URI lecture to examine online reading, comprehension, April 9

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KINGSTON, R.I. –April 1, 2008—The University of Rhode Island will host the 15th annual Robert and Augusta Finkelstein Memorial Lecture entitled, “New Literacies, Learning, and Online Reading Comprehension: Moving From Page to Screen In Our Schools.” The lecture will be delivered by Julie Coiro, assistant professor of reading in the School of Education at URI, and Donald J. Leu, the John and Maria Neag Endowed Chair in Literacy and Technology at the University of Connecticut.

The event will take place Wednesday, April 9 at 7 p.m. Free and open to the public, the talk will be held in the Barry Marks Auditorium of the Chafee Social Science Center, 10 Chafee Road., Kingston.

As reading shifts from page to screen, Rhode Island might now consider providing important new direction for our nation in the new literacies of online reading comprehension and learning. Based on recent research, the lecture will explore how the Internet requires additional new reading comprehension skills and strategies, what these are, and how teachers might help students acquire them. Coiro and Leu will describe a series of research-based models for supporting students from diverse populations as they seek to locate, critically evaluate, and communicate information using the Internet.

Before joining the URI staff, Coiro worked as co-director of The New Literacies Research Lab at UConn. She has spoken nationally about her research in reading comprehension instruction, the new literacies of the Internet, and effective practices for technology integration and professional development. Coiro has published several articles and chapters in venues such as Reading Research Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, and the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. She recently co-edited with Leu and two other colleagues the Handbook of Research on New Literacies.

Leu is currently the director of the New Literacies Research Lab at UConn. He is a member of the board of directors of the International Reading Association and was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame. Leu is an international authority on the new forms of reading comprehension the Internet requires. He is former president of the National Reading Conference. Leu has more than 100 publications and 20 books and has given keynote addresses in Europe, Australia, Asia, South America and North America.

In 1973, the University established the Robert Finkelstein Memorial Lecture Series in honor of the late Robert Finkelstein, a noted Rhode Island industrialist and staunch believer in state and federal support of elementary and secondary education. The lecture series, founded by the generosity of Augusta Finkelstein in memory of her husband, was renamed in her honor following her death in 1997.