Monday, July 27, 2015


Tomorrow, at 8 PM EST,  there will be a final #cyberpd chat with participants talking about Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8.  I coauthored this book with Bill Bass and we were honored when  the  #cyberpd team --Cathy Mere (@cathymere), Laura Komos (@laurakomos) and Michelle Nero ) @litlearningzone-- told us that they had chosen the book for this year's #cyberpd talk.

If you have followed #cyberpd over the years, you know what an amazing and powerful conversation it is. If you haven't heard of it, it is definitely something you'll want to look forward to next summer. This year was the 5th annual #cyberpd event and the group continues to grow! If you want to know more about this year's event as well as about past years, you can read all about it on Cathy Mere's blog.

As the authors of the book that the #cyberpd community was discussing, I must admit, we were VERY nervous. It is one thing to have your book out there in the world. It is another thing to have a group of people who you learn from daily and respect incredibly, read it together and discuss it on a public forum.

As the weeks went on and I followed the conversation on Twitter and on the Google Community,  I found my list of notes and thoughts growing. I jumped onto the Google Community every few days, thinking I'd just pop in for a few minutes-- and then I'd realize I'd spent 2 hours reading posts, jotting ideas, exploring things mentioned, etc. I learned so much and have so much to think about around digital reading as we go into this next school year.  I was amazed at how people took the thinking we had in Digital Reading and expanded it, connected it to their own classrooms and schools and connected with others to make the ideas bigger.  There were visuals created by members of the community that clearly synthesized ideas about digital reading. And the community Pinterest Board continues to grow.  People collaborated to solve problems around the ideas throughout the month. (I love that primary teacher Deb Frazier is asking the community to help her bring resources together for young readers.)

Bringing so many readers together to discuss a book and an idea over a few summer weeks is a hugely powerful PD, that's for sure!  It was a bit surreal to have written a book on digital reading and then to see the power these digital tools were having on the readers responding to the book. (Cathy wrote about the power of the Google Community in a recent blog post.) I've been thinking a great deal about authenticity lately and the whole idea of #cyberpd and the ways the tools help us read more deeply than we ever could before was visible every day in this community.  We know that our thinking grows when we put our heads together and the power of digital tools to expand the possibilities of thinking together and growing ideas was evident every day in the #cyberpd community.

Digital Reading is a hard topic. We are all learning about it as we go, so we know our book has no "right" answers on the topic. Instead, it is our best thinking about it...for now.  Our goal, when we wrote Digital Reading, was to expand the conversation about how these new tools might change our work with children in classrooms. We wanted lots of smart people who were grounded in good literacy practice to find the conversation about the role of technology to be a worthwhile one.  We wanted to think with others about the ways digital tools could expand the ideas about literacy in our classrooms.

We can't thank the #cyberpd community enough for choosing our book and for inviting us into the conversation. I know that we've both learned so much over the past few weeks and have connected with so many people who have pushed our thinking. We look forward to the final chat on Tuesday. We hope to see you there!


  1. Franki,
    Like you I marveled at the parallels between your book and our process. This connection seemed to elevate the learning in our community and has many of us rethinking digital reading for the coming school year.

    I have loved the way you and Bill managed to keep the conversation around literacy even as you step us into a world of digital possibilities. This book really has given us so much to talk about. I've tried to find the words to explain the way the group lifts the conversation. I always learn so much more as a result of moving blog to blog after reading to consider the perspectives of other readers.

    Your book has also had Michelle, Laura and I rethinking ways to grow this conversation across the year with this thoughtful community. There have been so many big questions coming out as we read. How do we connect our classrooms with other learners? How do we help students to track their reading lives? How do we weave digital reading into the regular rhythms of our workshops?

    Looking forward to chatting tomorrow. Thank you for always sharing your thinking and your continued support across this event.

    Thank you!

  2. Franki,
    I can't thank you and Bill enough for your willingness to jump in and join the #cyberPD conversation! Your current thinking has certainly helped so many people to move forward in their quest to make digital reading a part of their teaching. I am most grateful for how your thinking is grounded in the pedagogy that drives all of our work; it's a reminder I desperately needed. Looking forward to tomorrow's chat!
    Thank you!!

  3. Franki,
    Digital Reading was my first summer read and I devoured it in one day! It was just what I needed at this time in my professional growth journey! What a treat to find #cyberPD and extend my PLN!
    Thank you!!!

  4. Franki,

    I appreciate your insights and thoughts around #cyberPD and your book DIGITAL READING. It was a fabulous book for us to select, read and discuss! Thank you for sharing that these are your thoughts for right now -- expressing the need to continue to grow and learn with the cyber world! We are never done learning, are we? And that's a good thing!

    Authenticity continued to whisper in my ear as I read this book too. I love how if a digital learning opportunity is authentic, it's also intentional and provides students to be connected. (Love how those key elements are intertwined.) #cyberPD is the perfect "cyber opportunity" for teachers -- It's an amazing event that is an authentic opportunity where I am intentionally pushing my thinking about digital literacy through connecting with other educators.

    Thank you and Bill for the book and connecting a group of educators to think about the role of digital literacy in the reading workshop. Looking forward to the chat tonight!



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