#BIT16Reads: Multiple entry points

I attended TEDxKitchener last weekend and the first speaker of the day, Dina Pestonji, reminded me that learning has multiple entry points.  Likewise, our online book club #BIT16Reads has multiple entry points.  Here are some of the planned places where you can jump in:

June 1, 2016: Begin discussing Participatory Culture in a Networked Era

July 1, 2016: Begin discussing The Innovator’s Mindset 

August 1, 2016: Begin discussing Creating Thinking Classrooms

September 1, 2016: Begin discussing How We Learn

October 1, 2016: Begin discussing Building School 2.0

November 9 – 11, 2016: #BIT16Reads meet up at the Bring IT Together conference, Niagara Falls, Ontario

After #BIT15Reads last year, one of the most common comments I heard was “I’m so sorry! I joined the book club but I didn’t keep up and then I felt embarrassed that that I couldn’t keep up and so I just stopped participating…”

is completely contrary to The Point of BIT16Reads

The point of #BIT16Reads is

  • to develop a community of learning educators
  • to support each other beyond our annual face-to-face meet ups
  • and above all to enjoy it (there will be no public floggings).

The book club is an idea experiment in itself wherein we have a common text to move our discussion forward.  So if you read our first book Participatory Culture in a Networked Era and throw it across the room after 35 pages, that is your democratic right!  All I ask is that you tell us about it somehow, somewhere and tag it #BIT16Reads so we can see it.

If you want to find us, we’ll be on multiple social media platforms but I encourage you to REGISTER so we can find you!

TVO’s TeachOntario: https://www.teachontario.ca/docs/DOC-3594 

and outside Ontario in Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/170190-bit16reads

#BIT15Reads: Face-to-Face

What a ride!  Yes all the rumours were true that teacher job action had affected the attendance at the #BIT15 conference but when I last heard, 1000 people had still registered by Thursday morning.  Not knowing what to expect we leapt forward anyway!

What you might not know is that I’ve been working on developing the book club since the spring and contacted the publishers of all the books on our list to have review copies sent….so I brought 22 books with me to the #BIT15 conference on Thursday morning!  These were all free to give away.  The most asked question of the morning was simply….”Free?”  Yes!  That’s what librarians do!  Peter McAsh and Leslie Boerkamp really made the event possible through reserving the space, helping me set it up, bringing the coffee and breakfast right next to our location, reserving tables and of course, spreading the word.  Leslie even made #BIT15Reads clues inside the social scavenger hunt so all day people were finding me to get answers and hints for points.

Here is a Storify of our tweets over the conference time: https://storify.com/banana29/bit15reads-meets-face-to-face

Here are the glorious photos taken by Tim King during our breakfast and by lunchtime all the books were taken by devoted readers…with 1 catch: they had to make their reading process or responses visible to all of us.  It’s never too late to join #BIT15Reads!  Just login to Goodreads and invite yourself to our group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/170190-bit15reads  One of our many moderators can add you to our growing list (68 members across Canada and in 4 countries…and counting!)

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#BIT15Reads: Connections text-to-text

This week Martha and Stepan made a connection to each other because they’re reading the same book and then made this beautiful connection to another text via Chapter 3 of Daniel Levitin’s book The Organized Mind

Stepan Radiohead connection

Do you ever have a piece of music come to mind when you’re reading?  As an English teacher and as a teacher-librarian, I often help my students engage with those voices in their heads that are making connections….and to trust that those voices are helping them read better and to reflect on their meaning.  If we redefine text to mean anything that has been expressed for communication, then the world opens up to possibility for connecting our reading to other texts.

Vikram Chandra’s book Geek Sublime reminded me of my lifelong goal to smoke a hooka because his book’s organization logic is completely tangential.  Luckily my brain works in the same way so I really enjoyed going down the rabbit hole with Chandra.  His own work in writing science fiction reminded him of his daily job in computers as a programmer which reminded him of how difficult it was to learn Sanskrit which reminded him of the marginalized voices of ancient Sanskrit female poets and how these voices are being lost to time as the parchment they are written on is disintegrating.  My favourite thing about reading popular non-fiction is that I often need to just pause and let those connections be made in my own mind.

I made another connection for #BIT15Reads as I had my quarterly meeting with the Ontario School Library Association Council and told them how thrilled I was that so many people had engaged with our online book club.  To date we have 66 members in the Goodreads club and many more following our hashtag.  The OSLA Council then asked me to make the connection to a very cool event called Treasure Mountain Canada  and I plan to talk about the evolution of #BIT15Reads.

