Friday, August 13, 2010

Reference List


Bauerlein, M. (2010). The new bibliophobes. The dumbest generation: How the
digital age stupefies young Americans and jeopardizes our future. Retrieved
from Educational Horizons, Infohio Database, EBSCO Host.

Carr, N. (2008). Is Google making us stupid: what the internet is doing to our
brains.” The Atlantic. Retrieved from

Cohen, V. (2006). Strategies for comprehending electronic text in digitally
mediated times. Current development in technology-assisted education,
170-174. Retrieved from

Corio, J. (2005). Making sense of online text. Educational leadership, 63(2), 30-35.

Gupta, A. & Ndahi, H. (2002). Meeting the digital literacy needs of a growing

workforce. The reading matrix, 2(1). Retrieved from

Kelly, K. (2010). From print to pixels. Smithsonian, 41(4), 122-128.

Kol, S. & Schcolnik, M. (2000). Enhancing screen reading strategies. Computer
assisted language instruction consortium journal, 18(1), 67-80.

Kolonay, D. & Kelly-Garris, K. (2009) The reading ready brain. Principal leadership

Rowsell, J. & Burke, A. (2009). Reading by design: two case studies of digital
reading practices. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(2) 108-118.

Vacca, R. & Vacca, J. (2005). Content area reading: Literacy and learning across
the curriculum. New York, NY: Prentice Hall.

Walsh, M., Asha, J. & Sprainger, N. Reading digital texts. Australian journal of
language and literacy, 30(1), 40-53.

Wolf, M. and Barzillai, M. (2009). The importance of deep reading. Educational leadership, 66(6), 32-37.

Teaching/Learning Strategies for Digital Literacy

Some Thoughts on Digital Literacy:
•Actual reading skills like decoding remain the same and are not often the issues when using the internet.

•Struggling readers will however have more issues due to the level of difficulty of the text, attention monitoring and the sheer overwhelming amount of information.

•Reading is not naturally occurring like walking or talking it has to be learned. The brain creates circuits and connections for reading that have to be learned.

•Students must construct meaning from what they read but will need some scaffolding strategies along the way.

•Students need to practice these strategies in order to be proficient

•Digital Literacy is a must today in order to be a literate adult.

•Advantages of using digital resources are huge! Level of motivation and understanding is high when using digital text, jobs of the future will require our students to be digital literate, the amount of resources is endless, resource currency beats out books (). Get expert resources from the expert no matter where they are. Access to information 24/7.
• Ability to create, produce and respond is essential to future communications

Databases—set up classes on databases. Advantages over “googling”:
•Geared toward research
•Often display reading level or lexile level
•Limited advertising
•Limited distractions
•Organized for easy navigation
•Often data bases that have been purchases have been looked at by educators—reading level documented and age appropriate

Internet Research—set up a series of classes on:
Activate prior knowledge—see what students know—use a Quick Write on researching vocabulary.

Class on basics of searching (vocabulary)—Browser, Search Engine, Website, Webpage, URL, Domain Name, Domain Extensions

Website Class—Home page, navigation, links, using Text Structure (bold terms, highlighted terms, headings, subheadings—compare to same strategies when reading print. Compare Skimming and Scanning strategies. Show how to use “Find” feature.

Use Think-Aloud Approach/Self Talk—model your approach

Internet Results List
Search Words and Key Words—spend time using different synonyms for search words
•What information contain in a “Results List”
•Read information under one result, think about what it is telling you, predict if you will be able to use it
•How many results are there? Can this be narrowed through Boolean Operators, changing keywords, search by site:--limiting your domain extensions

Website Evaluation Class—accuracy, reliability, validity, objectivity
•Use bogus sites for students to evaluate
•Use the Stop, Think and Predict strategy
•Lots of hands on experience
•Don’t teach in isolation—apply to some actual research

Purposeful Reading
—what can we do to help students?
•Purpose for research is it clear, have student generate Essential Question, does each article Connect to essential questions
•Note taking strategies—discourage copy and paste or printing
•Use Graphic Organizers or Outlines for note taking—teach how to use a few different kinds
Synthesize without copying (have a class on plagiarism)
Pre-read Strategies¬—look at the big picture of the website—can I read and understand this site after using scanning, skimming etc.
Post-read Strategies—can I Summarize what I just read? Do summarizing activities.

