National Writing Project

Technology Initiative Resources

Featured Resources

NWP Website Explores Digital Writing

November 2010
NWP's Digital Is website is a collection of ideas, reflections, and stories about what it means to teach writing in our digital, interconnected world. More ›

The Authors of Because Digital Writing Matters Discuss the Digital Directions of Writing

October 2010
The authors of NWP's Because Digital Writing Matters look at what educators, parents, and policymakers can do to help equip students with the technology-related communication skills they need to thrive in school and in the global workplace. More ›

Teachers Are the Center of Education: Writing, Learning and Leading in the Digital Age

May 2010
Teachers Are the Center of Education is part of a series of reports highlighting the importance of teachers and the quality of their work. This report features eight Writing Project teachers by spotlighting their innovative use of digital tools for writing and learning. More ›


Additional Resources

Tech Tools Used to Boost Literacy

February 2011
Jeffrey Wilhelm, director of the Boise State University Writing Project, and other teachers discuss how technology—such as webcams, audio recorders, blogs, and other Web 2.0 tools—can boost literacy in students. More ›

Writing Project Teachers Explore Connection Between Writing and "Making"

The Notebook, January 2011
The National Writing Project and MAKE Magazine are partnering to pilot a project through which teachers and students explore the connections between writing and "making," creating more invigorating assignments along the way. More ›

Teaching Writing in the Digital Age

November 2010
Joel Malley of the Western New York Writing Project created this video to document his writing instruction in a digital classroom. More ›

Definition of Writing Shifting, Maine Teacher Says

Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, November 2010
Students of Dave Boardman, Maine Writing Project teacher-consultant, are using video, music, and various multimedia to reimagine the very meaning of reading and writing. More ›

NWP Teachers Headline Capitol Hill Event on Digital Writing

September 2010
A Congressional briefing on digital writing featured a panel of Writing Project teachers who explained how they use technology and digital writing to improve learning. More ›

MacArthur Grant Will Expand National Writing Project’s Digital Media Program

February 2010
The National Writing Project (NWP) announced today that it will receive an $800,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to expand the "Digital Is" program, NWP's nationwide initiative to create and disseminate new classroom practices that use digital media to teach young people how to write. More ›

Teaching Now: Digital Writing Books

December 2009
In these recent and upcoming books, Writing Project teacher-consultants and leaders share their knowledge, experience, and expertise in the constantly evolving field of digital writing. More ›

What Kids Learn When They Create with Digital Media

December 2009
Educators, parents, researchers, students, and community members came together in a public forum, The Power of Youth Voice, in Philadelphia, to discuss the potential of learning through engagement with digital media. More ›

The New Writing Pedagogy

District Administration, November 2009
Thanks to Web-based social networking tools, the next revision of writing pedagogy—one that emphasizes digital spaces, multimedia texts, global audiences, and linked conversations among passionate readers—may be upon us. Three NWP teacher-leaders are quoted. More ›

VoiceThread Ties Together Student Voices, Images, and Writing

October 2009
Shullamuth Smith
Writing Project teachers discuss ways in which they've used the website VoiceThread with their students to create online, multimodal presentations that allow for a range of feedback. More ›

Teachers Teaching Teachers Focuses on Technology and Teaching Writing

Through a weekly interactive webcast, New York City Writing Project teachers bring together teachers from across the country and the globe to discuss issues of classroom practice with new digital technology and to think through shared curriculum projects. More ›

A Digital Show to Help Digital Writing: Teachers Teaching Teachers

July 2009
Gavin Tachibana
Hosted by the New York City Writing Project, a weekly webcast called Teachers Teaching Teachers supports rich conversation about teaching and learning in 21st century classrooms. More ›

Book Review: Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms

February 2009
Red Clay Writing Project’s Technology Team
A site's technology team delves into Will Richardson's Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms, and find themselves warming up to and exploring the possibilities of Web 2.0 tools to support writing and learning in the classroom and beyond. More ›

