Digital Writing Workshop (Book Companion Page)

Digital Writing Workshop Cover

Resources from my Heinemann book, The Digital Writing Workshop (2009)

NOTE: This page includes links from an archived version of our original Wikispace, which went offline in 2018. To that end, some of the links may be broken. If you find one, please contact me.

Also, connect with me on Twitter @hickstro

Chapter 1: Imagining a Digital Writing Workshop

Connecting what we know about effective instruction with the writing workshop approach to what we are learning about emerging technologies can provide us with a powerful way to teach digital writing.

Please use this forum to discuss your thoughts about what it means to teach in a “digital writing workshop.” What do we, as writing teachers, need to know and be able to do? What do our students need to know and be able to do as digital writers?

Links featured in this chapter include:

Chapter 2: Fostering Choice and Inquiry through RSS, Social Bookmarking, and Blogging

The first key principle of teaching in a digital writing workshop centers on student choice in topics and genres, as well as authentic inquiry. Through read/write web tools such as blogs, RSS, and social bookmarking, we can invite students to create their own personal learning networks and begin writing to real audiences and for different purposes.

In what ways can we utilize the tools described in this chapter to invite students into their own inquiry and lead to authentic writing?

Links mentioned in Chapter 2:

Chapter 3: Conferring through Blogs, Wikis, and Collaborative Word Processors

Conferring — both between teacher and student as well as student to student — has long been at the heart of the writing workshop. How can digital writing tools help enhance our conferring practices? In what ways can different digital writing tools be used to provide us with the best opportunities to read and respond to student work?

Links Mentioned in Chapter 3

Additional Links

Chapter 4: Examining Author’s Craft Through Multimedia Composition

In this chapter, we begin to explore what it means to craft writing when working with multimedia. By exploring the craft of creating photoessays, podcasts, and digital stories, we can begin to frame digital writing expectations for our students in ways that help them understand the many audiences they can reach, the media they can use, and the purposes for which they can compose.

In what ways do you invite students to compose multimedia texts? What are some of the challenges and opportunities of writing multimedia?

Chapter 5: Designing and Publishing Digital Writing

Sharing writing with wider audiences has always been a goal of the writing workshop approach. Digital writing creates new opportunities for writers to share their work through technologies such as digital portfolios, online anthologies, and audio and video collections.

In what ways can you invite your students to design digital writing spaces in which to share their work?

Resources mentioned in Chapter 5:

Chapter 6: Enabling Assessment Over Time with Digital Writing Tools

As teachers of writing, we are constantly assessing our students in both formative and summative ways, watching the process of composing as well as evaluating the final products. Digital writing certainly shares some of the traditional steps in the writing process and traits that we look for in quality writing. Yet, it also becomes more complex and recursive as the media, audiences, purposes, and writing situations change.

In what ways do you assess the process and products of digital writing?

Chapter 7: Creating Your Digital Writing Workshop

As you begin to create your own digital writing workshop, know that there are many models for successful technology integration in the teaching of writing that you can begin by looking at in order to get a sense of what other teachers are doing.

In what ways are you able to support your students, create physical and virtual spaces for them to share their writing, and talk about the subject of writing as the definition of what it means to “compose” continues to evolve?

Resources mentioned in Chapter 7:


Copyright. As one significant component of understanding our rights and responsibilities as digital writers, exploring the concepts related to fair use and copyright — as well as what it means to license work through a Creative Commons copyright — will serve your students well as they continue to consume, remix, and produce their own digital compositions. One additional resource mentioned throughout the book, but that was not available when I first wrote the appendix as an article over a year ago is the “Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education” produced by the Media Education Lab, a site which I strongly encourage you to explore.

In what ways can we encourage students to be productive, ethical, and responsible digital citizens and writers?

Resources mentioned in the Appendix

Additional Resources



Additional News and Media

Updated: May 31, 2020

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