Saturday, July 11, 2015

#CyberPd Digital Reading- What's Essential (Reflection Chapters 1-2)


First, I would like to give a HUGE shout out to the #CyberPd team who brings together an amazing community of learners who are all willing to share and learn in one space (virtually)! The possibilities in this group are amazing and will impact many children and educators and for this I can't thank you enough @CathyMere, @LauraKomos and @MichelleNero! You three ladies are modern day super learning heroes!


As I read Digital Reading -What's Essential in
Grades 3-8 it's clear this content is appropriate for all learners. As a first grade teacher I find myself making connections to my classroom, inspired by “aha’s” and highlighting away. I have embraced digital tools into reading and writing workshop for a few years now and each year I strive to find new ways to move our learning forward and to root digital tools in our classroom just as paper and pencil have been for centuries. Just as I teach a reader to choose books to support learning or a writer to choose a pencil grip, topic or paper type to support writing growth I teach the learners to consider the features and capabilities of the tools they choose.  Student choice with any tool is paramount in learning.


Franki and Bill caution us about assuming the students (while well versed with digital tools outside of the classrooms) know how to make choices or use digital tools for learning without time and experience as a digital learner.  The world in which our students will live as adults has already embraced new and different forms of literacy and students not unlike print literacies need time to learn the intricacies of digital literacies in a way that will allow them explore new tools and literacies as our tools and literacies evolve.


...we can't view digital reading as an add-on; in other words, we can't wait until a child is competent with traditional literacy skills and then expect the child to transfer these skills to digital texts.


These words spoke to me over and over as I read. As the mother of two daughters who grew up with digital tools I have watched as they've self-taught themselves how to use these powerful tools and it's clear we use them VERY differently. I often suggest to them how they could use these tools to connect, research, and  expand learning they reply-


"You're using it weird" or "That's not how people our age use it."


Franki and Bill express the importance of embedding the use of these tools in our instruction on a
daily basis to enable students to learn to read digital text. My daughters have shown me how true this is, they have experience with all the same tools, but rarely (if ever)  do they choose these tools to show or deepen learning.  I doubt they understand the power they have in their hands.

As a first grade teacher what better time is their to root the purpose and power of tools for learning.  I strive to instill choice and purpose in learning and as our media has expanded from paper and pencil so have our choices. This is not to say paper and pencil are not still viable choices, it's never about the tool, it's about the purpose and choice.




Forgive this ROUGH book i created as my FIRST book on Book Creator. I am pondering how my classroom has evolved through the implementation and rooting of digital tools & digital literacies.
I've included the book below despite it's raw state to invite more conversation on this thought-
How has your teaching and/or classroom changed with digital literacies?



How have Digital Tool and Literacies Changed your classroom and Teaching? from Deb on Vimeo.

12 comments:

Julie Simmons said...

Hi Deb -
So...I did not order this book or join #cyberpd this year because I was not sure the content would be applicable to first grade. Having been to conferences where I heard Franki talk on this subject, I should have known better! Thanks for the post and the reminder that the book content is appropriate for all learners. I will be ordering the book and referring to the #cyberpd resources while I wait for my book to arrive!

Linda Baie said...

I just read Maria Caplin's response from a primary perspective too, & am glad to read yours too. This "it's never about the tool, it's about the purpose and choice." is important to remember, maybe put it at the top of every lesson! I just took over a classroom this year for the first time in 5 years, have been coaching in the interim. I blogged this time for the first time with a whole class, & we used Google Docs, etc. to view documents, discuss, respond, and on. It was terrific to me. This was a mixed grade 6, 7, 8 class. Things have changed & I had only 2/3 of the year, but I can see that more & more will be happening, & from your perspective, beginning at the earliest age. Thanks, Deb.

Tammy and Clare said...

Deb - We love this quote from your post, "As a first grade teacher what better time is their to root the purpose and power of tools for learning. I strive to instill choice and purpose in learning and as our media has expanded from paper and pencil so have our choices. This is not to say paper and pencil are not still viable choices, it's never about the tool, it's about the purpose and choice." We agree that this is all about power and purpose.

Deb Frazier said...

Thanks for stopping by for a chat. I am trying to really focus on the why behind the tools and their outcome on learning. So often I find a tool that was great yesterday changes tomorrow or sometimes disappears all together! Knowing how and why we choose tools seem a lot like knowing how to choose books to me...?

Deb Frazier said...

Linda,
This is an exciting time to be an educator! I am often grappling with the questions of how digital tools have changes my teaching. Sometimes I think not at all, what I believe is the same. It jsut seems now dreams I had about teaching are possible. Then, I reflect on the look and feel of my room and it is different...change or evolution?

Deb Frazier said...

Hi Julie!
I am glad you stopped by, I make it a rule to NEVER miss Franki's words! Looking forward to following your thoughts in the chat here!

Amanda Davell said...

What a powerful last reflection sentence! A great reminder that it is about the purpose and choice not the tool.

Michelle Nero said...

Hi Deb,

So glad to see you joining in the #cyberPD conversations again! You always bring such insight from a primary perspective! I know you have always been involved in embedding technology into your classroom and love that you want to "root digital tools in our classroom."

Interesting thinking about how your daughters interact with digital devices and tools -- self-taught and probably most geared toward social media usage. When I think about this, it reminds me about how I learned to read. I just learned how to read but I was never taught about critical thinking, meta-cognition and strategy usage. Then in the last 15 years (or so), now we are explicitly teaching strategy comprehension. The same is now happening with technology and as educators we are playing catch up -- but we are smart! We know we must explicitly teaching digital literacy with authenticity, intentionality and connectedness! We have a focus and purpose!

You said it best: "it's never about the tool, it's about the purpose and choice." Look at you trying out Book Creator! Great work experimenting!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Michelle


Cathy said...

Deb,
You're always so fun. I enjoyed your ending video about how the workshop still looks the same. I know digital tools/texts are used in your classroom seamlessly across the day. Your book illustrates this.

When we think about the way our older children use tools, there is some power to your statement that first grade may be the perfect place to teach them the power and purpose of these new digital opportunities.

I'm so glad you're joining the discussion. I look forward to hearing more about your thinking as you continue to read.

Cathy

Lisa Corbett said...

Cool "book". That's an interesting way to respond. I need to learn how to do more of those kinds of things. I am thinking more about how to be more intentional in my instruction, so that the students see the purpose in various tools, and can then add them to their repertoire of tools. I agree with this statement: "Just as I teach a reader to choose books to support learning or a writer to choose a pencil grip, topic or paper type to support writing growth I teach the learners to consider the features and capabilities of the tools they choose." It's making me think of how I always introduce math manipulatives by letting the students just simply play with them, get the playing out of their systems, and then teach them the purpose behind the various blocks, dice and spinners. Maybe I should be thinking about the iPad apps the same way: Play with them to learn them, and then get really serious about how the app will support other learning.

Laura Komos said...

Deb,
I absolutely love that you took a chance and created your ebook! The content helped me think even more about what my classroom used to look like, what it currently looks like, and what I think it will/could/should look like as I move forward. This also weaves its way from literacy learning to math, which is yet another area I aim to tackle this year!
Thanks for pushing my thinking!
~Laura

Mary Lee said...

You risk taker, you! Your rough book is just fine. It served its purpose and you are a positive role model!