Teachers Guide to The Use of Technology in Teaching Writing

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January 31, 2016
When it comes to enhancing students writing skills, technology can play a decisive role. In his celebrated work “The Digital Writing Workshop’, author Troy Hicks explains in details how you can integrate technology in your writing instruction to help students become good writers. One key concept in this discussion is viewing writing as a process instead of an end product. Process here insinuates a state of unfinishedness because writing is always a task in the making. Students are continuously engaged in a never-ending process of discovery and sense making through the use of language. In this regard, the writing process is comprised of several phases or stages each of which has a specific role in creating and enhancing students writing skills. Going beyond the problematic of nomenclature, we will stick here with the conventional classification of the writing process as espoused by many scholars including Donal Murray, Donal Graves, Lucy Calkins and many more. This process is composed of four main stages: pre-writing, writing, revising, and publishing. The purpose of today’s post is to provide you with a number of tools and apps to help your students' writing needs in each of these stages.

1- Pre-writing
This is the initial stage in the writing process. It mainly consists of brainstorming ideas and information about the topic at hand. Here are some tools to help students come up with and organize ideas to use in their writing task. These tools are arranged into three main categories: writing prompts, brain storming and concept mapping.

a- Writing prompts
Here are some resources where you can find writing prompts:

B- Mind maps
Mind maps enhance students visual thinking and help them capture their ideas and concentrate on connections rather than words. Here are some very good apps and tools to try out with your students:

Google Drive Tools for Creating Mind Maps
Web Tools for Creating Mind Maps
iPad Mind Mapping Apps
Android Mind Mapping Apps
2- Writing, revising and editing
After students have generated ideas and raw data for their writing project, it’s now abut time to set out to organize everything into a concerted whole. Here are some good tools to use for this purpose:
3- Publishing/sharing
Now that the writing project is finalized, the next step is to share the end product with an audience either within or preferably beyond class. Here are some tools students can use to publish their written works:

Bonus: here are some very good books to help you with the teaching of writing:

Some very good books on teaching writing