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Teacher's Guide to Teaching Writing through Technology

As teachers, when it comes to writing, we can " choose between sentencing students to thoughtless mechanical operations and facilitating their ability to think." ( Syrene Forsman, " Writing to Learn Means Learning to Think " ). I find Forsman saying to  speak volumes for the writing crisis in our schools. There are still teachers who teach writing as a mechanical process and probably some of us ,the digital immigrants ,were taught writing this way, but does this make it the right teaching strategy to use with your students ? Definitely not. John Dewy was unequivocal on this, for him " If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday we rob them of tomorrow".


 Today's students are totally different , they have different learning needs and styles. Technology is part and parcel of their lives because they were born into it and to exclude it from their learning is akin to sentencing them to boredom, disconnection, and disengagement.  Teaching writing in the old fashioned mechanical way is just boring to them. They are used to new forms of text like images, videos, hyperlinks, infographics because these are the main components of their digital worlds and as teachers we need to make sure we include these components into teaching not only writing but any other skill.

 Technology does have the answer to this writing crisis. It can drive away boredom from classroom and spur up students creativity and engagement. Taking writing as an example. there are several digital  tools we can use with our students not only to improve their writing skills but most importantly to make them loving writing.

Tools to teach collaborative writing

Below are  some of the best web tools to teach writing as a collaborative process, one in which every student's voice is heard through composing, editing, peer commenting, and sharing.

1- Google Docs

Here is a great slideshow to learn about how to use Google Docs to facilitate a writing workshop with your students.
This is another great web tool that you can use with your students while working on writing collaboratively. It is pretty much similar to Google Docs only with slight differences in the interface.

Titan Pad is a writing platform that allows users to collaboratively write and work on a document. It also has the same exciting features the two tools above have like: instant editing and sharing, 

Use Blogs to Improve your students writings

Blogs are intrinsically designed to encourage writing and that is the purpose for which they are created after all. Most of our students are already familiar with blogs so why not create a classroom blog and turn it into an online writing workshop for the whole class. Students can use it to post their stories, writing assignments. narratives, comments on school events, write poems and share them with others, and many more. Creating a blog for your classroom is as easy as pie and within a couple of minutes you can have it up and running. Here are some of the blogging platforms that you can use for this purpose.

Want to learn more about teaching writing digitally , here two awesome titles I recommend for you :


        

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