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Using Technology to Cultivate a Culture of Readers

By Katie Stover Kelly
 | Sep 01, 2017
BiblionasiumOn the first day of school, Ms. Stafford read aloud First Day Jitters by Julie Dannenburg (Charlesbridge, 2000) to introduce herself as the new assistant principal and to share her feelings about starting her first day at a new school.

To reach every student, she used the video presentation tool MoveNote, to pair the audio recording of her read-aloud and discussion with the images of the book pages. At dismissal that day, one student approached Ms. Stafford and said, “I loved the story you read to us today. You should do more!” Mission accomplished.

Ms. Stafford continued creating MoveNotes to share read-alouds, create common language, and teach character education. She even used screencast to teach others how to create their own MoveNotes. Eventually both teachers and students used MoveNotes to share their favorite books school-wide.

The use of digital tools such as MoveNote, the interactive whiteboard app ExplainEverything, and the online podcast platform AudioBoom can expand the way we share and connect through books, inside and outside of the classroom. In Smuggling Writing (Corwin, 2016) we share how to use ExplainEverything to create multimodal book reviews. We also discuss how to use AudioBoom to improve students' reading and writing fluency, in From Pencils to Podcasts: Digital Tools to Transform K-6 Literacy Practices (Solution Tree, 2017) and in a previous TILE-SIG blog post.

Many adults use Goodreads to track reading lists, rate books, write reviews, and connect with other readers for book recommendations. Biblionasium is a kid-friendly version of this social book site. When teachers set up a classroom on Biblionasium, each student can add books to their virtual bookshelves. This gives teachers insight into their students’ reading habits and interests.

Biblionasium reviewAfter reading, students can rate, review, and recommend books to other users within their group. This is an excellent way to integrate writing into a reading curriculum in a meaningful way, and to empower students to share their opinions. 

For educators looking to cultivate connections beyond the classroom, The Global Read Aloud is a six-week event beginning in October where more than two million people connect across the globe using a variety of digital tools to discuss common books. Our class will be joining the #GRAWater slow chat on Twitter to discuss A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (Houghton Mifflin, 2011). We hope you’ll join us!

In an age when educators are bombarded with endless digital tools, we must use technology to create purposeful student-centered learning experiences that connect readers both near and far and nurture a culture of reading.

katie stover headshotKatie Stover Kelly is an associate professor of education at Furman University in Greenville, SC and coauthor of From Pencils to Podcasts: Digital Tools to Transform K-6 Literacy Practices (Solution Tree, 2017) and Smuggling Writing: Strategies That Get Students to Write Every Day, in Every Content Area, Grades 3-12 (Corwin, 2016). Find her on Twitter @ktkelly14.

This article is part of a series from the International Literacy Association Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).

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