Digital Comics Spur Students' Interest in Writing

January 2009
Grant Faulkner
Fourth grade teacher Glen Bledsoe has his students create comic strips together, which engages their creativity and teaches them writing, critical thinking, and other skills. More ›

Digital Toolboxes

April 2009
The resource primers in this collection provide a great introduction to some online technologies being used by teachers in their day-to-day practice. More ›

Electronic Portfolios as Catalysts for Change in the Summer Institute

Karen McComas
The Marshall University Writing Project found that electronic portfolios helped document the work of teachers in its summer institute and were a meaningful form of professional development because teachers were placed in the role of learner. More ›

Keeping the Promise of the 21st Century: Bringing Classroom Teaching into the Digital Age

April 2009
Over the four years of the Technology Initiative, NWP accelerated growth in its cadre of teacher-consultants, created new classroom-tested practices, produced programs on using technology for teaching, and helped engage students in active learning of subject matter that is tied to meaningful learning goals, reports Inverness Research in this policy brief. More ›

Literacy, ELL, and Digital Storytelling: 21st Century Learning in Action

January 2009
Produced by the Pearson Foundation, this short video documents a semester-long digital writing project led by two Bay Area Writing Project teacher-consultants. The video follows students through the creation of digital stories about their family members' immigration experiences. More ›

Multimedia Composition: A Question of Balance

July 2009
Northern California Writing Project Director Peter Kittle taught himself multimedia composition by creating this video alongside his students. He documents how he learned to be a mountain unicyclist—and relates those processes to literacy learning. More ›

New Digital Media in the Lives of Our Children at Home and School

September 2009
To highlight the role of digital media in improving lifelong learning, the National Writing Project, the Consortium for School Networking, and Common Sense Media presented at a congressional briefing held in conjunction with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. More ›

Podcasts Contribute to “Whole New Kind of Teaching and Learning” at the Nebraska Writing Project

February 2009
Joe Bellino
In a program funded by a Technology Liaisons Network minigrant, Nebraska Writing Project teacher-consultants first learned about podcasting, then had their students create podcasts in their classrooms. More ›

Such Stuff as Writing Dreams Are Made Of: Technology in the Writing Retreat

March 2009
Michelle Rogge Gannon
Technology can change the nature of a writing retreat, whether through the way pieces are composed, how they're shared, or how they're responded to. It can also be the subject of the writing itself. Here are some tips that came out of NWP's Writing and Technology: A Professional Writing Retreat. More ›

The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education

April 2009
This code, developed especially for the educational community, supports educators in making thoughtful decisions about interpreting the copyright doctrine of fair use to support media literacy education. More ›

Thinking Strategically About Your Site’s Web Presence

April 2009
In considering how to design a Web presence for your site, you'll find here a variety of resources, including case studies that outline the process undertaken by a number of writing project sites. The case studies include a multimedia presentation from the Western Massachusetts Writing Project. More ›

Wikis Foster Scaffolded Collaboration in an English Language Arts Classroom

September 2009
Sarah Hunt-Barron
Sarah Hunt-Barron, a South Carolina teacher-consultant, documents the use of wikis to foster collaborative, project-based learning in her classroom. She describes her rationale for introducing wikis to her students and relates some lessons she learned from their use. More ›

Blogging in Place: Writing That Explores New Neighborhoods

Edutopia, January 2009
Teachers with the National Writing Project are combining place-based learning, project learning, and blogging to connect classrooms, provide an authentic audience for student writing, and prompt students to explore the world outside the schoolhouse doors. More ›

Training Is Key to Schools’ Digital Media Use

eSchool News, September 2009
Teachers need high-quality professional development to engage students in learning through digital media, according to education experts invited to a September 21 Capitol Hill briefing, which included NWP Executive Director Dr. Sharon J. Washington. More ›

