Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Digital Reading Ch. 1-2 Reflection - #CyberPD
Another summer of #cyberPD has started and I'm very excited to be a part of this community again and the conversations that develop! If not already a member of this great community, check it out here.
I have always loved technology and the many things that it makes possible, but implementing its use within my classroom, though a priority, has always been a challenge. I do not have a 1:1 classroom, and in fact only have two outdated desktop computers in my room. Most of my 4th grade students do not have their own tablets or iPads, a larger portion have their own cellphones, with limited permissions from parents, but most can not afford the technology that our school Bring Your Own Device policy allows them to bring to school. It is because of this struggle to even find technology for my students to utilize that I am always eager to read about how to best implement digital devices and to teach digital literacy.
If my students only have limited exposure and access to current digital devices, then the time they do spend with it needs to be of the highest quality.
Chapter 1: Defining Digital Reading
This chapter began with such a vivid description of two seemingly digitally literate students, Julia and Marissa. This image really hit home. Every year I have many students who are just like Marissa, digitally literate if taken at face value, but who have not truly established deep reading habits like those of Julia.
As with most everything, students, though having grown up with technology and understanding it's superficial uses, must be taught how to choose which tools are best, how to use these tools, and what other tools may be out there. Students understand games and apps, but little beyond that. How can students be expected to know and understand these digital tools, if we do not teach them? I must make it a part of my classroom procedures and schedules. I must not just use technology in my own life, but must constantly show my students that I do, taking the time to explain why and provide time for them to try these devices and tools as well. To this end, I love the reminder on page 8 that "we can't wait until a child is competent with traditional literacy skills and then expect the child to transfer those skills to digital reading."
Throughout these first chapters, I have been thrilled with the information in the figures and tables. I especially like Figure 1.3 on page 10. This table shows the traditional skills we've always taught and how these skills expand or change with digital reading. What a great tool for use when planning for integrated and embedded digital learning!
A few key lines I loved:
"But it is important to stay true to what we know about good literacy teaching: teaching that teaches the reader, not the text." (pg. 12)
"This is not an either/or conversation; we don’t want to abandon books completely, and we also don’t want to imply that we should access only digital texts." (pg. 13)
Chapter 2: From Reading Workshop to Digital Reading Workshop
The second chapter of this book focuses on turning a reading workshop, into a digital reading workshop, and starts with reaffirming the choice to use a workshop. Put simply, it works. Students are invited to be a part of a community with authentic reading activities, and even in a digital world, this is still what students need. We can't turn away from what we know helps students grow.
I, on occasion, use digital texts within my classroom instruction, but as I read this chapter, I realized how much more I need to incorporate a wide variety of digital texts in order to have the impact on students that I desire. As I plan my teaching and instruction, I need to ask myself, "Am I sharing my own process and consumption of digital texts with my students? Am I making this authentic and real?" My students will learn from my example, but not if they don't see how I live out my reading life.
As with Chapter 1, so many of the tables spoke volumes to me. One of the best figures in this chapter was Figure 2.3, which compared a traditional workshop to a digital workshop, highlighting the small but vital changes that are needed. It may be a challenge, but making the transition from traditional reading instruction to digital reading instruction is critical in achieving the best education for my students.
"We want our students to be authentic readers and, at the same time, to be intentional, active, and reflective as they read all forms of media." (pg. 22)