As a member of the this Online Book Club you are expected to post to the book blog at least once per week between now and July 11 -- that's six weeks. You should finish your book before then, and you will meet during the Institute in your groups to extend the discussion and plan how to present the book to the others in the Institute.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

I have often thought that teaching reading skills is inseparable from teaching writing skills, but chapter three helps to clarify that by discussing how reading digital text often includes replying or responding to text. As I teach FYW, I notice that many students struggle to engage with required readings.  Encouraging students to engage with these readings in manners similar to the way they engage with digital texts or social media they read outside of school may offer us opportunities in a writing classroom to work on integrating these reading and writing skills in meaningful ways. I liked the discussion on writing reviews on Goodreads as a possible class assignment.
I also notice that I am frequently distracted by choices when reading digital text. The chapter mentions the student, Trevor, who finds digital reading more "alive" but more distracting.  This is where teaching mindfulness comes in. I can imagine whole-class brainstorming on techniques of mindfulness that we can share to help stay focused.
Trevor also talks about looking up information on social media posts he finds interesting. This seems like an incredibly important discussion to have in class, particularly in our polarized political climate. Students need to be able to find information that is personally important to them, but also to be able to question that information and determine how factual it is. I wonder how we teach this type of research and suggest ways of vetting material that has likely not been vetted. While we have access to so much information, it seems harder than ever to research for trustworthy information.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, and this will be especially interesting in an election year. I've run into this problem many times, where students look to all texts as authoritative. All written text is flattened--all ideas are valid, fair game for use as evidence. In this way, digital text is more democratic but also more dangerous. One of our jobs in first year writing is to inculcate critical thinking skills. And if all we do is assign readings and then grade students on how well their interpretation matches our own, then we're not doing much to foster their literacy skills. I've been thinking about how to use the critical reading framework to get students to interrogate their own reading practices in order to become more critical readers: how did you find this text? did you read it fully? did you follow their sources (or were there any)? what did you do with it? did you share it on Facebook? What does your Facebook feed look like, politically? The idea of ideological silos is interesting here--the idea that in that first part of connected reading, the encountering phase, we are becoming more and more likely to see only a limited range of opinions.