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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))

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807749647
ISBN-10: 0807749648
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Editorial Reviews

Review

''Captures the intersection of school-sponsored literacy practices and state-sponsored literacy assessments, providing an overview of many ways in which writing, technologies, and assessment practices come together in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary classrooms across the country.'' --Composition Studies, Spring 2010

About the Author

Anne Herrington, Professor, Department of English, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Site Director, Western Massachusetts Writing Project,; Kevin Hodgson, Sixth Grade Teacher at the William Norris Elementary School, Southampton, MA, and Technology Liaison for Western Massachusetts Writing Project; and Charles Moran, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and former Site Director, Western Massachusetts Writing Project.
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Product Details

  • Series: Language and Literacy (Paperback)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press (May 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807749648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807749647
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.5 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Teaching the New Writing (TNW) is collection of practical how-to essays from 16 teacher authors who have attempted to tackle the emerging challenge of teaching writing in the digital age. This "intersection of technology and writing" is proving to be a challenging task for educators across the country.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed reading this book. Each chapter presented practical ways to incorporate technology into the classroom, specially student use. The authors lay out in detail specific lessons that use technology. Some include student blogging, creating online picture books, collaborative writing pieces, and senior portfolios and podcasts. Being a teacher, I appreciated that each lesson explained in the book what the roles of the teacher and students are, how they relate to the standards and how to assess. Each chapter included a sample rubric that is specific for each technology project. The activities range from elementary to high school level but each could be adapted for different levels. If you are looking for ways to incorporate technology, I recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
This book was very refreshing. It covered many great lessons that use all of the new technology we have around us. I read this book for an assignment in an education class for college, and was impressed. The public school curriculum would benefit greatly if teachers took tips from this book, and made learning more interesting and fun for their students.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
On page 69, Kevin Hodgson, having led a fifth grade class through writing digital picture books, quotes one student: "I think that books in the future will have people popping out of the pages and talking, like a miniplay. In the future, you will not even have to read the books--just listen to them." This quote prompts two questions. First, since when do fifth graders understand their own best interests?

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.
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