How should digital elements be approached in the English classroom? How can students learn to filter, analyze, curate, and share digital content, while making the best use of new technologies and tools, sometimes in coordination with existing print texts?
In an article from The NCTE Council Chronicle titled Teaching Teens – and Ourselves – to be Mindful, Connected Readers, Dr. Kristen Turner tackles connected reading, digital literacy, and how students can manage print and digital texts.
For their book “Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World“, Dr. Turner and Dr. Troy Hicks of Central Michigan University surveyed and interviewed over 800 middle- and high-school students about their reading motivations and habits. The NCTE Council Chronicle highlights their findings and recommendations, such as introducing students to tools that help them become more mindful readers.
Most students don’t know about RSS readers, for example, which let users subscribe to blogs, newspapers, or other sources and receive articles directly to their devices. They don’t curate content via aggregation tools like Flipboard, which lets you create collections of articles based on topic areas. They don’t use browser tools like Pocket and Readability, which let you easily save articles for later, offline reading.
The article also profiles teachers who practice connected reading, including Lauren King, Adolescence English MST student and member of the Fordham Digital Literacies Collaborative. Lauren teaches English at the Urban Assembly School of Design & Construction.
Last summer, she put a reading project on Twitter, posting high-interest articles that kids could read over break and comment on via tweet—which raised participation. Why? “Their reading and discussion was authentic and visibly connected to the rest of the world,” explains King.