How I Use It
As a teacher, I took note of students in my classroom who were free reading. They would lay their free-read books on the side of their desk, and I'd often talk with them about it. As I continued this, more and more students brought their books wanting to talk about them. This is when I knew that promoting free reading by showing each other what we were reading, talking about it, and recommending it, would encourage free reading. Free reading oftentimes leads to better reading and writing scores within school and on standardized test. Goodreads allowed me to take a modern approach on this reading encouragement. I recommend books for students. I comment on their reviews and get into discussions about why they rated a book a certain way. I even bring in my own books for students to read when I see they have marked a book as "to read". It's a great, modern way to promote free reading.
It doesn't take long to set up, and the platform offers online access including apps! I even use the application on my phone while I'm at the library so I know what books are on my "to read" list. I often tell students this, and they do the same thing. Again, it's a modern approach to promoting reading. If you haven't already tried it, I encourage you to set up a personal account and play around with it. Encourage students to do the same thing. After you're comfortable with it, try "groups" for your students. It's a great platform for modern "book reports" all in one spot.
I have used it as a teacher and a student. As a student, my graduate professor held our book discussions on Goodreads. She set up individual groups and only people in our class could comment on our reviews (if we set it that way) and respond to one another. This is how my professor held us accountable for our reading. It was similar to submitting a critical book analysis after each book, but the convenience was unbeatable! We were all in one organized "group", and we could submit our "reviews" any time of the day online.