Research Topic—we can’t send students blindly into uncharted waters
•Students need some Background Information before researching a new topic. An introductory class on vocabulary or key concepts
•Have student form essential question and understand purpose of research (not just to write a paper—what they will be learning and applying)
•Can use strategies like OPIN, Magic Squares, Word Sorts, List-Group-Label, Concept Circles etc. prior to research
Processing Skills—construction of meaning
Attention Monitoring—monitoring their own ability to not be drawn away from purpose of researching by: animations, pop-ups, advertising, hypertext links
•Decision Making Skills
•Executive Skills¬—judgments, decision making etc.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Four Great Questions!

Julie Coiro (2005) in her article, Making Sense of Online Text, focuses on the literacy skills of locating, understanding and using information that is found on the Internet. She feels that digital literacy requires new literacy skills that need to be taught to all students. Struggling readers will encounter even more issues as they try to become proficient Internet readers because they tend to be more passive and have less prior knowledge to build on (2005). Corio, states the importance of digital reading is, “Because today’s students need to become proficient in using information and communication technologies to succeed both in school and in a knowledge economy, educators will need to consider how to teach and assess online reading” (2005). Many states use the NCLB technology framework but there are no states who currently assess online reading in their high stakes testing.

Reflection & Application: This article focused on four great questions that students should be asking themselves: which link should I follow, how do I navigate within a website, how do I know this is true and how do I synthesize without coping?

I would concur with Coiro that the first problem students encounter is which link should I click on from the long list of search results. I don’t think most middle school students even look at the information that follows the title of the link. She recommended a “stop, think and make predictions (2005)” approach. Students can look at the file extension, the topic, the purpose, the creator, the audience before they click on anything else.

I know my students do not do that and I will adopt her approach which sets the stage for clicking on the website and scan for text structures like headings, bold print etc. She has seven strategies for making a decision about a webpage (2005):
1. Read the title of the page
2. Scan menu choices—to get the big picture
3. Made predictions about where the links will take you
4. Explore interactive features
5. Identify the creator
6. How is this website set up---home page, linked pages
7. Make a judgement to go further or move on to another site
It is important often times to model this process, try it in groups before expecting students to do it independently.

Looking at the question of reliability and validity of sites she does a procedure similar to mine. I have a checklist that we use to check for reliability and validity. I use them on bogus sites, starting with ones that are pretty believeable like Dog Island Forever, California Velcro Crop and then to the more absurd ones like Northwest Tree Octopus and the Deflector Beanies. Most times student catch on pretty quickly that you can not believe everything you read!

The last question was an interesting on for me—how do I synthesize without copying? She allows them to open up a word document to copy and paste text citing the URL. I find that approach is kind of dangerous, students can’t remember what is copied and what they authored—too easy to plagiarize. I think I would ask them to set up a graphic organizer or make summaries along the way using text structures like headings or bold words.

I agree that Corio captured the four most important questions students need to be asking themselves and she has great strategies for both students and teachers. We are in the digital age and we need to make sure our students are equipped with 21st century skills when using the Internet to obtain information. Now we have to figure out how to assess online reading skills!

Reference: Corio, J. (2005). Making sense of online text. Educational leadership, 63(2)pp. 30-35.

How Sad, Books Will Not be Center Stage!

This article is a study between print and digital text using comprehension measure at the end of a semester. This study was done at the collegiate level with a control group who did all their reading from printed text and the experimental group who received training with online tools to assist them in reading online.

Literature search showed some studies had already been done on the length of time, which showed that print text was faster to read than digital and reading comprehension and speed, which found no significant difference between the two.

