Justifying Digital Reading and Writing

Before the NWP Annual meeting, I had three separate conversations (one by email, one by phone, and one in person) with colleagues from the local, state, and national level about why and how to use digital reading and writing in their classrooms and for professional development. I had many more of these conversations at the NWP Annual Meeting and the ACE Workshop. What I will try to capture here is a basic outline of my response to them, and why I feel that these are critical literacy skills.

I hope to return to this post and update it, both because it is very rough right now and it will always be able to grow. Please feel free to help me out if you have ideas I should add, OK?

Frameworks

First, to conceptually frame digital reading and writing, there are a few places to begin:

Teaching tips and things to do

I know that this is not the most organized or coherent list of stuff. Also, I am thinking of turning it into a page on this site so it remains static. But, for now, I think that it is the beginning of something worth capturing and beginning to build as a more comprehensive resource about how and why we want to teach with these technologies.

Typo Generator

Now, here is a great way to kill time and generate cool graphics for your blog:

typoGenerator

Interestingly enough, the warning at the bottom of this image says “the images used for generating may be subject to copyright.”

Also interesting, as soon as I clicked away from the page, the temp image that was stored — and that I tried to blog above — disappeared. Save early, save often, I suppose…

Blogged with Flock

Blogs for Learning

Thanks to the team at MSU’s Blogs for Learning for featuring my blog under their “User Submitted Blogs” list. This looks like it can become a great resource based on what they have described here:

What is Blogs for Learning?

Welcome to Blogs for Learning, an online resource about instructional blogging. The site provides students and instructors with information and resources about the technical and pedagogical aspects of blogging in the classroom.

Blogs for Learning

Just this past week, I have had three different conversations with educators about how and why to integrate technology – especially read/write web tools – into projects that they are doing. A site like this can serve as a clearinghouse for information that teachers can use to justify blogs in their classrooms. They already have some great articles and tutorials about blogging, and I think that this will grow into a very helpful site.

One thing that is curious to me is the fact that you can’t get the RSS feed for the site off of the main page (I don’t get a chicklet in the address bar of Firefox or Flock). Rather, you have to click on their “Feeds” page and grab it from there. I would have figured it would be easier to get the feed than that.

At any rate, I hope to blog more about these conversations that I had this week – as well as submit a few of the great NWP blogs that I know about to the Blogs for Learning site – but we have to get to the cider mill and pumpkin patch before snow threatens to ruin our day. Ah, Michigan weather…

Blogged with Flock

Learning to Write by Blogging with Purpose

As we think about the types of writing we ask students to do in school, and whether or not they feel it is for a real audience and purpose, can it even come close to this?

Nick Barnowski is in multitask mode. His fingers dance around a keyboard, keeping up his end of the bargain in a back and forth two-way Instant Message conversation.

He stops momentarily, leans back in his office chair and trades glances between the flat panel monitor and his visiting afternoon appointment that sits across the desk from him.

A stack of business cards sits in a tray on the front of the desk, which takes up a portion of the home office where he spends much of his time. On the walls, his hockey-playing career is chronicled with framed team photos, sharing the same space with a larger photo of the Detroit Red Wings skating around the ice with the Stanley Cup in their possession.

Recently things have been hectic. There has been an online sports Web blog to update, television, radio and newspaper interviews to be done, e-mail correspondence to attend to, and of course, the sixth grade to complete.

That’s right. The owner of one of America Online’s most popular sports Web blogs is 12. As in four years shy of his driver’s license 12.

Lansing State Journal: Popular sports-blog writer is 6th-grader with a full schedule

The rest of the story is even more interesting, as it talks about Nicks experience as a writer and what his teacher, who subscribes to the blog, thinks about this, too. Earlier today, some ELA consultants were asking me how and why we might do workshops on blogging (and try to overcome the MySpace crisis), and I think that this is a good example of positive blogging that I will use in the future.

New Internet Writing Tools Workshop, Day One

Today, Anne and I facilitated the first day of the New Internet Writing Tools Workshop and our group has been talking about blogging and RSS. At the beginning of the day, we talked about how blogs are different from static websites and began subscribing to RSS feeds left and right. By lunch, they were pros at Bloglines and in the afternoon they each began an Edublog Word Press site. Here is a link to what everyone has begun: