Monday, September 29, 2008

Launching the Interactive Reading Group

Last week, we started "The Interactive Reading Group," a program that involves a group of more than 30 collegiate African American men in a series of reading, composition, and correspondence activities. Over the next several months, the participants in the program will read and discuss African American illustrated narratives (comic strips) primarily using a blog and email.

Ultimately, the program provides them with a space to develop their skills exchanging ideas about a diverse range of topics and concepts such as race, visual matters, literacy, satire, U.S. politics, and American history.

On the one hand, "The Interactive Reading Group" is an extension of a pilot blog reading group or e-learning community that we implemented last spring entitled “The Wright100.” That group included about 10 black men who read Richard Wright’s autobiography Black Boy and discussed it using a blog and email.

At the same time, this current group and project represents our continuing efforts to explore how incorporating new technologies might enhance our approaches to getting folks involved with collaborative learning initiatives.

Among other things, we're hoping that this e-learning community will assist in building participation among young black men when it comes to discussing and writing about various ideas in blog format.

Like many of our programs this year, "The Interactive Reading Group" is just getting started, so there’s little to report for now. But, we’ll be sure to provide periodic updates on how the program is going.

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