Take-Aways from Digital Reading Ch 3-5 #cyberPD


#CyberPD is an online professional development learning community where teachers read and discuss a common professional development text. Visit Reflect & Refine for more details and links to connect with the group. This year’s book is Digital Reading: What’s Essential in Grades 3-8 by Franki Sibberson and Bill Bass.

digital reading

The three chapters this week—about authenticity, intentional decision making, and connectedness in digital reading—focus on using technology “when it makes sense for [our] learning”—not as an assignment and not to check off a curriculum requirement box.

Here are a few takeaways from each chapter:


  • What’s authentic will vary from person to person. Making a book trailer was not an authentic way for Franki to respond to her reading, but it was an authentic way for one of her students to respond.
  • If we can give up our need for control, so “many possibilities open up” for learning (37)—our own and our students’
  • Focus on the literacy, not the tool
  • There are far too many tools available for any teacher to be fully knowledgeable
  • Integrate and embed digital texts and tools in larger lessons
  • Rely on student experts

Intentional Decision-Makers

  • “Our responsibility is to show our students what is possible with online reading” (49)
  • Share a variety of sites so that students develop a repertoire of reliable sites to search for information
  • Again, we’ve got to give up control of our students’ learning and teach the strategies and ways of thinking that will enable them to make meaningful decisions about their learning for themselves
  • Share a variety of tools so that students can make intentional choices based on need


  • Global Read-Aloud, World Read-Aloud Day, Slice of Life Challenge, and Skype visits with authors offer opportunities for short-term connections
  • Ongoing opportunities includes blogging, Twitter, Goodreads
  • Connection isn’t only about networking with others online. It’s also about connecting reading (pairing texts with digital texts and videos) and using tools that enable students to make connections across texts


5 responses to “Take-Aways from Digital Reading Ch 3-5 #cyberPD”

  1. vgpratt Avatar

    I had not heard of the cyberPD opportunity until you first wrote about it on your blog. I didn’t get involved because I had to teach at a camp this past week, and that literally took all my waking hours, BUT now that I’m done and looking at this I wish I had participated! Such a great timely topic! Is cyberPD something that only happens in the summer? Thanks for sharing some of the high points!

    1. Cathy Mere Avatar

      The community is always open so you can join anytime. ;o)

      1. vgpratt Avatar

        Thanks, Cathy! 🙂

  2. Cathy Mere Avatar

    Thank you for pulling out your key understandings in each chapter. Giving up control is one of the hardest pieces. It means we have to watch a little more carefully, know what we’re looking for, and find the right moments to help readers move in new directions. It means we have to trust students to make learning choices, set their own goals, and reflect on their own progress. To create opportunities that are authentic, intentional, and connected we have to led students lead the way. I’m always happy to discover my techsperts in our community.

    Thanks of sharing your thinking,

  3. […] reflection on three chapters of Digital Reading for […]

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