Connected Reading (Book Companion Page)

Resources from our NCTE book, Connected Reading (2015)

NOTE: This page includes links from an archived version of our original Wikispace, which went offline in 2018. To that end, some of the links may be broken. If you find one, please contact me.

Also, connect with us on Twitter @teachKHT and @hickstro

Connected Reading: Teaching Adolescent Readers in a Digital World by Kristen Hawley Turner and Troy Hicks © 2015 by the National Council of Teachers of English. This figure may be printed, reproduced, and disseminated (with attribution) without permission from NCTE.

NCTE Policy Research Brief: Reading Instruction for All Students

Media Mentions

Chapter 1: Reimagining Reading Instruction for All Students

Who Am I As A Reader?

In this image there are three readers, each reading in a different formats- one person with a magazine, one with a book, and one with a tablet. As we can see, people love to read in different ways. It is very likely that we would use digital reading if we owned a tablet, e-reader, computer, or phone. How, where, when, and why do you read?

Do My Students Have Access to the Internet and Devices?

The majority of students do have access to the internet and devices some way or another. For some students, the digital divide from the online world can still exist; however, a majority of your students will have access to the internet. Look at the chart below for some some insight on our findings.

Key Ideas in Reading Instruction for All Students

(1) text complexity
(2) student readers
(3) close reading
(4) implications for instructional policies
(5) implications for policies on formative assessment
(6) implications for professional learning for teachers

Chapter 1 Links

Chapter 2: Rethinking Comprehension in a Digital Age: Connected Reading

An Emerging Model of Reading Comprehension in a Digital World  What, How and Why Do Teens Read Digitally?

The process of “reading” is complicated by many factors including experience, skills, motivation, interest the reader brings to the text, and the difficulty and reading level of the text itself.

  • Encounter – Readers encounter a text through receiving, searching, surfing, or stumbling
  • Engage – Processes of the reader before, during, and after reading a text through curating, deciding, reading, and sharing
  • Evaluate – Finding value in the text for the individual reader including personal opinions, interests, employing digital tools, and judging a text.

After the reader encounters the text, readers engage and evaluate the text simultaneously in a circular fashion, finally sharing the text with other readers.

Here are some resources students can use to find digital texts and books online:

Theoretical Influences of Connected Reading

What are some strategy-based approaches for reading comprehension for students?

  • Activate prior knowledge
  • Ask questions
  • Infer
  • Visualize
  • Determine importance
  • Summarize
  • Synthesize

Many of these strategies can be transferred to digital texts and hyperlinked texts.

What are some new principles in New Literacy, regarding a shift to digital and Internet based readings?

  1. Internet defines this generation in learning and literacy
  2. Internet and related technologies require additional new literacies to access full potential
  3. New literacies are deictic (contextual)
  4. New literacies are multiple and multimodal
  5. Critical literacies central to new literacies
  6. New forms of strategic knowledge needed for new literacy
  7. New social practices are central with new literacies
  8. Teachers are more important, through role changes, within a new literacy classroom

Within New Literacy, hypertext emerged. Hypertext is a computer/electronically displayed text where students can access references and other links immediately, which demands the readers participation.

The following chart illustrates the differences between printed and hypertextual features.

Theoretical Influences of Connected Learning

Connected Learning is when a person connects their interests and learning to academic achievement and civic engagement through digital and networked media. Connected Learning is:

  1. Peer Supported
  2. Interest Powered
  3. Academically Oriented
  4. Production Centered
  5. Shared Purpose
  6. Openly Networked
  7. Challenging
  8. Requires Active Participation
  9. Interconnected
  10. Socially Supported
  11. Accessible
  12. Open and Diverse

The diagram below demonstrates the many aspects of Connected Learning and how these factors can benefit a student in your classroom.

Listed are some websites to further explain the significance of connected learning in the classroom today:

Contextual Factors and Reader Attributes

Every reader brings their own personal and prior knowledge into context to individualize the reading. Rosenblatt illustrates these concepts in her work, The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of Literary Work. She emphasizes that teaching must acknowledge the role of self-selected, interest-driven reading, for when teens read things that interest them they can readily connect with others who share their interests.

Connected Reading, Not Just Digital Reading

Connected Reading not only involves reading texts online or digitally, but sharing and networking with others to share experiences as well. Students must ask questions such as:

  • “What does this text mean to me?”
  • “Did this interest me?”
  • “How was I engaged in reading these texts?”
  • “Do other people have similar reactions to me?

