What Teachers Need to Know about The Digital Writing Workshop (Book)

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January 14, 2017
In  " The Digital Writer's Workshop"", Hicks Troy dissects the act of writing in the light of today's digital technologies and provides an illuminating and practical analysis of how teachers can take advantage of technology in creating better writers. From the start, Troy makes it evident that he subscribes to the sociocultural movement of literacy which regards literacy learning as a socially context-bound and purpose-geared act.

The major point of the book is based on the premise that "our writers can achieve more, understand more, and discover more using digital tools". To elaborate on this point, Troy employs the writing workshop to teaching which was developed by renowned teacher researchers in the calibre of Donald Graves, Donal Murray, Lucy Calkins, Nancue Atwell, Katie Wood Ray, Jim Burke, Ralph Fletcher, and Penny Kittle. He particularly focuses on the core principles that proponents of the writing workshop advocates and repurposes them in such a way to make room for the integration of new emerging technologies along its lines. About this integration Troy says :
'This book aims to fill that void. By integrating the core principles of the writing workshop with those surrounding emerging technologies for writing, this book connects the writing workshop approach with the integration of newer technologies such as blogs, wikis, social networks, podcasts, and digital stories. By discussing these technologies through the framework of the five principles of the writing workshop noted previously—allowing for student choice, encouraging active revision, studying author’s craft, publishing beyond the classroom, and broadening our understandings of assessment—I intend to place digital writing tools in a context that those of us familiar with the writing workshop approach can understand and apply them to create better writers.'
Overall, "The Digital Writer's Workshop" is really a great read and we highly recommend it for language teachers.