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LLED 7110: Module 5 Digital Book

by ALLISON AUBREY

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TL;DR
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Module 5
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Allison Aubrey
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I chose my title because as teachers, we’re up against students who are used to online environments that grab their attention and distract easily (Larkin & Flash, 2017b). I've even found myself not reading something if it's too long!
How has your personal reading life changed as the world has become more digital? (Siberson & Bass, 2015)

- I caved and got a Kindle! I was against a Kindle for so long, but the ease of carrying multiple books with me at once while traveling was appealing as I started traveling more in the summers.

- I caved and got an iPad! I never felt the need for one, but with online grad school, I felt like I might appreciate having another tool (especially for annotation). I have not regretted the decision to purchase the iPad specifically because I’ve used it so much with PDF reading in grad school

- I spend more time reading my phone than I ever used to (especially social media)
Purposes for Reading
Space for Meta-Cognition
I’ve found myself saying that print text is better than digital text when in school, but so much of what we do in school is actually digital. We’ve commandeered the digital space and haven’t necessarily thought much about teaching students how to navigate digital reading. The other element Larkin and Flash (2016) mentioned was how students need to know about reading for different purposes. Purposes for reading (either for gist or reading deeply) is not an explicit part of any standards I’m responsible for basing my instruction around and unfortunately, I have not made space for that kind of instruction in my classroom. Piggybacking off that idea, Larkin and Flash (2017a) encourage teaching students how to manage the distraction of the internet as well as reflecting on how students read (where, what they do, how they are positioned, etc).

This year, I have brought back a focus on independent reading in my classroom. We are lucky to have a digital reading app called SORA, where students can check out books (and audiobooks) online and read on their chromebooks. I’ve worked hard to dedicate class time almost every day for students to read and every few weeks to reflect on if they’re meeting their weekly page goals, but this week’s readings were a great reminder that students also need the prompting to engage in the meta-cognition of how they read.

How can we give our students opportunities to make meaningful decisions as readers? (Siberson & Bass, 2015)

This is a big focus of mine this year as I want to build up my independent reading program. In previous years, we gave students a minimum number of books they had to read in 1 quarter (9 weeks), which wasn’t necessarily attainable for all students in the same time frame based on their reading rates. 

This year, I’m showing students how to calculate their weekly page goals (using 30 minutes per night) as my guide and having kids do a quick reading check in with me daily to report what page they’re on in their books.

I am still working out the logistics of what kind of reflection they are doing as/after they read, but readings from this class are certainly helping me make decisions like that.
Model It!
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One other big takeaway from Larkin and Flash (2017a) was modeling how I read both in print and digitally. I noticed during one particularly challenging short story two weeks ago, when I gave my students the task of reading and annotating to find who, what, where, when, the story was about, they stopped mid-sentence to highlight a character’s name or city name. They never got any traction while reading because they were so focused on the annotation and hunting for who, what, where, when. I paused and actually reminded my students that I’m in school too, and when I’m looking for notes in my reading, I need to read chunks at a time before I can effectively make any notes. We talked about appropriate chunks and moved on from there. I know this will be an on-going effort to model my own reading habits and it’s something I don’t do often enough.
TOP 20
Digital Reading
On the Common Sense Media (n.d.) Top 20 picks for digital reading, I noticed a few online tools that I’ve come to use often like NewsELA and CommonLit, but many of the features that are so great about digital platforms like that are often only included in the paid versions. I’ve been lucky that my district pays for NewsELA and that CommonLit is a totally free website. When my content partner and I looked into Actively Learn last year, we were excited about the possibilities, but noticed we couldn’t use the digital versions of articles (with built in vocabulary definitions, questions, etc) unless we had the paid version.
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Click to listen
Listen to my revelation as I was designing this page
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