Connected Reading in Practice

As readers of the digital age, there is an increasing variety of choices of when, where, and how we read texts, as well as how we share texts. We all make conscious choices depending on availability and preferences, and most of us cross boundaries between print and digital text throughout our lives.

Dalton and Proctor’s chapter The Changing Landscape of Text and comprehension in the Age of New Literacies (2008), articulates four different types of “digital texts.” While these forms do not neatly map out every definition for digital texts, these should be referred to as a great starting point.

  1. Linear Text in Digital Format
    These include, but are not limited to, reading books through the Project Gutenberg site, Apple’s iBook store, and the free Kindle library
  2. Non-Linear Text with Hyperlinks
    Unlike linear texts, these must be read digitally to fully appreciate its use of hyperlinks. It is important as educators to let students know how to safely navigate these links while taking advantage of additional readings and resources linked to each resource.
  3. Text with Integrated Media
    These texts are similar to websites when thinking about the interactive features of audio and video that are necessary to understand what is being read. They are not simply there for technological enhancement!Inanimate Alice and Snow Fall are great examples of interactive texts with entertaining media.”
  4. Text with Response Options
    Response options are available on most digital texts, including options to comment and post. These are valuable since these types of communication options create a bigger network for sharing and exchanging valuable information and interesting facts.

Two students have been interviewed and both have shown to be a great example of readers that make conscious choices between print and digital texts. Let’s take a look at their reading choices and valuable digital tools:

Trevor (Sophomore)

Trevor, like many students, enjoys reading from his computer screen, but sometimes gets distracted by social media and various links. To reduce his distractions, he makes conscious choices such as doing “homework first” and working on his iPad. He also uses the “Parent App” to keep him on task. After completing homework, Trevor uses Google and Yahoo searches to find additional information. He balances his academics and out of school reading by switching between print and digital texts.

Sienna (9th Grader)

After getting a Kindle, Sienna has used this as her primary reading tool. She borrows books online, but still purchases her favorite books in print copy. One of her favorite series is Harry Potter and takes advantage of Pottermore which is a website that provides background information on the series. She also acknowledges the benefits of both print and digital texts and makes conscious choices as well. Her encounter with Jane Austen’s adaptations on YouTube also inspired her to read Pride and Prejudice.

While these digital tools and reading options are useful, they can be quite overwhelming. To better understand how reading on the web and through apps work, we recommend watching cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch’s “The Machine is Us/Using Us (Final Version)” (2007).

Below are some applications to view digital text in different formats and options:

Below is a visual example of the same blog post using Evernote, Clearly, Feedly, and Pocket.

Table 3.4 contains summaries on each app as well as their compatibility with browsers and similar options.

Sharing Texts Digitally

When reading print versions, these can still be shared via digital tools. These can simply be taking a snapshot of the text and sharing that version online.

How is all this related to Connected Reading?

Figures 3.7 and 3.8 are helpful in understanding the process of Connected Reading when it comes to digital texts and how sharing digitally creates a vast network with multiple choices to make.

Chapter 4: Moving Teens Toward Connected Reading

A Snapshot of Teen Readers Today

“If we, as teachers, focused more on the how of reading, our students experiences in school would more clearly resemble their experience out of school. We would help them develop their competence, which would in turn make them better able to meet the challenge of the texts we ask them to read” (Smith and Wilhelm, 2002).

Flexibility in Context

Many adolescents move between school and personal types of reading, as well as between print and digital texts, as seen in Figure 4.1

A variety of factors influence whether teens chose print or digital texts, including availability of type of text, eyestrain and lighting, convenience, and content. This fluidity across contexts suggests students could make these shifts in schools if we encouraged them to do so.

The Nature of the Texts

Texts can be broken down into short, mid, and long-form texts. Each form presents new challenges and choices for readers. Being able to switch between forms is an important practice of Connected Readers.

Practices of Connected Reading

We have found that many teens have strategies for engaging in digital texts, but often are overwhelmed and distracted by the Internet’s possibilities. Teachers must help students learn to engage in mindful digital reading practices.

Encountering a Digital Text

Chapter 3 Definition Refresher

From the adolescents we studied, it seems that they consume a lot of digital text but do not do so mindfully. They may not realize that digital tools can help them stay focused on a given purpose, which reduces the risk of distraction.

