Sometimes you read a blog and it feels like your story too. That happens to me occasionally and today I made a wonderful discovery...Leslie Moitoza is someone I've never met but we have the same quandry. Don't you love that word.....it's what she used to describe the decision she had to make. She said this...
It started with a quandary. As a veteran writing teacher, I was struggling, feeling caught in the middle between my responsibility to prepare my high school students for the traditional academic demands of college and the prevalence of compelling technology in their lives. Although, I recognized the need for computer literacy, I was not willing to trade rigorous academic work time for frivolous computer projects. So, my quandary led to my inquiry: Is it possible to teach academic writing as digital composition? What happens to writing instruction and student learning when we go digital?
I don't teach academic writing but I worry all the time about how to use digital resources wisely. I worry about not taking on frivolous digital projects with my science classes so I can say that "I'm doing technology."
As I read about Ms Moitoza's journey, I had a sense that she was going to find value in changing up the way she taught writing. I have found that same value in many of the digital revisions I've implemented in my lessons. I couldn't imagine teaching weather without using real-time updates, for example.
She said it this way,
I can now answer my question, “Is it possible to teach academic writing as digital composition?” with a resounding YES! --with the caveat that the focus needs to be on the “teach” in the question.
And that is the word that makes all the difference in the world. Teach. Digital tools are great. They come and they go. But the teaching that makes those tools powerful is the real key to integrating technology well. Thanks to Ms Moitoza for writing about her journey and you should read everything she wrote and the wonderful artifacts she's posted to document what happened along the way.
So how is a suburban Kansas middle school science teacher like a large urban California high school English teacher? We both use our teaching expertise to focus on the learning not the tool. Connectedness allows me to read about her journey halfway across the country and see my own classroom....it allows me to draw strength from what she learned and to inform things I need to do in my own practice.