There's plenty of hand-wringing over how technology is affecting communication, but an illuminating article by Clive Thompson argues that technology may be doing more to increase literacy and encourage reading since the rise of the novel.
"Editorially, a new piece of writing software which opened to the public last week, proposes its own set of answers to those questions. It was clearly built with a thesis: Designed by veterans of digital publishing, it aims to “make collaborative writing easy.”
"To find out more, I interviewed Editorially’s CEO and co-founder, Mandy Brown. I interviewed her by writing in Editorially itself (meta!) and, during the course of our interview, she asked Editorially’s CTO, David Yee, and another editor who frequently uses the service, Nicole Fenton, to pitch in. All three of them, using Editorially, contributed paragraphs of their own and edited them together — a kind of further statement about how writing should work. The product of that process is below; the bolded words are mine."
In a recent research article published by PEW Internet under the title " The Impact of Digital Tools on Student Writing and How Writing is Taught in Schools ", 91% of teachers surveyed report that " judging the quality of information " as the top of the digital skills students need for the future. Similarly, another 91 report that "writing effectively" as being essential skill for students while 54 % of teachers think that working with audio, video or graphic content as being important but not essential.
Reading these stats together with other sections in this research made me think that the teachers surveyed in this study ( so as not to fall in the blander of generalization ) put digital citizenship on top of the continuum of digital skills ; in other words, knowing how to use web tools comes secondary to knowing the reasons for which to use them, or at least that is how I interpret it. Have a look at the graph below and try to read the entire report to learn more about this study.
"During this first week of school, I wanted to inspire my students to be creative and have fun with their learning. In years past I have always struggled to make my writing lessons fun and engaging, yet productive. This is year I decided to introduce writing with the help of my favorite tech tool: Augmented Reality! "I gave the students a choice to pick one of the 10 different coloring pages from the app ColAR Mix, and use the image on the page as a prompt to write a creative story. There was only two rules for the assignment: 1. Have fun 2. Use your imagination "The students got started right away, some writing their story first, and some coloring. Many students were very excited about their stories saying, "Can I please share my story?!" This all happened because I gave the students a choice to create what they wanted and NOT what I wanted. "
- See more at: http://www.twoguysandsomeipads.com/2013/09/augmented-reality-to-inspire-creative.html#sthash.eeUegO2O.dpuf
With Quip, you can make your edits right in the shared document, comment on a specific section, and even chat with the other authors directly while you're all making tweaks. Tracked changes show exactly how the draft has evolved.
To teach writing you need to write. To teach poetry, write poetry. If you find yourself in the remarkably important position of teaching kids, include poetry in your curriculum (even if you have to sneak it in)!
This video introduces a free course offered on UDEMY, a popular online teaching platform. The course is video driven. Experiment and experience at your own pace. (Why not?)
"Whether you’re the parent of a child with a reading disability or an educator that works with learning disabled students on a daily basis, you’re undoubtedly always looking for new tools to help these bright young kids meet their potential and work through their disability. While there are numerous technologies out there that can help, perhaps one of the richest is the iPad, which offers dozens of applications designed to meet the needs of learning disabled kids and beginning readers alike.
"Here, we highlight just a few of the amazing apps out there that can help students with a reading disability improve their skills not only in reading, writing, and spelling, but also get a boost in confidence and learn to see school as a fun, engaging activity, not a struggle."
There's more to writing than writing. This is the deck from my 2014 talk at the Web Conference at Penn State. It describes the importance of the "workflow" mindset for approaching your writing, a framework for analyzing your workflows and choosing appropriate tools, and a number of tool recommendations for each section.
Some time ago, I posted 8 writing ideas from Pinterest. Most of those ideas were directed at elementary grades, so today I’d like to point you toward some terrific Pinterest ideas for high school writing.
For grades K-6, the Common Core requires that students use technology toproduce and publish writing, while interacting and collaborating. As the students age, their level of independence increases. Each of the tools that I present to you today, allows for these 4 key actions.
Technology is changing not only how people write, but also how they learn to write. These profound changes require teachers to reconsider their pedagogical practices in the teaching of writing. This books shares instructional approaches from experienced teacher educators in the areas of writing, teacher education, and technology.
These teachers see the internet and digital technologies such as social networking sites, cell phones and texting, generally facilitating teens’ personal expression and creativity, broadening the audience for their written material, and encouraging teens to write more often in more formats than may have been the case in prior generations. At the same time, they describe the unique challenges of teaching writing in the digital age, including the “creep” of informal style into formal writing assignments and the need to better educate students about issues such as plagiarism and fair use.
These differences add an additional dimension to the range of possible writing assignments. You can ask the students to write about (or through) the games just as they would with a more conventional literary form, but you can also assign IF-specific investigations, asking the students to think about how the genre challenges traditional notions of authorship, audience, persona, narrative, and so on. For instance, I use Adam Cadre’s short and brutal 9:05 for an assignment on the uncomfortable fungibility of the IF player (what does it matter who is typing?), leading students to write about how texts can actively construct and reconstruct their own audiences in other genres as well. (I should probably clarify this point by telling you how 9:05 smashes players’ assumptions, but I don’t want to spoil the twist for you.)
In a survey of Advanced Placement and National Writing Project teachers, a majority say digital tools encourage students to be more invested in their writing by encouraging personal expression and providing a wider audience for their work.
Today's guest blog post by Cathy Mere will help you jump on the electronic record-keeping bandwagon. Learn how to use Evernote to keep conferring notes on all of your students.
"We learn so much sitting beside writers as they work in our workshops each day. Two years ago I gave up my spiral notebook I used to keep records of writing conference conversations for a digital system. Saying goodbye to my spiral notebook with tabbed sections for each student was easier than I anticipated. The time was right. More and more often I found myself wanting to do more than record handwritten snippets of evidence, thought, and conversation. More and more I found myself wanting to take pictures of student work or record student voices. More and more I found myself wanting to link to digital pieces students were creating. More and more I seemed to have a device in my hand instead of a pen. After learning about Evernote I decided to see if I could use it as a tool to record notes from across the day. I found myself enjoying the seamlessness of Evernote. It seemed Evernote was a tool to allow me to capture the learning journeys of the young writers in my classroom.
"To begin I created a notebook for each student and then placed them in a class stack. Each time I confer with a writer during writing workshop I use Evernote. Before I begin our conversation I glance through the last few notes, watch the work the writer is doing, and wait for an appropriate moment to chat. For me, it has worked to create a new note inside the student’s notebook each time I have a conference with a writer. My conferences are often structured like this:"
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