Many thanks to those who joined us for our discussion of Connected Reading, by our very own Kristen Hawley Turner and her co-author, Troy Hicks. As Turner and Hicks do in Chapter Three of the book, we started the Hangout by discussing our own connected reading practices (e.g., forwarding articles, tweeting, posting to Facebook, & book clubs) and then moved into ways that we model and share those practices with our students. Clemencia and I, for example, post articles to student forums like Google Classroom, while Lauren Z. has tried Goodreads and Shelfari.
We all agreed that we yearn to show our students more of how we, as adults, interact with each other as connected readers. In Chapter Five, Turner and Hicks offer lessons to “guide students in sharing their thinking,” which made us think and talk about how we use social media to share and discuss our reading with relatives, friends, & colleagues. This emerged as important part of our discussion as Rebekah pointed out that, while there are valid reasons for the separation between adults and students on social media, this division might, as she went on to say, “deprive students of opportunities to see the way that adults interact with each other.” Sadly, legal restrictions enforced to keep both students and teachers safe, also keep us from showing our students how we connect to other adult readers in an authentic environment. And we recognize that modeling connected reading and engaging in CR practices with students on a platform like Facebook might be a powerful learning tool for our students. This prompted Rebekah’s big question: “How can we create digital communities of leaders that…[bring] together students and adults…so that students can see the way that adults react in these spaces… and [can] interact with [teachers]?” Many educators allow alumni into their social media circles. Those former students, in becoming part of teachers’ social media circles, become part of conversations about the many things teachers read; they can share in their teachers’ passions, not only for recreational reading, but also for reading on important social issues. But we can’t do that now! Or could we? How could such as space be created? Maybe this is a question we’ll be able to answer together in the coming months.
Another highlight of the Hangout was our discussion about the ways in which teachers can harness the power of digital tools to engage our adolescent readers and the power of choice in reading and learning. If you could ‘t make the hangout, lament not your absence: you can click here to view the entire Hangout on Air.
Can’t wait for Rebekah’s digital jigsaw on Teaching the New Writing, by Anne Herrington, Kevin Hodgson, and Charles Moran on March 22nd. Hope to see you all there!