Engaging with a Digital Text

Deciding and Curating

Teens find articles in a variety of ways, from scans of social media feeds to purposefully looking up something. Very few students save texts for later and this lack of intentionality in curating may be linked to the fact that most of them do their curating in the moment. Without intentional decision making, students may miss important digital texts and become distracted.


Students scan, summarize, and take notes to tackle difficult digital texts. This shows the fluidity of reading across digital and print texts and the ability to draw on print strategies when reading digitally. For example:


Connected Reading allows for a wider range of sharing readings and responses to readings through digital tools such as social networks, blogs, emails, and book based social websites such as Qoutev and BookTube.

Evaluating throughout Reading

We define evaluating as it relates to reading practices, both print and digital. It is as a process, sometimes instantaneous and sometimes lengthy, of placing value on a text.

Chapter 5: Using Digital Tools with Print Texts

While some students prefer a hard copy of a book, others may prefer a digital copy and vice versa. However, in the current technological era, teachers must adapt to the various tools available to us via the internet.

Here are some websites where you can find e-books and scholarly articles:

Digital Book Trailers

Digital Book Trailers are videos that students will create based upon a storyline represented in the assigned book. Students will gain a greater understanding of the reading by interacting with the text in an interpersonal setting and will learn to analyze the text in a closer and more meaningful way.

This link contains a plethora of examples where students have created digital book trailers, which can be shown as examples to students illustrating their capabilities in creating these trailers.
Digital Book Trailer Examples

Also, there are a variety of helpful websites to help students begin in their adventure to create a digital book trailer. Based upon the age level of the students, there are different websites that will aid in the facilitation of creating book trailers

Online Book Reviews

Having students create a book review allows students to share their thoughts on a particular book. Students will become connected learners by interacting with the larger community and growing intellectually. Students will be able to expand their knowledge and influence others in their own perception of the book.

For example, Youth Voices is a wonderful website where students are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas. One major aspect of this website is the Youth Voices Book Talk where students can post reviews and have the ability to comment on each other’s reviews.

Once students feel comfortable creating these reviews, they can expand their networks and follow other websites such as Goodreads and Shelfari, which are excellent resources for independent reading and allow students to examine a much larger community of readers.

Multimedia Book Response

There are many media forms and genres where students can share their responses by using:

Chapter 6: Working with Digital Texts and Digital Tools

Many students are already using digital devices to read what interests them. Inherently, this type of reading is connected, but as many students note, digital reading can quickly lead to distraction.

  • How can we help students learn to move past that distraction when they read digitally?
  • How can we help teen readers work diligently to make meaning from what they read and to share their thinking with others?

The element of being “critical” begins with awareness of texts, contexts, and attributes that influence reader choices.Through mindfulness, students can develop the practices of Connected Readers.

This chapter presents a variety of instructional ideas that help us make the shift from traditional, print-based strategies for reading to a more pro-active stance toward digital texts, not just the PDF versions of texts meant for print that were discussed in the last chapter.

Lessons from the Book

Digital Reading Sources

Other Resources

Tool Description As a tool for annotating the open web, readers can “[u]se Hypothesis to discuss, collaborate, organize your research, or take personal notes.”
Diigo Diego allows you to take notes and highlight on web pages, save these for future reference, and tag work for easy organization. It allows you to share notes with others to view and to add additional annotations for easy collaboration.
Ponder Ponder is useful for scaffolding the critical reading process. It allows students to identify passages that stand out and pushes them to analyze the text and apply class themes to it. It works all over the web, so students have freedom to find relevant articles and essays.

(Description taken from the Ponder website)

Curriculet Curriculet allows teachers to deliver customized, Common Core aligned learning and digitally create and share their curriculum and lesson materials. It allows school districts to purchase ebooks at a lower cost, which enables teachers to broaden their reading lists.

(Description taken from the Curriculet website)

Subtext Subtext is a reading app that is collaborative and designed to help students tackle complex texts. It allows you to highlight texts, create groups for students, and collect evidence for writing.
Shelfari Shelfari allows you to create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends and learn more about your favorite books. It allows for group discussions of books, perfect for continuing conversations outside of the classroom.

(Description taken from the Shelfari website)

Goodreads Goodreads allows you to track the books you have read and the books you’d like to read. You can review books, suggest books to friends, receive book recommendations from others, and find literary quotes.
Book Builder Book Builder can be used to create, share, publish, and read digital books that engage and support diverse learners according to their individual needs, interests, and skills. Students can use this site to create books as well.

