National Writing Project

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

Findings Reinforce Importance of Teaching Writing in America's Schools

For Immediate Release

 

Berkeley, CA, April 24, 2008—The National Writing Project (NWP) 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. These results reinforce findings from NWP's 2007 Survey on Teaching Writing (PDF), which confirmed that the American public believes good writing skills are more important than ever. The NWP survey also found that teachers and parents believe computers and other new technologies have a more positive than negative effect on helping students develop strong writing skills.

"Writing is clearly essential to success in school and the workplace, and teens do want the time in class to improve their writing skills. Teachers need more support to give writing the prominence it demands," said Sharon Washington, executive director of the National Writing Project. "As writing skills have become more important than ever in this age of e-mail, instant messaging, and texting, NWP teachers are keeping up with the times by using technology to improve their students' writing abilities."

The findings of the Writing, Technology and Teens survey are further evidence that all teachers need access to high-quality professional development in the teaching of writing.

In 2004 NWP launched its Technology Initiative, which provides opportunities for Writing Project sites to better understand the impact of digital tools and information technology on the teaching of writing. "While it certainly can be a struggle to integrate technology in meaningful ways into work with students," said Sandy Hayes of the Minnesota Writing Project (MWP), "more professional development for teachers is necessary to help them examine more deeply the educational possibilities afforded by technology."

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) encouraged the National Writing Project to launch its Technology Initiative because of its track record with high-quality professional development opportunities and its excellent reputation with teachers and schools. But even more significant is NWP's commitment to preparing all students to be powerful learners and writers in a digital world. "The National Writing Project has always been creative in the kind of professional development they offer to teachers," said Senator Rockefeller.  "Now, through the incorporation of technology, they have made writing and communication even more appealing to teachers and students, whose computers are often their window on the world."

The National Writing Project believes the findings of the Writing, Technology and Teens survey are further evidence that all teachers need access to high-quality professional development in the teaching of writing.

 

The National Writing Project is the most significant coordinated effort to improve writing in America. NWP sites, located on nearly 200 university and college campuses, serve more than 135,000 participants annually. NWP continues to add new sites each year with the goal of placing the writing project within reach of every teacher in America. Through its professional development model, NWP develops the leadership, programs, and research needed for teachers to help students become successful writers and learners. For more information, visit www.nwp.org.

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