Digital Storytelling for Language and Culture Learning

Essential Teacher, March 2009
Judith Rance-Roney
Rance-Roney, a teacher with the Hudson Valley Writing Project, explains digital storytelling, discusses its strengths in promoting literacy, and, by documenting her own multilingual classroom work, suggests a path for getting started with this technology. More ›

A Technology Toolkit That Is Really an Educational Toolkit

March 2008
Paul Oh
In her column "Technology Toolkit," Minnesota teacher-consultant Sandy Hayes examines the educational possibilities afforded by technology, sharing ways it can allow both teachers and students to view the world with a new perspective. More ›

Book Review: Three Books Frame Content Area Literacy in Discussion of 21st Century Literacies

October 2008
Ken Martin
Three books on content area literacy instruction aim to help teachers think about the literacy demands of all content areas while framing their arguments in a larger discussion of 21st century literacies. More ›

Bringing the World to My Doorstep: A Teacher's Blog-Reading Habits

May 2008
Kevin Hodgson
A technology liaison describes how the world of blogs enriches his teaching, supports his tech liaison work, provides opportunities for his students, and keeps him connected both to his NWP network and to a wider network of educators. More ›

Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project

November 2008
This white paper summarizes the results of a three-year ethnographic study, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, examining young people's participation in the new media ecology. More ›

Maine’s Laptop Initiative Improves Student Writing

February 2008
Anne Miller
The Maine Department of Education is providing a laptop to every middle school student and teacher. And, through programs offered by Maine Writing Project teacher-consultants, teachers learn to use the laptops effectively to improve student writing skills. More ›

Missouri Teachers Create “TechKnowFiles”—Best Practices in Using Technology to Teach Writing

December 2008
Teacher-consultants with the Prairie Lands Writing Project have created “TechKnowFiles,” online units of study related to new technologies and the teaching of writing. The project deepened site capacity and demonstrated how the site has integrated technology into its professional development offerings. More ›

NCTE’s Writing Now Explores Teaching Writing in the 21st Century

December 2008
Technological advances, changing workplace demands, and cultural shifts have made writing more important than ever, so teachers need to help students meet the challenges of writing effectively for many purposes, according to Writing Now, a policy research brief by NCTE. More ›

Revising Our Web Presence: The Re-visioning of a Writing Project Site

November 2008
Susan Connell Biggs
When the Western Massachusetts Writing Project revised its Web presence, it opened up questions that led to reenvisioning of its site structure. This multimedia presentation examines the Web re-visioning process at the site. More ›

Technology in the English Language Learner Classroom?

October 2008
Judith Rance-Roney
"English Language Learners as Writers in a Digital Age," an ELL Network-sponsored pre-conference institute held at the annual TESOL conference, engaged teachers of English language learners in filling in the following blank "For English Language Learners, technology can _____." More ›

Teens, Video Games, and Civics

December 2008
Teens’ gaming experiences are diverse and include significant social interaction and civic engagement, according to a study from the Pew Internet and American Life. The study offers teachers of writing an opportunity to explore the possibilities of these games for education. More ›

The E-Anthology Helps Create a Space for Access, Relevance, and Diversity

March 2008
The 2007 E-Anthology gave members of the Blackfeet tribe in Montana a venue for telling their stories—which sparked an empowering dialogue among sites across the NWP network. More ›

Book Review: Classroom Blogging

RCWP Tech Advanced Institute 2008 Wiki, December 2008
Red Clay Writing Project’s Technology Team
A site’s technology team delves into David Warlick’s Classroom Blogging, trying out its ideas and visiting the author’s own blog, and concludes that the book offers useful information and insights and aligns with writing project philosophy. More ›

Americans Believe Computers Have Positive Effect On Writing Skills

July 2007
Americans believe that good writing skills are more important than ever, and they believe computers and other new technologies have a more positive than negative effect on helping students develop strong writing skills. View the survey summary, questionnaire, and data charts (PDF). More ›

