Some time ago, Diana Benner and I facilitated a workshop session at the Heart of Texas Writing Conference. At that time, we promised to write an article about the experience but never got around to it. As part of my Abydos Summer Writing Academy, I have decided to make this my “publishable” (extensive) piece. I’m going to share the draft as it develops below.
This is Part One.
- Part Two will Action 1,
- Part Three-Action 2 – Digitizing the Status of the Class
- Part Four-Action 3 – Digitizing Writing and Peer Conferences
- Part 5-Action 4 – Digitizing Group Share
- Part 6-Conclusion.
After THAT’s done, I’ll need to get Diana’s feedback on it and then pursue a place to print venue to publish it in. Of course, it’s all in draft.
“If you can write what people will read by choice,” shares Vicki Spandel, author of Six Traits Writing, “the world is your’s” (Source: http://bit.ly/bRwHIs). Publishing, now, presents readers with an opportunity to have ongoing, learning conversations with the author. These conversations frame the writing in rich, contextual details not as easily attainable as now. Social media tools–such as Plurk.com, Twitter.com, and Facebook.com–provide ready access to what the author really is thinking. “Social media uses Internet and web-based technologies,” shares Steve Douglas, “to transform broadcast media monologues (one to many) into social media dialogues (many to many).“
If students leave the writing workshop feeling famous, then I have done my job right. Sharing your writing, being enlarged by others’ writing is what makes you feel famous.Source: Gretchen Bernabei, 2010 Summer Writing Academy, San Antonio ISD, San Antonio, Texas
New technologies enable our children’s writing to engage a wider audience than just their classmates, students passing in the hallways, parents and teachers who happen to pass by a lonely bulletin board. This article is about 4 actions you can take, as a writing teacher, to digitize your writing workshop.
To accomplish our goal of making the writing workshop easier through the use of technology, Diana Benner and I set ourselves 2 goals. Those goals included the following:
- Rethink the Writer’s Workshop from the Teachers’, not the students’, perspective
- Share digital tools that facilitate the writer’s workshop. Within the boundaries of this goal, 5 ways to enhance writing workshop facilitation were shared.
“Today,” shared one teacher, “we will be studying adjectives. After we complete exercises on adjectives, we will write sentences using adjectives.” Caught in test preparation, many writing workshops are nothing more than lock-step marches through the writing process, giving fanatical adherence to mechanical processes of grammar and punctuation. Young writers, teachers forget the passionate thrill of crafting writing. They may never achieve “The Zone,” which one education blogger described in euphoric terms:
If you’re a writer, you know what I mean. You slip into the Zone, and hours can go by, and they pass unnoticed. You are so enraptured by the experience of writing that nothing else matters…I LOVE being in the Zone and when I’m there, writing isn’t difficult, hard, miserable or anything. It’s like tapping into a power source. I hate interruptions when I’m in the Zone. I’m considering flicking a switch that turns on a red, flashing light. Another neat thing about being in the Zone is that I’m not hungry when I’m there…or thirsty or anything. All there is…is the Zone. If blogging isn’t good for anything else, or anyone else, it’s good for getting me in the Zone. It’s darn addictive.
(Source: Why Blog? http://bit.ly/9CYoC2)
In the inner circle labelled “Writers,” we find student writers who can publish their work, not only in print, but in a variety of media. Text, audio, and images combine when students use blogs, wikis, podcasts and digital storytelling. Students can find it easier to collaborate on a piece of writing when using collaborative word processors. Furthermore, “computer software now allows young children to write and illustrate their own stories before their fine motor skills are developed enough to allow them to do so by hand” (Source: National School Boards Association, http://bit.ly/9Cwbz9). Neither teachers or students can afford to ignore freely available technologies.
SideBar 1 – Students Publishing Online
- Amphitheater List – http://bit.ly/IOq1F – features over 20 web sites where student work can be published online.
- Education World article on Encourage Student Writing – http://bit.ly/1IjwJx – Offers additional suggestions.
SideBar 2 – Digital Tools for Students
|Stage of the Writing Process||Technology Tools Available|
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure