Thursday, June 6, 2013

CIE Workshop Activity: Reading and Annotating, Discussing, Writing Analytically.

One important way to learn is to go through the experience that I have found works when reading an e-book using the Kindle devices and apps.

Here are the rough steps:

1.  Download and read a text independently on your Kindle device, ideally, or perhaps on an iPad or phone.

2.  Customize the reading experience.  Change the font style, size, and color.  Adjust the margin width, or even the orientation.  Try a bunch of different settings until you get comfortable.

3.  Practice active reading on that device.  Touch and hold a word to look up its definition.  Highlight  word or phrase and translate it or look it up on wikipedia.  Highlight, make notes, and then share those on social networks (Facebook and Twitter and the only ones supported right now.)

4.  Convene as a class.  Use your Kindle for PC or Mac app to discuss the text.  The "teacher" (me) will check your notes and marks.  You will use your notes and marks to propel the discussion and provide evidence to back up your points.

5.  The teacher will project the text onto the board and use it to project the text the class is discussing.

6.  Students and teacher will practice navigating through the e-book.  The page number can be used, or a specific word or phrase can be searched and then the resulting link(s) can be used to locate that place in the text.

7.  Miscelaneous things: Use the search function to search for multiple occurrences of a word or phrase.  Play with the X-Ray feature on the Kindle device.

8.  Write analysis on an ebook by using your notes and marks and searching the text for relevant evidence to support your argument.  Highlight, copy and paste the quote you would like to use into your outline or writing.  Cite the page number, if it is available on the ebook you are reading, and add an entry to your Works Cited.  The MLA style should look like this:

Author Lastname, Author Firstname. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Kindle AZW file.

CIE Workshop Getting Started Links

I am teaching a course on teaching with Kindles tomorrow at Harpeth Hall as part of the Center for Innovative Educators.  Here is the description:

E-books in the Classroom
E-books are expanding from the consumer market and into classrooms. Reading e-books on an e-reader or on a laptop/tablet offers some unique opportunities for accessibility, literary analysis, and social networking in the classroom. In this workshop, you will learn about using e-books from a teacher who is using her Kindle and her laptop to teach using e-books and welcomes them as a reading option for students. Learn about using the Kindle device's features that support differentiated learning, active reading, literary analysis, and social networking "discussions" of a text. Participants will also learn about how to use the Kindle reading app for PC, Mac, iPad and mobile devices. In addition, we will discuss free e-books in the public domain, borrowing e-books from the public library, and the use of Amazon Whispercast to manage a class set of Kindles. All of the activities in this workshop will be centered on practical e-book use in the classroom and techniques and strategies that teachers and students can use to optimize the e-book experience.

So, to get started, I am compiling the important links and notes for the participants below, but I hope that it may serve the larger world out there!

1.  First, I recommend using the Google Chrome browser.  Not only do I find it superior, but it has a very Send to Kindle extension that is built in.

Click here to download Google Chrome

Click here to download the Send to Kindle Chrome extension

Click here to download the Send to Kindle extension for Firefox

2.  Next, you need to download the free Kindle Reading App for your laptop or computer.

Click here to download Kindle Reading Apps by clicking on the specific type of tablet, laptop, or phone you are using.

3.  You may need to do some managing of your settings, and also you should look up and/or edit the email address associated with your devices.  Each Kindle device (except for the PC and Mac apps) has an email address.  So, I could send a document to that email address with the subject "convert" and it will display on that device.  You can find that address by going to the Manage Your Kindle section of the Amazon site.

Click here to Manage Your Kindle.

4.  The best way to learn how to use your Kindle and your reading apps is to get your feet wet!  Please follow this link to download a free collection of O. Henry stories titled The Four Million.

Click here to download The Four Million.

5.  I highly recommend linking your Twitter account to your Kindle.  You can tweet you highlights and notes for your followers.  If you have a Twitter account, you can use the Manage Your Kindle portal on Amazon, or the Settings on your Kindle device to link your account.  Don't have a Twitter account?  You should start one!  Click here to create a Twitter account.

6.  Familiarize yourself with the Kindle Cloud Reader.  There is some feeling that perhaps the Cloud Reader will phase out the Reading Apps.  I am not sure, but either way, it is useful.  Also, it downloads the books you are reading so that you can continue to use it offline.

Click here to go the Amazon Cloud Reader.

Next, I will create a post with some of the activities we will do in the session!