Digital Storytelling Brings New Dimensions to Reading, Writing, and More

Spring 2007
Can digital storytelling improve reading comprehension, writing skills, and media literacy? An NWP teacher-consultant and technology liaison at Florida Gulf Coast University explores the use of digital storytelling across the grade levels and disciplines with fellow teacher-consultants, students, and colleagues. More ›

Heart and Voice: A Digital Storytelling Journey

September 2007
Kerry Ballast
With no knowledge of the genre or the technology, high school teacher Kerry Ballast took the risk of having her students create digital stories from their personal memoirs. More ›

Literacy Through Technology: The Power of Digital Storytelling

July 2007
With funding from an NWP Technology Initiative grant, the Maine Writing Project is using digital storytelling as an instructional practice to improve student writing. More ›

Technology in the Classroom: How to Reduce the Glitches

February 2007
Jeff Grinvalds
Grinvalds shares six practices that help technology users deal with the glitches they inevitably experience as they enter the realm of classroom technology. More ›

Finding a Voice in a Threaded Discussion Group: Talking about Literature Online

English Journal , September 2007
Cathie English
English explores the use of threaded online discussions in the literature classroom. The online discussions helped high school students develop their thoughts in greater depth than they could in classroom conversations. More ›

Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education of the 21st Century

Henry Jenkins
Educators today confront an ever-shifting landscape when it comes to Internet technologies and their potential for expanding participatory cultures. Henry Jenkins, director of the Comparative Media Studies department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explores new frameworks for literacy through the lens of participatory culture. More ›

Transforming Literacy: Adventures in Digital Multi-Modality

April 2006
Glynda Hull
In a Spring Meeting address, Glynda Hull, professor of Language and Literacy, Society and Culture at UC Berkeley, analyzes the many ways that literacy goes beyond the written word in our digital world. More ›

NWP Cyberspace Project Connects Youth Voices

The Voice, 2006
Paul Oh
An online project seeded by a Technology Matters minigrant allows students at three high schools to exchange written and audio compositions along with images; this activity increases their engagement and improves their writing. More ›

Students Tell Their Stories Digitally

The Voice, 2006
Joel Elliott
Digital storytelling is still very much storytelling. One difference is that when students add a visual component, they are more willing "to write long and . . . write hard." More ›

Teacher Uses Email to Teach Basics of Written Word

The Voice, 2006
Kristina Torres
A middle school teacher describes how she stepped away from traditional "skill and drill" writing exercises and started teaching students to write clear, concise emails. More ›

Writing Project Examines Technology in the Classroom

The Voice, 2006
Elyse Eidman-Aadahl
NWP's Technology Initiative and the federal government's E-Rate program allow teachers to reimagine their teaching in a digital environment and to help young people develop as writers on the read-write Web. More ›

Book Review: Ten Easy Ways to Use Technology in the English Classroom

The Quarterly, 2005
Cheryl Wozniak
Ten Easy Ways to Use Technology in the English Classroom offers techniques for using video, television, movies, and the Internet to present material in a way that engages and makes more sense to contemporary students. More ›

E-Anthology Growing as an Online Writing and Response Forum

The Voice, 2005
Larry Barton, Peter Booth, Shirley Brown, Cathie English, Frankie Mengeling
The NWP E-Anthology is evolving into the online environment that everyone hoped it could be—a virtual community that assists participants in realizing their own visions for their writing. More ›

NWP Focuses on Teaching and Writing in a Digital Age

The Voice, 2005
NWP has launched the Technology Initiative, which provides support to NWP sites to create resources and high-quality professional development models for using technology in teaching at all grade levels. More ›

Tech Liaisons Discover a Whole New World—and Themselves—Through Technology Matters

The Voice, 2005
Paul Oh
The coordinator of NWP's technology liaison program describes its origins, its first Technology Matters institute, and some of the exciting projects of its minigrant-funded members. More ›

