Corey Dressel

5 Ways to Use Technology to Teach Writing

In Uncategorized on May 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm

The following list is adapted from a post submitted by Katie Lepi, entitled “10 Ways to Use Technology To Teach Writing.” This post in its entirety can be found on the website Edudemic.

Edudemic is a web-based resource whose entire purpose is to connect teachers, administrators, students, and just about everyone else with the best technology on the planet. They do this by featuring a regular flow of tools, tips, resources, visuals, and guest posts from dozens of authors around the world. Started in 2010, Edudemic is now one of the leading education technology sites on the web; it is a vibrant forum of discussion, discovery, and knowledge.

1.    MAKE WRITING A MULTIMEDIA EXPERIENCE.

Many teachers report that students who get to be creative and use high-tech tools to augment their writing actually work harder, are more willing to revise, and want to create something that will be truly great, not just please the teacher.

2. USE BLOGS.

Blogs force students to create writing that is geared toward a wider audience, which can give quite different results than asking students to craft an essay or a journal that will be read by the teacher alone. On these sites, students can work together to craft a classroom blog or work independently to develop a blog on a given topic. Much of the writing students will do in their future work may be digitally-based, so learning to write in the digital sphere is a key skill to develop. What’s more, most kids love getting the chance to share their writing through a blog, so it can be great motivation for reluctant writers.

3.   UTILIZE COMMON CORE WEB TOOLS.

There are already useful tech tools that teachers can use to teach students writing non-fiction. One such site is StudySync, which provides access to hundreds of digital books, offers weekly writing practice, has online writing and peer review, and even incorporates multimedia writing lessons. It offers a pretty rich assortment of tools that can be useful in helping teachers adapt to new standards, and in getting students at any level to learn to love (and excel at) writing.

4.    FIND A REAL WORLD APPLICATION.

Sadly, many students hate writing because they find it boring and not particularly useful. Many students just aren’t learning practical ways to apply what they learn and create. After all, when was the last time you had to write a five-paragraph essay for, well, anything? Experts suggest that teachers can facilitate greater student engagement through emphasizing the real-world purpose of student writing. The Web can be a valuable tool for doing that, as much of the communication students do these days is via online forum. Students can compare and contrast products, write short essays detailing their position on a particular issue, or even build research-based websites that can inform and educate readers.

5.    USE TECH TO PUBLISH STUDENT WORK.

When students are proud of the work they’ve done, they love seeing it in published. Additionally, knowing something will be published for others to see can motivate students to produce better work from the get-go. There are a wide range of publication options online that teachers can use to promote student work. Students can be featured on a school website or blog, but other sites offer different options. Google Drive and Zoho Writer make it possible to turn a writing assignment into a webpage and Yudu and Issuu help make them into a newsletter or e-book. Those are just a few of the many options out there that can help to get students excited about writing.

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