Nov 14, 2009

When will districts embrace the new forms of writing?

Most of my students don't enjoy traditional forms of writing. Most of my students enjoy writing much more when it is in the form of a wiki project, online discussion, tweet, text message, etc. There are myriad elements that may be behind this increased motivation and engagement. It may be due to the novelty of the technology, the authentic audience, the interactive and collaborative opportunities, the ability to write multimodally, the variety of structures, or the ability to hyperlink. Yet, most districts still cling to only basic writing, the traditional five sentence paragraph or five paragraph essay being typical. If they have taken a step farther, to them, a writer's journal exists in a notebook. How sad that they hope to improve student writing with more of the same.

Fortunately, there is hope. Throughout the web you can find inspiring examples of students and teachers who have embraced new tools and methods. Furthermore, NCTE has endorsed a change. To learn more about their suggestions check out their set of articles, Writing in the 21st Century, or better yet, this new book, Teaching the New Writing: Technology, Change, and Assessment in the 21st-Century Classroom.


BalancEdTech said...

Better mini-lessons might help with traditional writing, but why can't those same mini-lessons be used to improve the writing done with the tools and structures that engage our students more?

BalancEdTech said...

Two interesting studies that are related to this topic are:

BalancEdTech said...

Another related article, thought this quote might spur some interest:

"It’s been almost 40 years since the teaching of writing in schools had its last major shift, a move to an emphasis on the “writing process,” which still holds sway in most classrooms today. But with the advent of Web-based social networking tools like blogs and wikis, YouTube and Facebook, it may be that the next revision of writing pedagogy is upon us, one that emphasizes digital spaces, multimedia texts, global audiences and linked conversations among passionate readers."