Marshall Chosen to Harbor New Technology Initiative

Huntington Herald-Dispatch (WV), October 2004
Andre Taylor
Huntington Herald Dispatch reporter Andre Taylor focuses on the Marshall University Writing Project, one of five writing project sites chosen to take part in NWP's new Technology Initiative. More ›

Teacher Technology Toolboxes

The Quarterly, 2004
Glen L. Bledsoe
Reacting to what he sees as the increasingly standardized nature of classroom technology and computer instruction, Bledsoe establishes that standardization does not always lead to the betterment of teachers, pupils, or education in general. More ›

The E-Anthology, A Summer Institute Perspective

The Voice, 2004
Maggie Herrick
A technology liaison describes how her site's use of the NWP E-Anthology gave teachers technology experience and a new forum for publishing their work. More ›

Writing + Modern Technology = Student Success, October 2004
With support from Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, writing project teacher-consultants in five states will participate in a professional development program on using new technologies to improve students' writing. More ›

Reflections on an Online Teachers Writing Group

The Quarterly, Winter 2003
Anne Elrod Whitney
A teacher describes the parallels and differences between her own experience in an online writing group and the experience she gives her student writing groups in her classroom. More ›

NWP E-Anthology: "Strangers" Talk About Writing

The Voice, March-April 2003
Beverly Simon Guillory, Peter Booth
NWP's annual E-Anthology connects summer institute participants across the country. Booth shares the benefits of responding to writing submitted online, and Guillory recounts how valuable it was to receive feedback from "strangers." More ›

An Interview with Jeff Wilhelm, January 2003
Ruth Devlin
Ruth Devlin, co-chair of the TIC Network, interviews author Jeff Wilhelm. More ›

Traveling with the E-Anthology: Arkansas Poem Finds Its Way to South Dakota Literary Magazine

The Voice, May-June 2001
Michelle Rogge Gannon
Michelle Rogge Gannon reflects upon the connections that NWP's summer E-Anthology encourages, following the path of one anthology submission from last summer. More ›

NWP Design Team Explores the Technological Frontier

The Voice, September-October 1999
Aaron Curtiss
More ›

Book Review: Exchanging Lives: Middle School Writers Online, by Scott Christian

The Quarterly, Fall 1998
Lacinda Files
Files is impressed by Christian's students, who participate in an online discussion and write with more voice, flavor, and attention to content than one would expect of eighth-graders. More ›

National Writing Project Responds to Writing, Technology and Teens National Survey

April 2008
The National Writing Project supports the findings of the new national survey, Writing, Technology and Teens, released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the College Board’s National Commission on Writing. More ›

Images Help Focus Young Writers

Central Maine Morning Sentinel, May 2007
Organized by teachers in the Maine Writing Project, the Digital Storytelling Festival allowed students to use multimedia presentations to tell their own stories. More ›

Teachers Are the Center of Education: Profiles of Eight Teachers

Charleston Gazette, October 2009
A new report, Teachers Are the Center of Education: Profiles of Eight Teachers, describes several accomplished teachers, including Seth Mitchell, a technology liaison with the Maine Writing Project. More ›

Educators Test the Limits of Twitter Microblogging Tool

Education Week's Digital Directions, June 2008
The "microblogging" and social-networking website Twitter has begun to capture the attention of educators, including New York City Writing Project Technology Liaison Paul Allison, who built his own site, Youth Twitter. More ›

Zero-Thumb Game: How to Tame Texting

Edutopia, May 2008
Writing project teachers weigh in on how to harness the popularity of text messaging among teens to generate interest in academic subjects and writing in general. More ›

Blogging in the Classroom

WFCR, February 2006
The Making Connections Project of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project brought teachers together to co-design a writing curriculum using weblog technology. This curriculum was based on the idea of developing a writing community among students from urban and rural districts in Western Massachusetts. More ›

Letters to the President: Part of a Shifting Mindset in Education

ZDNet, January 2009
An article on ZDNet Education profiles Letters to the Next President, a project co-sponsored by NWP and Google, and details what Internet-based software could mean for education. More ›

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