Is Goodreads good for students and teachers?

Goodreads is a website and an app which relate to books. You can create a profile and add as much as 5000 people to your friend list. A teacher could ask their students to add everybody in the class. As part of a reading project, teachers could ask their students to read a book and then do a review. That way, every friend would have a notification when someone would post a review and would be able to go read it. Using Goodreads is a good way to encourage students to read more and to get interested to literature in general. If a student thinks that a review of a mate is good, he/she can add the book to a list call “to-read” and consult it later on.

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The thing that is great about the application on the phone or on tablet is that it sends you notification every time something happens to you or your circle of friend.

For a teacher, creating a private group can be a good idea.

“Goodreads can be used by educators to help a class of students monitor each others reading habits and discuss books together. We recommend creating a private group for the group interested (classroom, school, etc).” (answer from Goodreads on “Can Goodreads be used as a teaching tool for students?”)

The group can be useful if a teacher wants everybody’s opinion on a book or if he wants his students to post an assignment like a review privately. Every time something new is posted on the group, every member can receive an e-mail or a notification (if they choose to have this option; in that case, it would be likely to agree to those options).

When creating the group, the teacher can choose the title, give a description and write the rules. The group can also be secret, which means that no one who is not a member can find the group in the search bar; it also means that the teacher would have to add the students himself.

There are a few options when creating the group. One that can really be interesting for the teacher is the one that can allow the moderator posts to be highlighted. It would help the students differentiate their teacher’s posts from the other students’.

A teacher could also only create a group for students to put their favorite books to recommend to other students.

An inconvenient with Goodreads is that the student has to have an e-mail in order to be able to create a profile. For younger students, it can be a difficulty since they might not all have e-mail. You can help them create an e-mail address, though. Before starting a project like this with younger students, you might want to ask the parents if they all agree. A middle school teacher (Ms. Graves) helped her students create g-mail and posted a few weeks later how she felt about the project of having a Goodreads group:

“So far we are having a blast. The students really like it, especially when they are writing their own stories. They are also learning social skills, because some students don’t like what people are doing to their stories, so they are learning cooperation.”

As a student, I must say I would’ve loved to have a project on Goodreads. The website is easy to use, interesting and almost every novel is on there. It would be really useful for an English teacher since they have every book written in English that I searched. Unfortunately, there are some books written in French that I didn’t find. I found a student’s point of view on a project she had in school on Goodreads:

“From a student, I can say goodreads is helpful. You can have students use the writing posts on their profiles to write responses or English assignments. If the class is reading a novel together, that novel can be located here on goodreads. Students can make comments and teachers can grade said comments if wanted. You can even make private groups for students to discuss a book just between themselves. Goodreads made class much more interesting […]”

Overall, I really think that Goodreads is a good tool for teachers and for students.

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