My new IPEVO Ziggi document camera and I made our debut today when I modeled think-aloud as a literacy strategy for a group of English teachers.
Portable yet strong, the Ziggi made everything easy. After plugging in the camera into the USB slot and turning on the software (which took all of five seconds), I slapped down the excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers and did my thing. The image was clear, and teachers could read the text from the back of the room.
As a result, the training went really well. The teachers liked that I emphasized that we need to focus our students’ reading energy on a specific purpose. Too often, we just give a text to our students and tell them to “mark it up.” Other times, we teach too many general reading strategies at once. Especially at the beginning of the year, it’s best to go step by step.
After the session, several teachers approached me. Several thanked me for the presentation and asked me follow-up questions. But the star was the Ziggi. The teachers were nearly maniacal. “Where did you get that?” one asked. “This is what I need,” another said.
It’s true: To teach students how to read well, we must unveil the strategies expert readers use to make meaning of text. You can’t do that by assigning them 30 pages for homework or giving them pop quizzes or making them write essays. Those assessments keep the actual reading hidden.
It’s time to get reading out into the open — where we can all see it — and at $89, the Ziggi offers an affordable way to make that happen.