Some recent ‘Stew posts have highlighted a collaboration between students and teachers at Fern Creek Traditional High School and the Navajo Nation. I’m proud to present this video produced by Courtney, one of my digital media students, about our journey. This truly represents a great range of planning, execution,and technical skill inherent in effective digital stories.
On another note, Annie Murphy Paul’s essay on “deep reading” reminds us that it might be foolish to overly embrace digital text consumption, especially if it comes at the cost of forgetting–or not teaching–how to immerse one’s self in a longer, print-based narrative. In a guest post for TeachThought.com, I responded to Paul’s essay after posing this question on Twitter:
I agree with her assertion, to an extent. But I question how well young people can tap into the power of the digital world, making connections, composing blog posts, etc., without having a foundation in deep reading. What happens when educators and parents fall victim to an unbalanced approach to literacy, fully embracing all the possibilities of the digital world, bypassing deep, “old-school” reading?
As a teacher, I’d rather have a class full of deep readers than hordes of students hooked to their smart phones. Students who immerse themselves in narratives and novels generally bring a lot more to the table, so to speak. They often ask more questions, write more effectively, and display greater concentration skills. Yes, these are massive generalizations, but I’ve interacted with hundreds of students over the past nine years…
I don’t know about you, but I feel and think/read differently, especially when it comes to pace and attention span when I read a screen versus a novel or extended non-fiction text on the printed page. The implications of this massive shift in literacy skills and reading tendencies are still unknown.