Yesterday was the second time in two weeks that I was asked to join a graduate level class for a chat around technology and writing, and I do find it fascinating that technology allows us to do that. It is a bit odd to be so removed from the room, and the quality of video would come and go depending on the connection. Still, it’s a great way to bring visitors to the classroom from afar.
Last week, I was “in” Mike Mansour’s class. Yesterday, I skyped into a class offered through our Western Massachusetts Writing Project called “Writing and the Teaching of Writing,” which is a course that I took a few years ago myself.
My focus yesterday was on how writing is at the core of so much technology that students can be using in the classroom, whether it is blogging, using wikis, creating movies and webcomics, or podcasting. In just about everything, writing is what drives the content of the learning and the technology is merely the tool for composition and expression.
The teachers (aka grad students) asked some great questions, such as:
- Where does one even begin with technology? (start small, think it through, do it yourself first.)
- How do you deal with firewall issues? (make friends with your tech coordinator, bring them into your classroom, justify the unblocking of the site for learning)
- How do you bring administrators and parents on board? (lay the groundwork early, write out your rationale, update your principal regularly on progress)
- How do you learn about all of this? (RSS feeds, social networking, reading and adapting ideas. I recommended Troy Hick’s Digital Writing Workshop to the class as a text they could use to think through technology connections with writing)
Peace (in the sharing),