National Writing Project

About Technology Initiative

The NWP Technology Initiative (TI) provided opportunities for writing project sites to better understand the impact of new digital tools and information/communication technology on the teaching of writing and literacy learning.

Goals

  • To develop high-quality programs that promote the thoughtful integration of technology into the teaching and learning of writing in the nation's schools
  • To expand opportunities at local writing project sites for teachers to access resources and professional development in technology and the teaching of writing.
  • To connect writing project sites and teachers to partners and resources related to the teaching of digital writing and 21st-century literacies.

Background

Building on a ten-year history of focused work in technology and the teaching of writing, the Technology Initiative was launched in 2004 with the support of four senators: John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM). The initial work of the initiative was funded through a special supplement from the U.S. Department of Education.

From 2004 to 2007, 20 writing project sites received supplemental funding to design and pilot new approaches to professional development that promoted the thoughtful integration of technology into area schools and curricula. This initial phase of the Technology Initiative culminated in June 2007 with a national conference titled "Teaching Writing in the 21st Century: An Exploration of New Practices and Literacies." Resources and lessons learned from this work have been and will continue to be disseminated throughout the NWP network.

In 2009, the NWP received support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, as part of the foundation's Digital Media and Learning Initiative . This grant supported a second phase of work through the Technology Initiative named "Digital Is," which was intended to engage writing project sites and teacher leaders in developing knowledge about digital writing and in building connections with other MacArthur Foundation grantees.

Writing project sites interested in expanding attention to technology in their local programming were also supported through the Technology Liaisons Network and through NWP resources and online events such as the E-Anthology.

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