A Visit from Dr. Bernadette Dwyer

Dr. Bernadette Dwyer and the Dublin MAETY1 group.

Today we were lucky enough to listen to and chat with Dr. Bernadette Dwyer. She presented her study and findings about the internet, reading, thinking and learning. Not only was she captivating, but she was incredibly motivating, well-spoken, and left me feeling much more hopeful about our struggling readers. This resource of hers has guided me through the summer and will continue to guide me through my future years teaching.

Something that stuck with me as I approach my new techie projects and another year of teaching 5th Graders, is that new literacy strategies are just an extension/overlap of the print text reading strategies that we already utilize. Reading online brings new strategies and challenges to our students. It’s up to us as teachers to prepare them with the strategies they need to navigate the web, monitor their understanding and make deliberate and appropriate decisions in an efficient manner.

“New Literacies” is a fascinating new topic for me and couldn’t be more relevant or necessary for current classrooms. I think the most exciting part of all of this is when teachers are conscious, planned and prepared to teach these new strategies to students about reading online through inquiry-based projects, students come out with improved reading comprehension–a bit of a “two-for-one” deal, really.

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