The most recent challenge with the Edublog Teacher Challenge is to find a blog post that we admire and write about it. I am choosing one particular post by my NWP friend, Andrea Zellner, entitled “A Community of Readers.” I am hoping she won’t mind me deconstructing her post a bit. (Actually, she just tweeted her OK. )
Andrea begins this particular blog post with a recent news item (Kindle sharing of ebooks and the reaction that the move has received) and then branches off into how we develop our community of readers that we can turn to for advice, suggestions and feedback. Finally, she ends by asking us, her readers, to write about their own reading community and its value.
What I like here is that her wedge issue — reading and technology — became a stepping stone for something larger — how people read and how reading remains important to our lives, even with the transformative qualities of technology. She also nicely addresses her own mixed feelings about ebooks and physical books. And then, she reminds us that technology has the potential to expand our reading community (via Goodreads, social networking, etc.) in interesting ways, although this technology should supplements and not replace our reading communities.
I love this bit from her post:
Reading, after all, is a solitary experience. Yet we yearn, especially after reading something profound and transformative, to turn around and thrust the book into the hands of those we know. “Read this,” we implore. We can’t contain ourselves. — Andrea Zellner
She also quotes from other sources, and provides valuable links. These are important elements to a good blog post because I can travel ahead or stay behind, whatever I want. I sort of wish more readers had responded to her (maybe you will? Go ahead.) and hope that that will still happen. She posed a question that is open-ended enough to spark comments and discussion, with no real time limit. (The limit? Exposure to more readers.)
In the end, she had me thinking and wondering. Yes, reading is solitary in the act of reading but the desire to share what we have read, and to find like-minded readers (and maybe, not so like-minded readers) is a powerful urge that most readers have. Technology and social media can be part of that community building, but I agree with her final thoughts about physical books being precious in their own special way, in part because they are something we can put into someone else’s hands and hope for a similar rich experience.
I realize now that I am doing the same here, passing her blog post along to you. So, maybe I am conflicted about it, too. That’s OK, as long I keep reflecting on it.
Peace (in the post),
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I like your post. It reminds me of a book that I read about using multimodal interactions and the act of reading is embodied and disembodied depending on who is doing what. I am probably not making much sense. However, Sigrid Norris wrote a book called Analyzing Multimodal Interaction. Norris describes the process much better. Maybe it is a book that you could get online.
Thanks for sharing the link to Andrea’s blog. It is definitely thought-provoking–and yes, I left a comment.
I haven’t yet taken the plunge into Twitter, but I may have to try it, especially after one of my 8th graders shared his Twitter is followed by Karl Rove.
Technology and social media can promote community building. How do you promote a sense of community online? I feel it starts with Digital Citizenship, what do you think?
Hi Kevin, I agree with your elements of an effective post. I always look for links and further avenues for learning or research. A post that creates ‘food for thought’ encourages reflection on behalf of the reader, provokes conversations and builds a learning community.
Hi again, Kevin. Did you notice you got a comment from Mrs Berry? She tried to comment back here but could not and has left her comment as a response to yours on the Edublogs Challenge #2 post.
First of all, I am honored that you’ve chosen my blog post to deconstruct. It wasn’t as painful as I feared it might be: I didn’t feel a thing! 😉 But seriously, what an interesting way to reflect on the endeavor of blogging. I think the main reason for lack of comments is because I really don’t have that many regular readers, but interestingly, I had over 40 unique readers on this particular post (which is typical for most of my posts), yet only a few comments. There is some statistic that 10% of the users in any network do 90% of the work, and I am getting between 5-10% of readers commenting. If you count twitter and facebook (I import the posts to my FB) responses, it goes up a bit. I would also like to note that even my own mother does not read my blog: she is generally supportive, but no reader of my posts!
I also read that the optimal day to post is Tuesday, that one should tweet out the link 3 times (after that it doesn’t really have an additional impact), and then do a special dance. Okay, forget the dance part. But these are the analytics I have read.
I appreciate the kind words and thanks for tuning me into the Edublogger challenge!
What do you mean … forget the dance? I’m all about the Tuesday Dance.
I think your points are well-taken, about readers who read and readers who comment and what makes one become the other. (We need virtual candy bribes)
Thanks for, us, commenting.