(Description taken from the Book Builder website)

Edmodo Edmodo allows teachers to discover new resources and collaborate with educators across the world. It allows teachers to create digital discussions for student participation, assign homework, schedule quizzes, and manage student progress.

(Description taken from the Edmodo website)


Schoology Schoology is a learning management system that helps digitally organize your classroom and teaching. It has resources to help build courses, teach lessons, create assignments and discussions, grade, and conduct testing.

Some Definitions and Lesson Ideas

Searching for Digital Texts: Popping the Filter Bubble

Students access the Internet assuming that it is a blank slate and that their search will yield only the best results, but sadly, this is not the case. For instance, whether you are logged in or not, Google uses a variety of data points to customize your search. While this may be good for marketing, it is not necessarily good for the free flow of information on the Internet. In his book, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, Eli Pariser (2011) outlines the perils associated with being confined to “an Internet of one.”

Curating Digital Texts

Citelighter, a tool that allows a reader to capture information from the Internet, import it and the bibliographic information into the platform, comment on the captured quotation, and organize the information before exporting it into a document, is a useful tool for curating digital texts. For adolescents who face an abundance of information each time they search the Web, curating is a crucial skill.

Thinking about Ebooks

The features of ebooks can be summed up as follows:

  • Basic search and annotation:
  • Readability features
  • Use of external computing functions

Enhanced ebook features include all the functions just listed as well as:

  • Basic interactivity such as video and audio clips or animations that begin to work when clicked
  • Quizzes or other components that must be completed before moving on in the ebook
  • Obvious and inviting links to external content

Digital Reading and PLNs

Teacher Rebekah O. models to her students how she uses Twitter to learn, to engage, and to contribute. She offers her students the opportunity to use a percentage of their weekly independent reading to curate Personal Learning Networks (PLNs), to synthesize their reading using Storify and to share that reading with their networks. They connect their work to their Genius Hour projects, which allow them to explore their passions in order to develop academic skills.

What is a PLN?
As Penny Kittle notes in Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers (2013), “A system will not create readers, but the books that keep a reader seeking will.” (p. 37) Use social networking to keep your readers seeking and learning, not to institute a new system that demands reading logs of minutes spend and book reviews of a minimum word count.

Evaluating Digital Texts

In the early days of the Internet, determining credibility was a relatively straightforward task. Examples of “fake” or misleading websites were used to show students that they couldn’t trust everything on the Internet, most notably a website about Martin Luther King Jr. created by an organization affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan.

Website credibility is no longer about whether the authors have credentials or the site looks nice- it requires a deeper level of reading, in which students are comparing existing knowledge to the information presented online.

These skills improve judgement of the quality and evaluation of the value of a digital text. Recently, Hagerman and White (2013) proposed the [(PST)2 + (iC3)] Framework, which includes a variety of strategies that support students as they synthesize online reading.

As we teach our students how to be critical consumers of not only websites but of all digital texts, we recommend that they ask questions such as those listed below:

  • How did I encounter this digital text?
  • What is my immediate purpose for reading? What can I gain from engaging with this text?
  • What is the purpose of this text? Who is the author? What is the perspective he or she takes?
  • What have I read previously and how does it connect with what is presented in this text?
  • What are the claims presented? How does the evidence support the claims? Are there links to other sources?
  • Should I bring this text into conversations with peers in my networks? What might other readers help me understand if I share this text with them?

Chapter 7: From Policy Statement to Practice: Instruction and Assessment of Connected Reading

Connected Reading Instruction (CRI)

Connected Reading Instruction (CRI) is a model that caters to the individual reader through increased comprehension and a social community context. This model allows for formulate assessment where an instructor can look at the work a student posts in the CRI community and can tailor how they can meet the needs of that student, despite not being in the classroom.

Implication of CRI

The National Council of Teacher of English (NCTE) have released a policy research brief that discusses some of the implications of combining technology and the reader. However, there are more implications that Hicks and Turner have developed about the use of CRI.

