Facilitating Reading in the Digital Age
This paper proposes a new middle school reading curriculum that is based loosely on Kist's (2000) new literacies classroom in which students and teachers explore different media to find the forms that allow them to think freely and express themselves. Students will learn how to work with various media for their own purposes. Guided by unit objectives, they will choose texts to analyze that are relevant to their lives and demonstrate their understanding of the texts by creating original pieces in forms of their choice. They will learn to make responsible choices based on their knowledge of themselves as learners and will become better readers by practicing effective reading strategies such as monitoring their comprehension, engaging in thoughtful discussions about texts, and utilizing the scaffolds that are available to them. Under this curriculum centered on digital learning technologies, new literacies, and student choice, students will gain the technical and critical thinking skills and hopefully the drive needed to become life-long learners.