As educators, we can’t ignore the fact that our students are “reading” more and more varied texts these days, and yet, if you are like me, much of what we “read” in our classrooms are still very much traditional books and articles. Words on paper. At the start of the school year, I used a read-aloud story with my sixth graders as an opportunity to mix in video as a form of text, and then I opened up the classes to discussions about the way they prefer to experience stories.
The results are shared in the reflective webcomic below, but what stood out for me most of all is that while a majority of students might prefer video, the significant number who still prefer books were the most declarative and argumentative on the power of traditional texts, and made such valid claims about the lure of books that some other students began to change their minds as our discussions moved on. These kinds of classroom talks are valuable for me, as a teacher, but also for them, as it gave them a reflective space from which to really think — maybe for the first time — about how they experiences stories across media platforms and what strengths and weaknesses bubble up the surface as a result.
Kevin Hodgson blogs at Kevin’s Meandering Mind (http://dogtrax.edublogs.org) and tweets as @dogtrax.