years of reading instruction, I've encountered many students who are "passive consumers" of text (p.13).  This book reminds me of the importance of teaching students to reach for deeper understandings of all text they encounter, no matter if it's digital or hardcopy.  I appreciate the authors' commitment to creating a digital reading workshop model focused on:

authenticity - ensuring students see reading as an experience that doesn't just occur in the classroom

intentionality- purposeful instruction; students make meaningful choices about text they use

connectedness - help students connect to peers, other readers, authors and the world using digital tools


As much as I'm guilty of seeing technology as an extra "thing" to manage in the classroom, I have a better understanding of myself as digital reader and communicator, and how I must intentionally guide my students in finding success, no matter what text or format they choose.  I look forward to gaining more confidence and knowledge about digital reading from our book study!