  • Recognize the role that motivation plays in students’ reading by modeling for students with complex texts that do and do not interest them.
  • Engage students in performative reading responses that builds on the strengths of individual students.
  • Have students read multiple texts focused on the same topic to improve comprehension through drawing comparisons and connections
  • Foster students’ engagement by teaching students how different texts require different strategies for reading.
  • Encourage students to choose texts for themselves, in addition to assigned ones
  • Demonstrate how digital and visual texts require different approaches to reading.
  • Connect students’ reading of complex texts with their writing about reading
  • Develop students’ ability to engage in meaningful discussion of the complex texts they read through whole-class, small-group, and partner conversations

Implications for Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment allows teachers to make immediate and ongoing decisions about instruction with the participation of students. The advances in CRI means that teachers will be able to use formative assessment much faster with greater input from their students. By using this system teachers should achieve a balance between what will work for the whole class and for the individual student.

Chapter 8: Inquiry and Advocacy

There have been numerous calls to action for adolescent literacy. A number of teacher-researchers have worked to remind us that reading is not and should not be, a chore, as seen in their recent books:

  • Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do about It (Gallagher, 2009)
  • Book Love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers (Kittle, 2013)
  • The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child (Miller, 2009)
  • So What Do They Really Know? Assessment That Informs Teaching and Learning (Tovani, 2011)
  • Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want—And Why We Should Let Them (Wilhelm & Smith, 2014)

Teens are online more than ever, which we can utilize to our advantage. A love of reading today requires more than just a connection to books; it requires us to teach Connected Reading. In this article, Jerry Blumengarten discusses the advantages of using Connected Learning.

Professional Development as Inquiry

Inquiry places teachers as agents in their own development, and we believe this view mirror the “organic and democratic” nature of Connected Reading in which readers engage with text suggested by others, participate in conversations about those texts, and contribute to questions through a network.

NCTE, as outlined in their “Principles of Professional Development” position statement, believes that “professional development relies on a rich mix of resources, including a theoretical and philosophical base; a research base; and illustration of good practices” (2006).

Puentedura (2010,2014) has helped us think about technology and its role in teaching and learning.

Creating a Personal Learning Network

Though states and districts can mandate requirements, the heart of PD depends on an individual’s active participation.

Richardson (2010), who argues for the redefinition of classrooms through the use of technologies such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts, reveals an important aspect of professional development.

Richardson and Mancabelli (2011) state that personal learning networks alter our “fundamental understandings of how learning networks work” and document a number of “guideposts” for this type of learning, including:

  1. Uncovering passion to learn
  2. Sharing
  3. Reflecting
  4. Growing face-to-face network

Rethinking Classroom Practice

Figures 8.2 and 8.3 summarize a number of research-based recommendations for teaching reading. We have condensed and highlighted some.

If you look beyond your local school, you will find many opportunities to connect with other educators to conduct collaborative inquiry. At the national level, NWP offers a variety of resources to both foster PD and disseminate teacher research. Of particular note here, we point out the Digital Is Website, where you will find countless resources devoted to uses of digital reading and writing, as well as to principles of connected learning.

Other national organizations with which you might develop connections to support your PLN or your classroom practice are:

Call to Advocacy

As we redefine reading instruction, we need to consider how technology is adopted, how teachers develop their understandings, and the policies that guide acceptable use. Though we are encouraged by news that districts are providing one-to-one device access or adopting BYOD, we know that without consideration of how those devices allow teachers to redefine tasks and students to learn in ways not imagined before, these efforts will not amount to much.

Teachers must work together to understand the evolving nature of literacy and how instruction affects learning. We recommend that administrators consider three areas as they create budgets and plan curricular initiatives:

Be an Advocate

Pew Internet reports that more students have devices and access than ever before – our role as advocates must move well beyond helping students get tablets or laptops.

Budgets for instructional materials must be reallocated to purchasing devices as well as the applications and subscriptions to access digital texts. We can use limited funds to purchase devices that mirror tablet screens wirelessly, such as the Apple TV and iPad or the Chromecast, without making huge investments in SMARTboards.

A few resources to consider as you investigate possibilities:

Reading Instruction for All, by All: Toward a Model of Connected Reading

As we reflect on our own inquiry into Connected Reading, we are left with a number of lingering questions:

  • What components of our Connected Reading model might evolve as technologies change and students develop reading skills independent of school?
  • Within schools, how will assessments such as the SBAC and PARCC that require online reading affect instruction?
  • What will happen as more and more states adopt open, online textbook projects (such as the type of program already in place in California)?
  • How can we map—through eye-tracking software, MRI scans, and technologies yet to be invented—the actual process of reading digital texts and what happens in the meaning-making process?
  • Ultimately, as teachers, how do we effectively develop the practices of Connected Readers?

