Writing in a Digital Age: Notes from the Tables

A site development workshop supported by the Technology Liaison Network and Technology Initiative at the National Writing Project Annual Meeting, November 2007

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Web 2.0 Classroom Implications


Technology attractive to students

Cross-curricular possibilities

Integration of required literacy skills

Means of taking writing public

Multi-sensory teaching applications for students with language-based learning disabilities


Student tech use, not presentational but engagement

Increased collaboration students builders of knowledge

Increased creativity and motivations

Student ownership

Innovative techniques encourage more meaningful learning communities

Publication for a purpose

Audience goes beyond teacher


Engagement in technical projects remove bad behavior and encourages peer interaction

Fosters creativity

Promotes diversity

Audio/video components make students think more about their writing – gives them Voice


How much can technology be substituted for the traditional emphasis on academic writing with use
of citations?

Different technologies, different uses for known technologies

Fast pace of technology is also intimidating


How to get equipment? (Students may have access)

Hardware/software availability

What tech resources are available?

What is blocked by firewall?

High speed internet available

Funding – ongoing, updated programs

School-based support:

Teaching others in the school – tech support in districts

Acceptance by Administration


Many student more tech savvy than teachers

Project ideas:

Service learning hours required by same states (high school requirement) – older students make
ABCs and give to lower school students

Pull group of students together -- seniors create for elementary students – genuine purpose and audience

Alternative to peer tutoring

Students sharing – reluctant readers

HS Students record books for lower grade/ability students

Use audacity record reading/listening

Dialogue journals discussing reading transfer to online

Digital yearbooks

Use ABC movie at the end of a novel to showcase what was learned

Use digital medium to give voice to student poetry

Collaborate with pen pals in Canada (reading and writing)

Tell ABC story to promote the school – students recognize value of school

Senior with picture click to hear own life story

Freshman writing contest (similar to NPR “This I Believe” – Laws of Life)

Online writing conferences

Post parts of story through class blogmeister to offer comments/peer conference

Author Podcasts

    1. Research

    2. Discuss with recorder

    3. Podcasts (using Audacity) – posted on school’s site

  1. Literature Circles

    1. Similar to author podcasts

      1. EBoard – can upload to podcasts

  1. Monarch Watch

    1. 1st graders take pics and adding text

    2. 5th graders record text or could help facilitate

  1. ABC Movie

    1. WP Site movies

    2. New standards for social studies – Georgia

    3. Create models to take back to students

  1. Teacher read aloud

    1. To take back to schools

Implications for Sites/Professional Learning Communities

Programs/Project ideas:

Inservice – Advanced, SI

Pod and blog case continuity meetings

Student Writers’ Workshop – Anthologies on CD and linked to website

Teacher Inquiry Institute

Have WP make ABC story

New ways for class anthologies

Limit # of technology projects in SI

Indepth with only one idea

Digital storytelling to capture/promote summer institute

Develop reading out loud/recorded Cds to share throughout project districts

Extend SI through “Tech Tuesdays” and online forums

Podcasting to illustrate summer institute – PR

Just as ABC project brought together a larger technical community it can bring WP’s together
focusing on the Summer Institutes

Site inservice

Tech institute: Summer Institute, Advanced Institute

Monthly “Clicker Club” (monthly sessions, practice in-between)

Sharing technology techniques through Advanced Technology Institutes

Tech teams

Digital storytelling institute

Connecting local WP site to the global community

Tech Matters Institute (Funding?)

Site leaders providing something comparable to Betty’s Tech Tuesdays

Sites should consider some type of digital movie on websites so interested persons get the facts, faces, and voices of NWP


Funding: Demands for service then evidence of use of service supports federal funding for hardware, software and human resources

Support from site/University about technology

Technology training, sharing ideas, hardware/programs, tutorials


Collaboration with businesses in the community who can share info/presentations at our sites and maybe in our classrooms too

Open Source as a draw for community


How can this further other purposes than just using tech?

How long does it take to learn the technology (Intuitive/organic acquisition?)

Plus …

“Writing is Messy”


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