NCTE: More Online Reading Resources

By Elizabeth Rich — November 21, 2010 2 min read
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Live from the National Council of Teachers of English, Annual Convention, Orlando

A quick hit post...(Gary Paulsen and the Ed. Dept. are coming)

Just stopped by for the last few minutes of “Modeling and Mentoring Literate Lives: Trusting the Reading Workshop” with Franki Sibberson, Aimee Buckner, and our own Donalyn Miller.

Here are some really cool resources offered by Ohio teacher Franki Sibberson, whose presentation is the only one of the three that I heard. She’s working with the idea that kids need to “write” the media they are “reading.” On a side note, Franki offered that she gets 90 percent of her professional development resources from Twitter. So if you’re not on Twitter, you might want to reconsider that decision.

I offer one caveat, which is that you’ll have to Google the resources to get more information on each of them, but I figured you might want to know about them sooner rather than later.

Here you go with thanks to Franki Sibberson:

Tales 2 Go
Cat in the Hat (app)
Toy Story (app) (You can read the story or record yourself reading it.)
Reading in Action
Book Reviews
Magnificent 12 (Kids can create their own avatars)
The Exquisite Corpse
Toon Book Reader
Hallmark Recordable Books (You can record a story and then send it to someone.)
Scaredy Squirrel on Facebook
The Pigeon on Twitter (Twitter as Pigeon)
Possum Magic on Google Earth
Twitter TV (So what’s it like to watch T.V. with tweets running down the split-screen page? Here’s your chance to find out!)
Google Lit Tricks
Skype an Author (According to Franki, authors will make themselves available for Skyping with students.)
QR Codes (This is really cool—take a photo and get linked to, for example, a presentation.)
Global Read Aloud
Laura’s Life (A blog of book reviews by a young girl, “Laura,” who is a voracious reader.)
Shelfari-Talking About Books
VoiceThread as Book Talk (Comments become part of the piece.)

I just spoke to Franki and admitted that I wasn’t doing deep research on these links/apps/resources. My suggestion is to check on the NCTE Connected Community for the slide presentation sometime soon. (Unfortunately, that online resource is only available to NCTE members.)

If you’re overwhelmed, here’s a quote that Franki projected by Abraham Lincoln: “The best thing about the future is that it comes only a day at a time.”

Remember this advice, cautions Franki: Be flexible and student-centered. Also, she said, kids are “tech comfy, not tech savvy.” Her 4th graders told her that they have issues knowing how to navigate websites. Franki had a frank discussion with them in which they told her why they struggle doing anything beyond just skimming websites. Some of the reasons they listed include: The words are “squished together.” There’s a lot of information and too many links. Websites can be distractable.

Hopefully, you can a have a similar conversation with your students to get them to start thinking more deeply about how they “read” online media.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.