We also have specific questions about multimodal texts and the practices of Connected Readers.

We believe that devices mediate interactions between the text and the reader and that specific text features have influence on the reader’s comprehension. We urge teachers to adopt a stance of inquiry in their classrooms and to share their learning with others. The Literacy in Learning Exchange, a component of the National Center for Literacy Education, is a good place to find other teachers who share their stores, their practice, and their thinking about literacy and teaching.

From linear texts to nonlinear texts with links to multimedia, and across many devices and platforms, we know that students have ever-increasing opportunities for reading. We must, as we always have, teach students to monitor their own comprehension, yet we now must also teach them to be mindful and intentional in the ways they encounter, engage with, and evaluate what they read.

“Born Digital” Texts

  • [W]hen we say “digital texts,” we do in fact mean born-digital texts, not just the PDF versions of texts meant for print that we discussed in the last chapter. Traditionally, comprehension strategies have focused on annotating, responding/discussing, analyzing, and evaluating words on paper, and it is possible for us to share tools that will simply substitute what we have always done with a fancy tool that does essentially the same thing for born-digital texts. (Turner and Hicks, Connected Reading, p 99)

More than just a book put on screen, more than just a website, more than just a video… texts that are “born digital” require the reader/viewer/listener to participate in an interactive, screen-based experience. Comprehension is not limited to words in textual format alone and, indeed, require the
reader/viewer/listener to engage with the text in an active, meaningful, and meaning-making manner. Here are some examples that we have found engaging.

Additional Resources

external image alice_bubbles-300x300.jpg

Inanimate Alice

Under development since 2005 and with still some way to go, the Inanimate Alice series provides an exciting story with embedded puzzles, mini-games and a rich trove of digital assets that teachers, students, parents… everyone can enjoy.

Inanimate Alice is an ongoing born-digital novel, an interactive multimodal fiction, relating the experiences of Alice and her imaginary digital friend, Brad.

Appropriate for upper elementary students and up

external image 3000000000077502.jpg

Snowfall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek

Snow Fall: The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek,” by New York Times reporter John Branch, tells the harrowing story of skiers caught in an avalanche.

Appropriate for high school students and up?

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The Boat

“The Boat,” an interactive graphic novel about escape after the Vietnam War. Based on the story by Nam Le, adapted by Matt Huynh.

Appropriate for upper elementary students and up?

Annotation Tools


What we often see in good reading instruction Instructional practices (and some tools) that we can imagine for use with Connected Reading Tech Tools
Time for independent, self-selected reading
  • Teach students how to effectively browse for books
  • Curate a specific set of RSS feeds to deliver new reading material each day
  • Create Personal Learning Network
  • Create digital versions of book reviews
Teacher modeling his/her own reading processes before, during, and after reading
  • Record a “think aloud“ of your own digital reading experiences with receiving, searching, surfing, and stumbling
  • Record mini-lessons on specific reading strategies using screencasting tools
  • Demonstrate how you find and share reading materials using your PLN
Focus on comprehension with opportunities to write before and after reading
  • Share prompts for pre- and post- reading via class website, text message, or social network
  • Invite students to design their own polls and open-ended surveys about what they are reading
  • Assign alternative writing assignments
  • Add questions, quizzes, and annotations into reading assignments for increased comprehension


Social, collaborative activities with discussion and interest-based grouping
  • Backchannel during class discussions
  • Use brainstorming tools
  • Invite shared annotations
  • Collaborate on writing and reading
  • Discuss and share thoughts on readings and other topics
Use of reading in content fields with instruction in disciplinary literacy
  • Find, read, and share an Article of the Week
  • Identify supplemental videos or materials to view before or after reading, shared on a class website
Evaluation of higher-order thinking and a focus on students’ attitudes towards reading
  • Invite students – individually or in small groups – to record their thinking about a text as a screencast or VoiceThread
  • Ask students to reflect on their reading and digital identities
Innovative ideas- projects, processes, curricula, and more- that are transforming how we teach and learn
Organize and focus digital reading better


  • Connect apps together to best fit user needs
  • Focus on digital reading material by blocking out distractions and cleaning up webpages
  • Bookmark frequently used sites for easy access

Updated: May 31, 2020

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.