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Teaching the New Writing: Technology, Change, and Assessment in the 21st-Century Classroom (Language & Literacy Series) (Language and Literacy Series) (Language and Literacy (Paperback))
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The book is organized into three parts mimicking a student's progress through the American school system. The parts are divided as follows: 1. Beginning in Elementary and Middle Schools. 2. Continuing in the Secondary Grades. 3. Bridging to the College Years. Each chapter is further divided to detail a specific example of how technology was integrated in the writing lesson. Some examples include: Collaborative Digital Writing, Digital Writing Books, Be a Blogger, Multimedia Presentations From Yearlong Research and Community Based Culminating Projects, Student Engagement and Multimodality, Collaboration, Schema, and Identity, and Multiple Modes of Production in a College Writing Class.
A common thread throughout the teacher examples is allowing the student to actively engage in authentic projects that can have real world applications. The obvious problem with authentic project based lessons is the fact that these types of lessons don't always align with state mandated assessments. The disconnect is addressed fairly often within the vignettes and it is a problem that most of the teachers acknowledge.Glen Bledsoe writes, "Students usually have a keen ear for conflict in dialog and have little problem reproducing it. Collaborative digital writing projects are also dialog driven much as a script for a play. Unfortunately, the Oregon Department of Education refuses to score papers with more than a few lines of dialog.Read more ›
Second, since when do we think education should be easy? I encounter this issue time and again throughout this book: using computers to teach multimedia composition will help students grasp writing by making it easier. But looking back on my own education, I retained very little that came easily. As a teacher, I see the difference in my students between work that comes with little effort and work that requires sweat.
Some of this book's essays support that belief. For instance, Glen L. Bledsoe's story of writing and recording an audio play collaboratively with his fourth graders persuades me that publically showing the work's steps makes students' own expectations more transparent. Jeffrey Schwartz cogently describes how video production makes poetry more engaging and humane for high school students. I might incorporate some of these techniques.
But, just for a few counter-examples, teaching writing through blogging inculcates a rhetoric of small vocabularies, short attention spans, and little reading. Moreover, I fear that letting them "research" with RSS feeds and a Google blogsearch rewards a passive attitude that information should come to students, while writing doesn't require students to lift their butts from their chairs. This approach is, at best, incomplete and lethargic.
This book has many excellent approaches and techniques.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for a class but didn't really use it for the class and haven't yet gotten into it but I'm sure it will be a valuable resourcesPublished 6 months ago by Jo A. Causey
The authors of this book told their real experiences with including digital literacy in their composition classes. Read morePublished on October 6, 2013 by Ellen M Hajek
This text provides educators with practical ideas for incorporating technology into writing instruction and assessment at the primary, secondary, and college level. Read morePublished on November 23, 2010 by Gej