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  1. Write what is on your mind regarding digital writing after reading Chapter 4.


Here is what I am thinking for Chapter 4 nudges:

1)  the 6th grade teacher profiled at the beginning of the chapter takes a smart “three-pronged approach” to grow technology and content proficiency in his students throughout the year (p. 90).  Have you done something like this, or can you think of how you could use such an approach in your classroom?

2)  the end of the chapter discusses AES (automated essay scoring) (pp. 112-114).  Does your school/institution use some form of AES?  If so, what are your thoughts about it?

3 Responses to “BDWM Chapter 4”

  1. writingwithtechnology says:

    Chapter 4 Ramblings
    I have no experience with machine graded writing, but one of our daughters teaches at a school that uses it more to help students improve their formal writing. As I understand it the machine sends back suggestions on what needs to be improved in the way structure and grammar. If it is used in this way I can see it may help if a student is having trouble in those areas. It certainly doesn’t make it authentic writing in that it is not communication but more drill and practice. To me authentic writing should have a wider audience and be a means of communicate meaning, feelings, and a message. As for digital writing that includes images and sound along with text to communicate, it may be a while before machines can accomplish automated assessment.
    Should we be teaching our students to communicate using images and sound along with text? Last Sunday at the Super Bowl, what garnered more attention the football game or the commercials? Those commercials were the prime example of sending a message using sound and images to send a message. They had better be good for the amount of money required to advertise for the time allowed

  2. writingwithtechnology says:

    From Mya
    In response to #2, I know SJSD middle and high schools use MYAccess to
    score student writing. This makes me really uneasy as a writer and
    teacher, but I am willing to keep an open mind. I will say that my
    eight-grade daughter really dislikes the program, and in 7th grade, it
    seemed, in talking to her, that she really did think of the machine as
    her audience. She gave me quite a lecture on what would make the
    program happy and what wouldn’t, and when I tried having a real
    discussion with her about writing, and what made it good, bad, or
    otherwise, she wasn’t interested. She kept telling me, “I have to
    do . . . . ” or IT (the program) will give me a low score. I don’t
    know to what extent her teachers also give human feedback. It doesn’t
    seem like much, but I do realize my daughter, as a middle-schooler,
    may not be giving me the entire picture, ha!

    Some of you who use MYAccess (or another AES), is there an upside?
    Are there positives?

  3. writingwithtechnology says:

    From Kelly
    I like the three-prong approach that is mentioned at the start of the
    chapter. I have to agree that you teachers have to plan technology
    throughout the course of the year. Throwing everything at a student at
    once is harmful–no matter what the subject matter/assignment. One
    thing I’d like to see at my school is more vertical teaming so that we
    know what is being introduced at each grade level. Usually in PD we
    all learn the same piece of technology and then we all implement, and
    then we don’t really discuss what the implementation looks like at
    different levels. I think that should change.

    In addition, I let students muck around in technology so that their
    skills develop, BUT there is never enough time to feel like I have
    given them enough time to master what they need, and then I often feel
    guilty that we didn’t get to a CLE that we should have. It’s a fine
    line I can never fell good about. Next year, there is a chance we
    might go one-to-one, which excites me because then I feel like the
    classroom will expand beyond the classroom.

    This is the first year students have had conversations about writing
    and technology and that is sad. In the past, we just used the
    technology and used it in tandem with an assignment. As students
    haven’t gotten more comfortable with technology, though, more
    conversations have become necessary because the kids are making errors
    in judgment and that’s because they don’t know what they are doing and/
    or why they are doing something. This year, I’ve become much more
    aware of the need for discussing delivery methods and the way
    materials are delivered and discussing with students why a facebook
    status isn’t the best way to break up with someone or why emailing
    your principal and using text language in that email might not be
    wise. In addition, I’ve become more cognizant of purpose and audience
    because of this. In the past, it felt like a hoop students jumped
    through because in all reality I was their only audience and I set
    their purpose for writing. Now, I let them choose because they need
    more authentic audiences and purposes, but because of that they have
    to be more aware of the writing that goes with.

    I’m glad to see there are technology standards in place and in
    discussions for students and teachers. I think it’s critical that each
    school understands the expectations for students and teachers. I fell
    very comfortable with my school’s attempt to give us professional
    development. Our administration has seen the need to introduce us to
    the complexities of technology before we completely immerse our
    students in it. We’ve have the luxury of “mucking” around in
    technology the last three years, and that has proven to be the most
    beneficial thing for me. I can play with it, am encouraged to play
    with it at school with my students and I’m encouraged to take risks
    and fail knowing that with that comes true learning.

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