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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Friday, June 17, 2016

Something I kept thinking about as I read the second chapter is the importance of choice by readers of digital text. We often talk about choice in terms of encouraging students to self-select text, but it seems to me that this idea of choice really explodes with digital text. Within one "text" students are faced with a multitude of choices about hyperlinks to follow and different routes to take through the reading. It does seem like Rosenblatt's ideas on reader response and interaction with text to create meaning become much more complex when readers can take their reading of a digital text down different paths.  I'm curious about the challenges this creates for the instructor and instruction. If some readers choose not to follow certain hyperlinks, will it become difficult to have whole-class discussions of readings? In theory, students may be reading different texts based upon the paths they select. Actually, as I think about this, I can imagine it leading to richer conversations in class. It would allow students to discuss which links they chose to follow, and they could share the additional information they gathered by following these links. This could also lead to an interesting discussion in class about reading process and how/why they selected to follow certain links but not others.


  1. Thank you for your post, Laura.
    I just finished chapter two and the idea of choice jumped out at me too.
    I also noticed some other things:
    * The chapter started and ended with questions. This is my kind of chapter. :)
    * I enjoyed the juxtaposition between connected learning and connected reading, good-old-run-of-the-mill reading and digital reading. I found these similarities interesting and not surprising.
    * I was captured by what connected learning expects digital and social media to do for learning (page 26). These are my hopes too, for my teaching, I mean.
    * I was so excited by (what I think is) the golden sentence of this chapter: "for networked texts the reader must create the text itself by following links" (29).
    Much like you, Laura, I believe these student-created texts will enrich and encourage classroom discussion.

    I enjoyed your post, and I am looking forward to chapter three.
    Peace for your required reading. :)

  2. I was thinking about this too. I haven't gotten exact numbers from my students, but based on some conversations and some blank stares, it's apparent that some students do not know that hyperlinks exist. In one class last semester, I sent my students an email with a link to a reading. It said something like, "you can find the reading here," and "here" was a link to the reading. Zero of them clicked on the link, and when I asked in class why that was, those who at least looked at the email said they didn't realize that the underlined blue word was a link. Apparently linked reading is something that we need to deal with more explicitly than I would have thought. I do have my students construct texts with hyperlinks, particularly their final portfolio, where they must create links within their reflective statement to their writing samples.

    On the other hand, I have not assigned many readings with links within them. And thinking about my own reading practices, I almost never click on links in articles (with the exception of Wikipedia, where I almost always end up down a rabbit hole). This is something that I will be thinking more about as I plan for next year.