Students who use computers for their writing assignments fared far better on the NAEP writing test, the first to be administered on computer, than students who do not.
Those results may not come as a surprise, but with comprehensive digital testing on the horizon, the implications extend far beyond the realm of writing instruction.
Online testing gives a “distinct advantage” to students whose homes and schools are rich in technology, says AASA chief Daniel Domenech. Its nothing new, he says, just the latest example of “the gap between the haves and have-nots.”
Though the testing platform may reward digital literacy, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Computers are “the 21st-century pencil,” says Domenech. Tech skills are not for just the college bound any more. Fast-food and retail workers regularly use smart devices and computers at work, as do truck drivers and security guards. In fact, its hard to think of a job that doesn’t require digital literacy.
Read More: Digital Wake-Up Call | Scholastic.com.
When I started counting the types of writing that are potentially required to produce an online course, I was stunned. I realized that one instructional designer can potentially provide the skills of an entire writing department.
Not only do we need skills for expository, creative, persuasive and technical writing, but we often write about topics for which we know very little at first. Furthermore, our writing is expected to be motivating while clearly delivering concepts, procedures and facts.
Here you’ll find some brief guidelines that focus on each type of writing. Much of this writing is done in storyboards, so I didn’t include writing for storyboards as a separate type. What other types of writing for eLearning can you think of?
[Some great reading here, with links to more in-depth info when you want to go further. Well worth your time!]
Full Text: 10 Types Of Writing For eLearning: The eLearning Coach: Instructional Design and eLearning.
Writing in classrooms seems to me to have two wildly different, conflicting purposes: a limited, traditional and strict purpose – because exams, like many decent jobs, will be about written skill; and a wider, idealistic one: the ultimate method of exchange of ideas in depth. So, first, we should repeatedly use formal tests to acclimatise students to exam-specific writing requirements – dull, precise, necessarily regular. And beyond that, we’d let writing have free rein, encouraging students to be as ambitious, open-ended and wide-ranging as possible. That would mean loosening up most classroom time outside of the revise/test/peer-mark cycle to be about project work, self-directed learning, talk and flexibility; and we’d make the recording of learning a highly flexible process, for students to write what, and when, they like.
So I’ve spent the past few months with GCSE and A-level classes doing absolutely no writing at all beyond sample tests and student blogs.
Full Text: Blogging in the classroom: why your students should write online | Teacher Network Blog | Guardian Professional.
When Jacob Lewis was growing up, he liked to write “really terrible Stephen King-like fiction stories.” Looking back on those early works, the former managing editor of The New Yorker said he’s glad they never saw the light of day. But for thousands of teenage writers across the country, Lewis has helped do the exact opposite.
The Web site Figment—founded by Lewis and New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear in 2010—gives young writers a forum to freely publish their work. The site now boasts more than 220,000 registered users and has stocked a library of more than 350,000 individual pieces, ranging from reflective poetry to multi-chapter novellas.
Full Text: Budding Writers Benefit from Sharing Their Work Online | MindShift.