You can’t teach what you don’t know, so anyone who doesn’t know how to enjoy reading literature, thinking about it, and entering into dialogues about it shouldn’t try to teach those pleasures to others.
Teachers can’t just read about web-based and digital resources, they have to begin exploring these resources for themselves. Teachers also need to begin thinking about how these resources might be used in their reading workshops.
To help teachers move forward into the digital age, they need to be given time to explore a wide range of digital resources, time to talk with other teachers about how they have been using these resources in their classrooms, time to play around with them, provide time for their students to play around with them, and visualize new ways to use these resources in the reading workshop.
I will be the first one to admit there are factors that make using new technologies in one’s classroom a challenge. Teacher limited experience and familiarity with new technologies and limited resources are probably the first two challenges that come to mind. The lack of resources in some low socioeconomic schools and classrooms, often referred to as the digital divide is a real challenge that needs to be overcome. Maintaining safe environments for our students through the use of firewalls is vital as we expose our students to the Internet. But, these challenges must be met head-on if we are going to take advantage of the web-based and digital resources available and help our students be successful in the digital age.