This study by Kol & Schcolnik (2000) focused on the giving students the following skills: Using the find feature, highlighter, hyperlinked outline to scan better, skim better and close-read better than those students reading from print.
Their hypotheses were that those strategies would allow them to read better or at least as well as those students reading from print text. (Scan better and skim and close-read as well as print) They defined the following terms, “scanning is defined as quickly looking over a text to locate specific pieces of information by using the find feature of the word processor,” “skimming as reading the hyperlinked outline provided, clicking the outline to access specific sections of the text, quickly reading and highlighting those sections, and scrolling to read the highlighted sections to get the main ideas,” and “close reading is reading intensively to comprehend ideas, logical relationships and /or fine points” (2000).

The same text on brain research from a journal was used to test student’s comprehension. Both used same text font, same size, same color and same color background. The layouts were different the digital study used hypertext links and the print was the entire article. The results were that students did skim better and close read digitally but they did not scan better. The find feature in the end did not help them scan better.

Reflection: Interesting study at the collegiate level but what I take away from this article is the importance of teaching skimming, scanning as pre-reading strategies and the need to find skills to help them read more deeply for comprehension.

Well I am not throwing my books away yet based on this article but I might look into non-fiction eBooks because what I find is the non-fiction especially in science and technology are almost dated when we put them on the shelves and if at the secondary level they can read digital text (not Internet text) as well as print text then it might make sense to have only what is current—who wants to use outdated research!

Kol, S. & Schcolnik, M. (2000). Enhancing screen reading strategies. Computer
Assisted Language Instruction Consortium Journal
, 18(1), pp. 67-80.

How Do You Interact With the Information on the Internet?

Confused and overwhelmed, that is how many students feel when we ask them to read and comprehend what they find on the Internet. Vicki L. Cohen (2006) who has written, Strategies for Comprehending Electronic Text in Digitally Mediated Times, states, “This type of reading and writing is complex, can promote higher order thinking, and can foster complex reading and writing useful in the world of work or global communication.” We need to teach new ways of interacting with the information that we are asking students to read. Skills needed are ones that go beyond what they have learned for reading linear/print text.

This article focuses on four key areas of digital text: Nonlinear hypertext, multiple-media text, interactive texts and online communication text. Inferential reasoning and context clues are needed when reading this nonlinear text. Hyperlinks can carry you away, do you want to go there? Can you find your way back? Students get to control their own destiny when Internet searching. Next, students will encounter graphics, pictures, animation, ads (lots of ads), icons, audio clips, video clips, and text of all different sizes, color and shapes quite different from black print on white page. Can students take in all these multiple-media texts? Will their attention be diverted from what is important to what is entertaining? Students today get to interact with what they are reading through blogs, wikis, discussion boards, glogs---they read, they can respond and they can create. Tough part of all of that is “self-monitoring” do they understand the author and how to appropriately responding? Lastly, the online communication networking text IM’s, chats, phone texts are they self monitoring, can they decipher a new casual type of text, do they know how to read the “affect” of the author. Do students know how to respond when they barely know how to read face to face nonverbal language? Many questions arise when we switch from print to screen text.

Cohen (2006) lists eleven behaviors that are displayed often when children are Internet researching:
1. Preference for browsing rather than entering a keyword, and conducting a
2. Difficulty in formulating keywords for a search.
3. Limited exploration; much use of well-known websites.
4. Little patience.
5. Difficulty with large amounts of text.
6. Tendency to focus on collecting factual knowledge than answering more conceptual
abstract questions.
7. Tendency to search for one correct answer.
8. Little attention to reading and processing of information.
9. Tendency to change the search questions when literal answer is not found.
10.Difficulty assessing the relevance of information found on the Internet.
11.Difficulty in assessing reliability of information found on the internet.
These behaviors are seen in elementary through college students. So these are the behaviors that need to be addressed in order to develop good digital readers.

Reflection: What is really great about this article is that it not only talked about the differences between print and digital text reading and behaviors often demonstrated by student but it also looked at solutions.
This author feels that digital reading strategies need to be taught. Strategies like:
•Graphic organizers--help students construct knowledge
•Write out their “essential question”—look at each sites relevance to their question
to help keep students on track
•Navigation skills—young students may need help how to navigate through everything
that is visible on their screen
•Pre-read strategy—first can they read and understand the information? Skim over
the headings and decide if you can tell what the main idea of the website is
•Post-read strategy—can you summarize what you read?
•“Synthesizing: The student must not only identify the main idea but generate new
theories of how this information applies to their topic” (2006).

