Sunday, June 9, 2013

Does It Have to Have a Pencil Involved to Be "Writing"?

Happy Sunday!

Having another overcast Central Illinois day today.  However my baseball team split a doubleheader today and managed to get its first win of the season.

If you are really interested in how we're doing... check out!

Anyways, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I am going to include writing into my curriculum. Mostly because my administrator told me "you are going to include more writing into your curriculum."  And so of course, with less direction or inspiration than I would like to have, I am setting forth.

My question though is this:  are we at a point where writing needs to ever be on paper anymore?  I mean sure, people are going to continue to need to write, and learn how to write, but as far as an assignment goes, should a written work be the last step still?

For example, if I want my students to respond to something they have read, they can post their response to Edmodo, link it to a blog, or if I ever was feeling ambitious, tweet it.  Those are still writing exercises, just not on paper.

But what if the writing was not the final product?  What if that writing turned into a short youtube clip where the student responded using what they wrote.  What if they enhanced it using an animation program like xtranormal?  What if they did an audio recording?  What if they rapped it?  All of those things started with writing, and guess what... we probably just hit a common core speaking and listening standard in the process.

I think that doing things in a way like this is more in line with the way our students our today, and also allows them to do things I need and want them to do while giving them outlets to be creative as well.  I'm not trying to "trick" them into writing, but I'm sure enough hoping for more success and better products.  If the student gets to record his or herself reading or talking about his or her writing, I'm hoping that a better job will get done.

It's this step beyond that is going to take our students from merely reciting or repeating back to us things we told them and instead transform their everyday work into something they produce.  With a course management site like Edmodo, Moodle, Blackboard, etc., this is within reach.  Imagine being able to conference with a parent and student and show them the work they have produced because it is digitally preserved and archived...  No more manila folders with crinkled papers and gouged corners.  No more messy papers with eraser holes and cross-outs.  No more papers getting lost (definitely guilty of that one) by a teacher!

Technology is just something that does a task for people in an easier way.  Usually it saves time.  That extra time should be used to create better work, not just hand in work in a different format.

Ok, I'll put my soapbox away for a bit.  Here's to my fingers being crossed for the Google Academy!

Mr. J.

1 comment:

  1. Great points, all valid ways to express student understanding. I think they do still need to practice how to write, no matter how good they are at other forms of communication.