How I Use It
I am a librarian and I use Goodreads with literature classes, to create bookshelves for students to use. For instance, students were recently assigned to read fiction about the same topic they were researching and compare the informational texts to the story. I created bookshelves featuring fiction on each topic then made QR codes students could scan with their iPads. They were taken directly to the bookshelf, and a click on each book cover led them to reviews and ratings by other Goodreads contributors. In a customized learning situation, this was much more efficient than booktalking to the class because each student was directed to the content they needed at the time they needed it. No one was sitting through booktalks on topics other than theirs or listening to booktalks for a project they weren't going to do. The QR codes are available for students to use anytime, even outside of school. Students also got the benefit of multiple viewpoints about the books before choosing one. The only drawback was that it took awhile to make all of the shelves, but this only needs to be done once and with minor editing the shelves will be ready for next year. I also made a bookshelf of professional books and distributed a QR code for them to my staff. I will definitely continue using the bookshelf feature of Goodreads in the future.
Goodreads connects avid readers with their friends and other like-minded reads through personal recommendations, ratings, reviews, and a news feed. Students sign in and rate books they have already read and Goodreads recommends more (think Amazon without the purchase). Readers can read and post reviews, and also visit a news feed of their friends' latest GoodReads activity. Readers can also create shelves of books to read, books read, and books that share common themes, and these are searchable. Goodreads could serve teachers and students better by creating ways for classrooms to connect separate from the regular friends list and for teachers or librarians and students to communicate directly.