Sunday, 17 May 2015

Reading for Pleasure and technology

There was an interesting discussion on the Reading for Pleasure in Schools group on Facebook last week about the relative merits of using books and films in class. It made me think about how technology can be used when trying to create a reading culture and how effective my own use of it was (conclusion- requires improvement).

Anyway, I thought I'd share some websites, apps, etc, that I've used to help promote reading over the past couple of years. Please feel free to add to the list with other ideas you've tried.

Quadblogging- created by David Mitchell
I first used this site about three years ago when I was trying to attract more visitors to my previous school's book blog. It's a wonderful way of sharing your blog with other schools around the world. The first time we joined in, we were paired up with a school in Scotland, a school in Australia and a school in the USA, which was extremely exciting for the children (and a great way of getting some good geography work in). They enjoyed recommending books to each other and seeing which authors were popular in more than one country.

The Literacy Shed- created by Rob Smith
You can't not already be aware of this site, which is absolutely full of resources, so I won't waste too much time explaining it. Rarely a week goes by when I don't use it for something in class.

Mr P's ICT blog- created by Leeroy Parkinson

Not specifically about reading, but full of ideas on how to get the most from the technology you have in the classroom. There was a really interesting recent post about reading with augmented reality, which I'm going to use in the near future.

Book blogging
Blogging can have a massive impact on writing standards (research evidence here), but I've also found it to be a great way to engage children with reading. I set up a book blog at my old school about three years ago and have used it with all the classes I've taught since. There's an earlier post about book blogging here which explains some of the benefits.

A great way to record and share audio content. We've used it for book reviews, poetry performances, author interviews, etc. Here's a clip of my young daughter reading We're Going On A Bear Hunt.

Online sticky notes. Can be used to get an immediate response to a book or a poem. It's really simple to install and use.We most recently used it to share our thoughts on the books by the author Eva Ibbotson.

Can be used to create maps. I created one showing where some of the different authors that the children enjoy reading are originally from.

Not one I've used, but always interesting to look at other people's pins. Here's one from Primary English showing books about the Race to the South Pole.

Really simple way to get the children voting in online polls and surveys. We used it to vote on our favourite animal characters in books. The runaway winners were Dude, Bro and Squirt from Koala Calamity, although admittedly we had just finished reading that as our class book the day before.

We've also recorded video trailers for books using iPads and editing software. Twitter is great; we've posted 140 character book reviews, harassed engaged with authors and poets, found out about books awards and competitions, etc. It's also a good way to share reading success with parents.


  1. Thanks, some good ideas. We've also started to use QR codes, which can be scanned for book quizzes, etc. We've set them up all around the library, and have also included them on school newsletters with links to class blogs, author websites and writing competitions.

  2. Animoto is also a great tool for creating short videos.