Here’s a thing I realized about myself recently: it’s challenging for me to read professional books in digital formats.

This is a thing I hadn’t really realized until I started thinking about the work I’m currently doing with New Mexico’s new social studies standards, and feeling like I need to learn more about the teaching of social studies (independent from the teaching of language arts).

I bought a few professional books digitally recently and I really haven’t made much headway in either of them.

But give me a digital trade book and I have no problems with it.

I’ve recognized that it comes down to purpose for reading. When I read professionally, as many, I assume, the purpose is to learn the information and figure out how to put it into practice. Additionally, it needs to be an easy reference for later. Or, in my case, it needs to be an easy reference for when I’m meeting with teachers.

While digital text provides an easy reference — I don’t have to haul around my entire professional library if I’m at a school site — I find that it doesn’t engage me or the teachers I’m working with in the same way.

I’ve yet to figure out where the happy medium is. I can’t haul my office around with me, but we don’t engage with digital text in professional learning community meetings the same way we do with print.

Teachers, I’d love your thoughts on this.

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