National Writing Project

The New Writing Pedagogy

Publication: District Administration
Date: November 23, 2009

Summary: 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.


Excerpt from Article

The shape of writing has changed," agrees Troy Hicks, author of the recently released book The Digital Writing Workshop and assistant professor of English and director of the Chippewa River Writing Project at Central Michigan University. "Kids are now writing for real audiences and for real purposes, not just other kids in the class or the refrigerator door. And they are composing on computers and on phones in text and multimedia. These are substantial changes."

Chris Sloan, an English teacher and media adviser at Judge Memorial Catholic High School, a college prep school in the Diocese of Salt Lake City, says students still need to be taught how to navigate online environments. Facebook and MySpace, for example, do a "good job" of connecting people socially, but they shouldn't be the extent of students' online presence, he says.

"That is a big fear for me—that we are inadequately preparing our youth for the future," he says. "I think that the kind of research, learning and jobs of the very near future will increasingly require people to collaborate from a distance."

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