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BookCrossing: Engage Students in Reading

Each year I issue a reading challenge to students. I’d like to incorporate technology use in this year’s challenge. Do you have any suggestions?

You may be familiar with the Web site called “Where’s George?” or, for Canadians, “Where’s Willy?", both of which allow participants to register and track paper currency. Now there’s BookCrossing, a Web site that encourages users to register and give away books, then track comments by subsequent readers. BookCrossing.com offers downloadable labels to affix in the front of each registered book to let new readers in on how to access the site and follow the books’ travels. Part of the tracking process includes asking each new reader to post an online journal entry about the book.

You could challenge students to read books, register them and post journal entries on the site, then start exchanging the books on campus. There could be awards for the greatest number of books read, the greatest number of journal entries about a particular book, etc. The possibilities will be limited only by your imagination.

An activity of this kind can meet both of your objectives: get students to read and then use technology to share ideas about the books.

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