Online Book Study

This page is dedicated to providing information regarding book studies hosted on this blog. It is a general page, not specific to any one book. Instead, read this text as an updated guide to participating in an online conversation around a selected resource.

  • In 2017, we read Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change, 2nd edition by Jennifer Allen (Stenhouse, 2016).
  • In 2018, we read Literacy Essentials: Engagement, Excellent, and Equity for All Learners by Regie Routman (Stenhouse, 2018).

How do I participate?

An online book study hosted on this site is not like a Twitter chat or an in-person book club for that matter. You could almost describe this learning experience as a “slow chat”. Contributors write responses (blog posts) to the common resource. Readers write comments. The contributor may respond to the comments, in which case an actual online conversation may ensue.

Blog posts are also shared on various social media channels. Any time a contributor publishes here, I share their post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Linkedin. If you like what contributors here are writing, I would encourage you to do the same. If people are not on these social media channels, they can subscribe to this blog with their email address or their WordPress credentials.

Can I contribute to this study?

When a book is selected, a post is published calling for contributors to participate directly on this site. If you have missed this opportunity, readers are encouraged to still respond to the book by posting on their own blog or website. A nice example comes from the blog “Literacy Pages” around the 2018 book study selection: Meaningful Professional Development. By including the designated hashtag and Twitter handles when sharing out a post, it helps ensure that I and/or the author will pick up on it and promote it.

If you are not comfortable at this time in writing your own posts, then I would encourage readers to comment on what is published. The goal of these online book studies, beyond promoting an excellent resource, is to grow every educator to become a better literacy leader. The more interaction we have in the comments, the smarter we may become.

Does the author participate in their book study?

Yes! As to how frequently and deeply depends on the author’s schedule. As of the 2018 book study, for example, we have set up a Google+ Community in which participants can connect with Regie Routman, a longtime literacy teacher and consultant. These are unique opportunities to interact with the author as you read and respond to their text.

Authors such as Regie are also likely to promote these posts on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. There is certainly a place for these types of connections in relation to their work. That said, high-quality professional development is a slow and steady process. There are no quick fixes. Improving in our own capacities is a lifetime of work, enjoyable and rewarding as long as we view it as more than just a brief encounter.

-Matt