I’m continuing sharing my learnings from TRLD. In Sara Kajder’s session on “Digital Reading, Digital Writing” she shared one of the best ways I’ve heard to make active connections by readers using technology. It’s a technique she developed to get students to really think about their reading and make connections. She walked them through visual or virtual think-alouds.

She uses the time line in iMovie. Her students use the visual lines by creating digital images of their own drawings or through the use of digital images. They are making a mental movie that encourages a great deal of rereading. They reread to determine what kind of images the reading projects to them. She really has them thinking with this process.

The second line is the audio track and it is the read aloud of that text.

The third audio line is where the student performs the think aloud.

She is having her students create these monthly. She has found that students are able to articulate what they are doing as readers. They also will have an artifact of their reading at different points in time and will be able to conference around this artifact. She said it was critical that the students owned the pictures they use. The other beauty of this technique is the multiple “visual think alouds” that will be created from the same piece of text. Now that is awesome for different perspectives.

outsideinNow I have just given you a brief outline and I still have much to absorb here. I have ordered her book Bringing the Outside In so I can really process this technique and learn more from Sara. I really love the way she mixes in the visual aspects of literacy.

Sara told us how proud the students were of their work. They valued them more than the book trailers they created. Sara explained that these are the times when they are working as readers. They have never particularly fit in that role before nor have they been valued in that role. Everybody gets to see everybody else’s text if they are willing to share. All of hers shared. Isn’t this powerful?