Tamara Fitzgerald and Ann Way develop a Shelfari project for Ann's 10th Grade English classes.


Social Learning: Why it Works

The Four Lenses of Learning Penn Literacy Network and Pennsylvania Institute for Instructional Coaching.

Keeping it Real (or the Secret to Keeping Students Engaged)

Publish! Publish! Publish!

1. Can it Be For Me? Digital Booktalking

Bookwink Site for professionally-prepared booktalks for grades 3-8.

Scholastic New video library of booktalks.

These are fine, but not as engaging as those created by your students, FOR your students.

Simple flip camera (or even cell phone) videos of your teachers and students performing booktalks work great.
Encourage the creation of a script and some rehearsal before filming.
Consider using a teleprompter. Cueprompter works well...adjust the speed of the text to match the speed of your speaker.
For more complexity, consider other digital video creation tools such as Animoto (below), MovieMaker, or iMovie (allow green screening).
Publish to your school's TV station, or to a video hosting site such as TeacherTube or SchoolTube (see link below) and embed in your wiki or website.

What might wiki booktalk reviews or booktalks look like at your school?
Northwestern Elementary Wiki
Southern Lehigh Middle School Book Exchange Wiki

A few words about having students write book reviews or create book trailers:
Why are you requiring this? What is it you want students to be able to do as a result of doing this?
How will you assess this? Rubistar
Are you keeping it motivating or are you taking all the fun out of sharing?
Do you have an authentic audience for these?
Are students given access and reminded frequently to use these as a resource to assist in book selection?

2. Reading, Literature Circles, and Book Discussion Groups: Using Social Media

Shelfari Works through amazon.com. This social site allows users to create virtual bookshelves of books they've read, that they want to read, or that they're currently reading and to share their shelves with their friends. Users can write reviews and also join (or start their own) book discussion groups online.

GoodReads Similar to Shelfari. This site also allows the user to create a library of quotes.

Google Books Track your reading, search for books, download books in the public domain, all from this one site, using your google account.

BookGlutton Social reader that allows users to comment inside the book they're reading. Books may be uploaded in ePub format. Upload stories your students have written in ePub and your class can read and comment on other students' writing.

ePubBooks Source of free, public domain books for download. Or, students can write their own books in ePub. Download them, and then upload these into BookGlutton and read them (and discuss) collaboratively!

Edmodo Free tool. While this tool offers teachers a multitude of ways to engage students in online learning, one of the most powerful uses is to structure a synchronous discussion of any content, including book discussion. Its facebook-like interface means that there is virtually no learning curve to get older students up and running.

Today's Meet Quick and dirty discussion space. No signup. Online chat room stays open as long as you'd like. Simply share the URL and start discussing! It is possible to download a transcript for evaluation or other purposes.

Web 2.0 Tools To Support Sharing:

Wikispaces or PB Works These sites serve as "parking lots" for book reviews. Link you your teacher website so students have easy access. Caution: It is not necessary to be a member of a wiki to view its contents. Students need to be taught wiki etiquette before being permitted to post. Think about vetting posts before going live...perhaps a select group of students are the wiki's editors, or with even younger students, the teacher can upload all items to the wiki. Also, be aware of student identity and avoid posting identifying information about any student other than a student's first name and last initial. This is true for the wiki as well as any media created by the student that will be uploaded to it.

Be sure to provide appropriate attribution for the use of text and media used in any project appearing on the wiki.

Most digital storytelling tools work well as digital booktalking tools. Please feel free to refer to the Digital Storytelling page of this wiki for web 2.0 resources. Example: Storybird A Critical Analysis of the Invisible Man

Vocaroo quick and dirty audio recorder. No signup required Great for quick podcasts.

Audacity Free download. Audio editor. Be sure to also download the LAME mp3 encoder so you can publish your podcast in a format that is easy to upload to wikispaces or pbworks.

Podbean Great space to host podcasts. Provides an embed code to embed the podcast in your wiki or teacher website.

Voki Animated avatars speak typed text or voice recorded content. Signup required. Provides embed code.

Voicethread Start conversations around an image, a document, a video, or any other form of digital content. Also possible to embed.
Rimm's Reviews

Animoto Create a video in just minutes from still images or video footage. Sign up for a free educator account and you'll receive a code to share with up to 50 students, allowing them to create one video each under your account. Allows embedding.

SchoolTube Hosting site for all of your videos. Create an account for your school. Free signup. Make sure you apply to be a moderator, or you'll wait a long time for your videos to be approved. Accepts videos up to 2G in size. Embeddable.