I think this article hit the nail on the head for me! The behaviors that the author listed are exactly what I have witnessed with 7th and 8th graders at my school! What am I going to do about it? I need to break down these behaviors into classes or mini-lessons that focus on strategies for reading on the Internet.

Cohen, V. (2006). Strategies for comprehending electronic text in digitally mediated times. Current development in technology-assisted education, p. 170-174. Retrieved from

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A-literacy and E-literacy is there a difference?

There was a catchy title to this article and so I decided to check it out and once again there are scary statistics in this article I just can’t pass up! This article points out that young adults of today are not reading for pleasure and books are not the choice way to get information. Then what is to become of the profession that I am just now entering---Media Specialist?

The New Bibliphobes, a chapter written by Mark Bauerlein (2010) states that, “a-literacy is defined as knowing how to read, but choosing not to” is catching on amongst young adults. He quotes a study done in 2002 that only 43% of 18-24 year olds had read any “work of poetry, fiction or drama in the preceding year.” This is a 17% drop from the same study done in 1982 (2010). Bauerlein feels there are more “diversions” than in previous years. Young adults are spending more time on computers, video games and phones than ever before. The amount of time on social networking is a staggering 9 hours per week (2010). He feels they have a quicker attention span and they are multitaskers which take very little time to just sit down and read a book for a couple of hours. E-literacy has taken over but that it is just the quick fix for instant answers without having to remember anything because you can just pull it up again when you need it! Therefore, even though they are “reading more” digitally their knowledge and skills have not risen accordingly “(2010). A Strong American Schools Report shows, that 43 % of 2-year college students and 29 % of four-year college students end up in a remedial class in reading, writing or math”(2010).

Reflection: So what we need among young adults is a change of attitude. They need to embrace books, reading for pleasure and capitalize on what print resources have to offer. I suspect that although they may be reading a lot on the internet—they are like my 7th and 8th graders—just superficial knowledge. So maybe a-literacy and e-literacy are one in the same!

Reference: Bauerlein, M. (2010). The new bibliophobes. The dumbest generation: How the digital age stupefies young Americans and jeopardizes our future. Retrieved from Educational Horizons, Infohio Database, EBSCO Host.

People of the Screen

Okay, this article does not have much to do about digital literacy, regarding how we read, but it was extremely entertaining and amusing, so I have included some great facts that really do matter to digital literacy.

Kevin Kelly (2010) states in his article, From Print to Pixels, “as digital screens proliferate, people are reading a whole new way” the written word has moved off the printed page and on to all kinds of screens. In today’s world people are reading from somewhere around 4.5 billion screens (2010). These screens are on televisions, cell phones, computers (laptops, iPads, netbooks), gaming systems, and music devices. “Right now ordinary citizens compose 1.5 million blog posts a day” and “young people around the world collectively write 12 billion quips per day from their phones.” That is a lot of reading and writing!

The author does a great job at looking at the history of the written word and how it has changed our lives but no print sources have infiltrated our lives like screen reading. There are screens in many rooms of our houses, throughout our schools, and mobile screens that we carry around with us where we go. Even billboards have been replaced by screens on highways, sports arenas and on the sides of buildings.

Kelly states, “Books were good at developing a contemplative mind. Screens encourage a more utilitarian thinking” (2010). The world is at our fingertips 24/7. It is a different way of reading—print is coming off the page but a screen is hitting you with all kinds of hypermedia in all different directions.

Kelly concludes, “Last year alone, five quintillion transistors were embedded into objects other than computers” and “screens will be the first place we will look for friends, for news, for meaning, for our sense of who we are and who we can be” (2010).

Reflection: Well hang onto your hats and get ready for the ride of your life! Digital reading is going to be essential for being a literate adult. Students will need, at a very young age make sense of what they see and what they read because it will not be in a book that they carry around with them it will be on screens everywhere they look.

Kelly, K. (2010). From print to pixels. Smithsonian, 41(4), 122-128.