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Because Digital Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia Environments Paperback – November 9, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0470407721 ISBN-10: 0470407727 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470407727
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470407721
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The connectivity of the internet and the latest digitaltechnologies have opened vast new opportunities, formats, andaudiences for writing. Digital writing involves more than just wordprocessing an essay or punching out an e-mail message; students canblog, text message, chat online, or create narratives formulti-media productions.

Based on case studies, interviews with educationalprofessionals, and a decade's worth of research, Because DigitalWriting Matters offers proven strategies to equip students with thecommunications skills that will enable them to thrive in ourinformation-rich, high-speed, high-tech culture. The book also

  • Introduces the idea of digital writing as a mode of thinking,applicable to all grades and disciplines

  • Examines current trends, best practices, research, and issues inthe teaching of digital writing

  • Offers practical solutions and models for planning,implementing, and assessing digital writing initiatives and writingprograms

Because Digital Writing Matters reveals what teachers,administrators, and parents can do to meet the writing challenge inour nation's schools.

"Coming not a moment too soon, Because Digital Writing Mattersis required reading for every educator and concerned citizen in oursociety." —Patricia Lambert Stock, professor emerita, MichiganState University, and visiting professor, The University ofMaryland, College Park

"An important and useful book—a much-needed guide to theteaching of digital writing, with examples of teachers' exemplarypractice." —Charles Moran, professor emeritus, University ofMassachusetts, Amherst

The NATIONAL WRITING PROJECT (NWP), founded in 1974, is anationwide network of educators, working together to improve theteaching of writing in the nation's schools and in other settings.The revised edition of their bestselling book, Because WritingMatters, is also available from Jossey-Bass. For more informationon NWP, visit

About the Author

Dànielle Nicole DeVoss is an associate professor and director of the Professional Writing Program at Michigan State University. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl directs National Programs and Site Development at the NWP at the University of California, Berkeley. Troy Hicks is an assistant professor of English at Central Michigan University, where he also directs the Chippewa River Writing Project.

Customer Reviews

This is a book about improving writing and it is a good example of what not to do.
S. Al-Amri
The book points out the usual problems associated with school technology: lack of equipment, outdated equipment, and teachers lacking technology skills and knowledge.
I've already read quite a few books on teaching composition and general writing...and I couldn't see anything revolutionary about this one.
Dame Droiture

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte on February 15, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I decided to try out this book because I knew I would be taking a literacy class for my Master's program, and thought it might be relevant. As it turns out, it was REALLY relevant and has been a wonderful resource. Academic readers can cite with confidence, knowing it's from the National Writing Project (NWP).

So, the basic idea of this book is that as teachers, we want and need to have all the best tools available to help our students master writing and literacy. Traditional literacy deals with the communication skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This book deals with both theory and practical methods for augmenting instruction of traditional literacy skills with increasingly-critical skills in digital, visual, and informational literacies.

Topics include rationale of why digital writing is crucial in today's world; the relationship of digital writing = writing + reading + listening + collaborating; digital formats like word processing, power point presentations, audio and video, social networks, blogs, email, RSS, etc.; addressing the challenges of integrating computers into classrooms, lesson plans, etc.; tools and techniques for classroom use; using digital tools to support proven traditional writing practices (like process strategies); "digital ecology" of rapidly-changing writing environments; activities to help students avoid plagiarism; standards and assessments for digital writing, including detailed examples and best practices; professional development ideas; creating learning networks; and finally a chapter on future directions to improve student learning.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Readerly VINE VOICE on February 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was very disappointed in this book.

The authors' definition of digital writing is "compositions created with, and oftentimes for reading and/or viewing on, a computer or other device that is connected to the Internet."

While they do address the fact that digital writing is writing done using a computer, they don't address (enough, at least) what I think is more important re: digital writing, and that is the audience that can be reached.

Other issues:
It was boring and in places confusing.

It was repetitive. They said nothing that hasn't been said in a thousand articles, lectures, and blogs.

A lot of their sources were more than three years old; in a book on technology and writing, I don't see that as a good thing.

While the topic is relevant to today's learners, the authors could have written a nice article for a magazine that would have covered what they wanted to say. I found myself skimming large sections of information I felt had already been stated previously.

Also, while I understand not wanting to give too many concrete examples of how to improve writing in a book about how quickly things change, I think they could have provided more than a few teacher anecdotes.

The book read like a research report, not an analysis of research completed. That's not what I, personally, look for in a book when I want to change things in my classroom.

Maybe, as I've alluded to, a book is the wrong medium for something that changes so quickly. But I found this particular book tremendously dissatisfying, and would like to see more work done on the subject in hopes that we can produce something more authoritative for teachers to use.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LookinG for Trouble VINE VOICE on October 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Because of the nature of the social network of the internet, children and teenagers are writing more than they ever did before and they are doing so happily, communicating across time and space, sharing their thoughts and ideas. They are plugged in, sometimes in multiple ways, all day long, reaching out, blogging, and writing, that is until they get to their schools which remain, curiously unplugged. One of the things that is interesting to me, in elementary, middle and high schools, is that, yes the internet is there and computers are available; however, it is a slow, lumbering internet that is available -- an internet that takes forever to load a page and that has blocks at every corridor. It's even funnier when you have to move around the room to get a wireless signal. Yes, you may go here, but not there or there or there. Some of these blocks seem capricious and frustrating.

One of the roles of teachers has to be to help students develop the critical skills they need to understand digital media and their role in it. This book is especially interesting because it illustrates how teachers are using collaborative media in their classrooms and how they use multimedia to enhance teaching and learning to provide meaningful educational experiences for students, not to use technology for technology's sake.

This book gives a lot to think about but it also gives practical and useful ideas for integrating technology into our writing classrooms - not in isolated ways but in integrative ways that use multiple technologies and teach students, yes, and teachers, to use multimedia to enrich writing and enhance the experience of the classroom. Computers are not something we do, but something we use in every part of our lives.
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