Speaking of connections #BIT15Reads will continue to:

If you want to try something else in a different media type or at a different time, go for it!  Please invite me!  I’m just having fun and enjoying this new community so much.  It’s for all of us so make it suit you best.

#BIT15Reads: Joining the club and choosing a book

Can you believe that we have 53 members already signed up for #BIT15Reads?  We’ve been alive for 1 week now and this blog post is a response to some of the FAQs I’ve received.

Firstly:  Anyone, anywhere can join the #BIT15Reads book club but the happening-est place to be is inside Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/170190-bit15reads

What is Goodreads?

Goodreads is a social media platform dedicated to reading!  I got started using it so that I could keep track of what I’m reading and what I wanted to read.  As a teacher-librarian, I use it to build lists in when I’m focusing on a particular part of our collection.  I invite anyone on staff to see my lists as I make them, and because it’s live, they can also see my updates.  The reason I chose it for our book club is because of my two goals for the #BIT15Reads book club:  community and longevity.  Too much of my own professional development happens in the tiny bubble of a workshop or conference and it can be years before I revisit that idea again.  Research tells us us that the best professional development is chosen by teachers, has a research component and is embedded in the workplace.  So the #BIT15Reads book club is my action research on building and sustaining the wonderful community that ECOO and the BIT15 conference have brought me for 3 days each year.  It gives us a private place to say what we really feel without the repercussions of being truly public.  Members must be approved by moderators but once you’re a member you can start any discussion you like.

Inside the book club you’ll find:

  • a list of the books that we are currently reading on the Currently Reading bookshelf
  • some other bookshelves for past and future #BIT15Reads ideas
  • discussion boards ….places to sound off, ask questions and a discussion board for each book in the Currently Reading bookshelf
  • events….will come as people engage.  I’m hoping to include Twitter chats, videoconferences, extreme voting, etc.
  • a list of all current members (53 members and counting!!)

Why these books?

As all good librarians do, I’ve been researching which books to add to our list since Andrew and I submitted a proposal for the #BIT15Reads book club in the spring.  These books had to fulfill certain criteria and they are:

  1. They had to somehow relate to education and technology
  2. They have to be current….nothing older than 2014 for the 2015 voting.
  3. The list has to include many perspectives.
  4. The books have to be written by ‘experts’ because the participants of #BIT15 are smart cookies, and we appreciate arguments well-based in research and other evidence.

I have asked the publishers of 21 books in total to send me review copies of the books so that we can review them online.  Most of the publishers have responded very positively and the books are arriving.  As they arrive, I will post them in the Currently Reading bookshelf and tweet about them using #BIT15Reads.  Haymarket Books has offered us a significant discount on their book on our list, but you have to be in the club to see the details.  I’m approaching book wholesalers as we speak about getting involved to get our group access to all the books at a good price.  Many of the books are released in multiple formats so you can enjoy your reading in your preferred mode.  At the moment though, each Goodreads listing of the book leads you to the other formats or retailers of the book.

So how do you get started?

I would recommend that you

a) Join the #BIT15Reads book club on Goodreads.

b)  Join Twitter and follow the hashtag #BIT15Reads

c) Pick any book from the Currently Reading bookshelf and dive into it.

d) As you read it (or when you’re done) please thoughtfully respond to the questions here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ZYulutird6dIcDgK7ughs5_jXS2e3ycBuCXbJcIu24M/viewform

What’s next for #BIT15Reads?

Your ratings and comments on this form will determine which books move forward in the Reading Club.  Each book you rate gets a total out of /65 as determined by you, the book club member.  On October 1, I will announce the 10 books with the best scores and we will focus on these 10 books for the next month….again reading and rating.  Then on November 1, I will announce the 5 books with the best scores.  At the #BIT15Reads conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario, we will have an amazing session of discussion and debate about why these 5 books are the best in education technology non-fiction this year.

After the conference, we’ll start something new!  This format is just to launch the whole concept so after this year’s conference, we can adjust and tweak to everyone’s liking.

Presentation: Redefining reading for Milennials

I start off trying to set context for 4 variables in redefining reading: reader, user, hardware and software using myself as the reader/user.  Then I add in various perspectives on how digital reading is changing reading and finally I suggest that teachers and teacher-librarians can play a key role in levelling the playing field for all students.

I’ve presented this just about three times now: at #ECOO13, at the UGDSB Literacy Symposium, and this week at the OLA Superconference 2014.

The link to my Prezi is here:

http://prezi.com/chvspkwmwjmy/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

and here is the link to the Google Doc that we co-construct during the presentation.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VS6zzHhZOOZ455Lme90ggMRY2QwLk8OxiTiBYDkoreQ/edit?usp=sharing