Elizabeth Peterson writes about an interdisciplinary unit she conducted combining science study of Land and Water with blues songs about life on the Mississippi River - extracting rich narratives from the songs' lyrics. Pictures and music included. -JL
Writing-focused initiatives are supported by one-to-one technology programs in one California school district and one Colorado district. Fourth-grade students in Saugus, Calif., are using Web-based software accessible on their netbooks to help improve their writing skills. In Littleton, Colo., a technology-based writing initiative that began with fifth-grade students has been expanded to students throughout the district.
EdTechTeacher presents Teaching English with Technology, a resource created to help K-12 English and Language Arts teachers incorporate technology effectively into their courses. Find resources for English and Language Arts lesson plans, activities, projects, games, and quizzes that use technology. Explore inquiry-based lessons, activities, and projects. Learn about web technologies such as blogs, podcasts, wikis, social networks, Google Docs, ebooks, online maps, virtual field trips, screencasts, online posters, and more. Explore innnovative ways of integrating these tools into the curriculum, watch instructional video tutorials, and discover how others are using technology in the classroom!
Online interactive tools from Tom March to support students in finding a topic for a written piece, creating a good thesis statement, generating an outline, or developing a causeo and effect essay. -JL
During what might have in the distant past been called "quiet time" in Arlene Anderson's fourth-grade classroom, many of her students are glued to their netbooks. The intense, enthusiastic focus and the hushed chatter amongst the students are all about high scores and strategy. But the students aren't playing video games. Instead, they're revising and editing their writing assignments within a web-based application that instantly assesses their writing skills and suggests ways to improve their work before turning the assignments in to their teacher. "For students, the software is an amazing self-motivator for writing, editing, and reviewing their writing," explains Anderson. "They're constantly working at learning the skills that will raise their scores."
The software and netbooks are part of the Saugus Union School District's (CA) Student Writing Achievement Through Technology Enhanced Collaboration (SWATTEC) initiative, one of a number of similar tech-supported initiatives that encourage writing across the curriculum. At the same time, the Saugus initiative is helping to prove that schools can see improvement in student achievement and engagement by harnessing 21st century tools to enhance writing skills.
Plenty of other web pages offer advice on coding, design, and stylesheet tricks. This collection, emphasizing content, rather than coding, offers advice on how to write electronic documents (mostly web pages, but also e-mail and interactive fiction). It is part of a larger collection of handouts on writing. – Dennis G. Jerz
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Spotlight covers the intersections of technology and education, going behind the research to show how digital media is used in and out of classrooms to expand learning.
Some of the changes with writing today, Baron says, have little to do with new technology and are more the result of our increasingly less formal society. But, digital tools do bear responsibility for “flooding the scriptorium,” a phenomenon Baron likens to the way we behave at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Essentially, the huge opportunities and options for creating text (email, tweets, blogs) cause us to write (or type) more than we ordinarily would. The result is that we are less careful with our words.
"I was working with 3rd graders on creating their own book trailers. It was a long-term project and I was thrilled with the trailers I had found to study with children. This seemed perfect for this grade level as book response is a part of their writing curriculum.
I believe strongly in Study-Driven/Inquiry-Based writing instruction. I live by Katie Ray's quote from her book STUDY DRIVEN, which is one of the books that has most influenced my life as a writing teacher."
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