As promised, I will write this blog post about my workshop at the iXpiratiemiddag last week. My workshop aimed at showing teachers and student teachers how to engage learners more in reading activities. I used one of my favourite authors Roald Dahl for inspiration as he makes everyone want to read more and maybe even play with language themselves. In the workshop I used some quotes by Roald Dahl and we used one of his most well-known stories, The Landlady, as sample material.
Since not all our pupils are Matildas, we need to find other ways to lure them into reading and hopefully make them discover the value and fun of reading. One way of doing that is to share your own reading experience, I think, but techology can also contribute. My TELL colleague and I first starting fiddling with Adobe InDesign to see if this programme could be used to enrich texts. I already referred to this struggle in one of my earlier posts, so you may already know that you could indeed use the programme for this purpose, but it requires quite a bit of study and perseverance.
Fortunately a colleague at the iXperium referred me to Genially which is the programme I immediately started to explore to see if it could do what I wanted: enrich a text to create more interaction, to add elements to the text to help students understand and appreciate their reading more (on demand!), thus increasing their motivation for reading. In short, I started manipulating a text in such a way that I created strong functional improvement to enhance the normal reading experience. This reminds you of the SAMR model: enhancement – augmentation, right?
Apart from stories, you can also enrich poems of course, but also non-fictional texts. I have just explained why you would want to enrich text, but let me also explain how you support the reading experience. First of all, you can add a little introduction to a story or other text. Second, you can support the reading comprehension by adding (cultural) information, word information (in words or with a picture), questions, et cetera, but also by adding the audio of the story, so the weak reader can read along. Third, you can also support the reading experience by adding questions or tasks that are about the learners’ own ideas and thoughts when reading the text. And finally, you can add some other post-reading activities, like you can see in my example below.
In my example I have tried to apply as many possibilities to enrich the story as I could think of and that were possible in the programme. See for yourself if you can discover all the extras and decide if they all have added value. You can find the result of my first exploration of the programme here. It can be used on any mobile device with Intermet access (for the audio/video and other links). Feel free to use it with your pupils – don’t forget to TELL me about their and your experience!
The next step of course, could be to try and create your own enhanced reading text with Genially. In my workshop some participants struggled, but others managed to make a good start at creating their own new reading experience for their pupils. You probably discover some more possibilities that I have not incorporated into my example yet. By all means: TELL me if you do!