Monday, January 8, 2018

Technology, reading and digital literacy - sharing books

As mentioned in the previous post, when I was a 5th and 6th Grade teacher I used to have weekly Book Shares, where students could use a variety of ways of sharing and recommending books they had read to others in the class.  For some students, moving from "consuming" a book to "creating" something that will share that book with others, is an important factor in getting them to read or finish a book.  The Book Shares were always extremely popular - students enjoyed both the creating and listening/viewing what their classmates had made.  At my current school we have continued to promote these sorts of projects with students making book trailers, adding QR codes to library books with recommendations, and using the AR app Aurasma to share books with the rest of the learning community.

One thing that I've discovered is really important is for teachers to use these tools themselves.  Sometimes we underestimate just how time-consuming some of these projects can be!  Recently when our Grade 4 teachers were introducing a variety of tools to students, they decided they would all take one one tool and use it to tell their own story.  Teachers chose various tools such as iMovie, VoiceThread, Book Creator and paper slides.

Making video book trailers is a lot of fun, but there also needs to be a return on learning for the time spent in this creation.  Students need to understand the importance of writing a script including a powerful hook, and that they don't need to give too much of the plot away.  They need to consider the images they will use to illuminate the book, and they often need to practice talking in a "performing voice".  Students can also use tools such as GoAnimate, Bitstrips, Make Belief Comix, Pixton, TouchCast and Livestream for sharing books.

As well as supporting students to meet important literacy standards, sharing books in this way helps students to meet the ISTE Standards for Students, in particular Standard 4, Innovative Designer, Standard 6 Creative Communicator and Standard 7 Global Collaborator.

How do your students share what they are reading?  What are your favourite tools?

Photo Credit: flickingerbrad Flickr via Compfight cc

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