Tuesday, July 7, 2015
#CyberPD - Week One
It was exciting to read these first two chapters of Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8 by Franki Sibberson and William L Bass II. Click here to read more about #cyberPD or click here to join the Google+ discussion group! It's a pleasure every summer to participate in this knowledgeable group. I've taught gifted middle school students in a mixed 6, 7, 8 core classroom in an independent school. I moved from the classroom 5 years ago to be the school's literacy coach, then this year took over a class again. Now I've retired, but still am so interested in what everyone might share about how they are doing with integrating digital reading in their classrooms.
(note: I just realized that my page numbers are aligned with the ebook, not the print book (a digital challenge?). I am adding the print page number, too, after the first page number.)
These first two chapters were good introductions to the authors' premise, that important things always happen in a great reading workshop, but things they are a changin', and it's time to include, and USE, the digital world now available to us. Perhaps especially we need to consider that it's most readily available to our students!
What I liked:
The Introduction: The further examination of what close reading means, and the "Implications for Instructional Policy". p. 11, x I would add that because these implications include so many new things for integration into the workshop, teachers need added PD within the staff, across age levels, in order to share what they're doing and why, what resources are helpful (like this text). Additionally, on p. 12, xi, there are the suggestions for "Policies on Formative Assessment". Like we as teachers have become readers and have realized how important it is to be readers, now we also need to examine how we are using, and learning from, digital and complex texts. To use an old cliche, "it's a whole new ballgame". After a bit of searching, I found one article from Educational Leadership that looks interesting: "Re-thinking reading assessment in a digital age: How Is Reading Comprehension different and where do we turn now?" You can find it here.
I also liked that Franki and Bill shared the "opportunities to deepen understanding of topics. . ." to help prepare teachers. p. 13, xii.
Chapter One: I enjoyed the student examples of Marissa's and Julia's differences in reading practices when examined closely. And Sara's story of her disconnect because of the inability to use her devices in school.
The NCTE definition of 21st Century Literacies. p. 22, 7, then further on, ways skills expand and change because of digital tools. No longer can we tell a student to "use this book to take notes from which to form the 'next questions' in order to delve into even more books to deepen understanding." Monitoring for understanding also means choosing sources and being rather savvy with where you might go to find appropriate sources. I think I could back up and back up with the scaffolds needed in order to support a student's work online. And I have, but it feels as if it's becoming more complex than it used to be even a few years ago. Franki and Bill write: "Learning to read digital texts must be embedded in the ways we do our literacy work on a day-to-day basis." p. 26, 11 This takes time and understanding, plus commitment to change. I'm so glad that this book is going to help!
I love the organization into three anchors: authenticity, intentionality and connectedness. It will help the focus of our learning.
Chapter Two: It was good to see all the connections with Nanci Atwell, Penny Kittle, Ellin Keene and Susan Zimmermann, among others. Knowing that Franki and Bill agree with the background work from these educators is helpful. It gives us background information from which to draw and connect. The list, again another helpful one, "What Role Do Digital Texts Play in My Literacy Workshop?" is also a good beginning to thinking. Question by question, teachers will be able to think through what they can answer to each. Among still more explanation, Figure 2.4 adds questions for students. p. 38, 23
What I Question?
What about the teachers/classrooms/students/buildings who lack technology adequate for learning? I believe it's a problem still, and wonder how the challenge will be faced?
When will the additional PD happen for teachers? Will it happen? Will teachers express their needs for it?
Thanks Cathy, Laura and Michelle for hosting. It's a start of a terrific book!