BY DAN FROELICH
March 2 is Read Across America day, as well as Dr. Seuss’ birthday. While that doesn’t necessarily evoke a day filled with technology-enriched activities, it has become so thanks to the availability of web conferencing, social media, and even blogs.
Readacrossamerica.org is the central location for all events and activities related to Read Across America day. Those of you willing to make a pledge to read with your students can do so online using this year’s pledge form. Using a Google Maps interface, you can see how many pledges have been made in each state across the nation.
Schools fortunate enough to embrace social media can “Like” Read Across America on their Facebook page. There’s a Twitter conversation already in the works, a Flickr stream ready to accept photos, and a SchoolTube channel chock full of videos. It’s exciting to see an event like this evolve into so many interesting projects.
In the last couple of years, schools have even taken to Skype calls to have authors call in to a class and read to students. This is something that only a few fortunate schools in the country could afford to do in a traditional face-to-face scenario. Teachers have even buddied up with other classes to read to each other from around the country and across the globe. The Skype In Schools community recently decided to post a Read Across America page. This was something decided upon by the members of the group, and not a direction taken by the administrators of the site.
So what are you doing this year? Do your plans include a more technology enriched collaborative effort? If so, please share your ideas in the comments below. Happy reading!