Using Web 2.0 Tools to Support Middle School Writing
Technology tools and web-based materials support teachers in meeting NCTE and ISTE standards for students in each stage of the writing process. These standards emphasize the appropriate use of writing strategies and technological resources to communicate with different audiences and with a variety of purposes. This workshop, designed to support middle and high school teachers of writing, will explore a range of web-based resources and exemplary projects that utilize technology to support these goals. Participants will learn about and experiment with technologies that can be used to facilitate each phase of the writing process (prewriting, writing, revising, editing, publishing, and assessment). Participants will complete the workshop with a collection of resources and a plan for a classroom writing project that attends to both technology and content standards.
This is an introductory workshop for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, or other school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers, and proficiency with email and current web-browsers.
This workshop will enable participants to:
Learn how NCTE English Language Arts and ISTE Standards can be addressed with technology that supports the writing process;
Learn how online technologies can enhance each phase of the writing process—from brainstorming to publishing;
Develop a personal collection of web-based resources for curricular and instructional use; and
Develop plans for a technology-enhanced writing lesson that addresses curriculum and technology standards.
Assessment and Workshop Requirements
This workshop is divided into six one-week sessions, each of which includes readings, an activity, and an online discussion among workshop participants. The time for completing each session is estimated to be between four and five hours. Participants are expected to be engaged in course activities for approximately 30 hours during this workshop.
Participants will be assessed on their completion of a Final Project and their participation in the workshop’s online discussion forum.
As a final product, students will develop a sample technology-enhanced lesson planfor their classroom.
Participants will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their discussion board participation. Participants are required to post a minimum of two substantial postings each session, including one that begins a new thread and one that responds to an existing thread. Postings that begin new threads will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality. Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance, degree to which they extend the discussion, and tone.
Session One: Starting with the Standards: Technology Meets Writing
Participants will read excerpts from the NCTE and ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) standards and consider connections between these standards and classroom examples that use technology to enhance the writing process. As an activity for this session, participants will explore at least two of the following classroom examples that use technology to support the writing process. Participants will also download the Writing Lesson Template and begin to gather resources for the final project.
Session Two: Technology That Supports the Writing Process: An Overview
Participants will read about the benefits of using technology to teach writing. Participants will explore many online resources that provide support for each stage of the writing process to see different ways in which technology can support a variety of writing types. Participants will complete Part I of the Writing Lesson Template and include any resources found in Part VII.
Session Three: Pre-writing: Using Graphic Organizers to Visualize and Manipulate Ideas
Participants will read an article and review different graphic organizers that help users visualize and manipulate ideas in preparation for writing. For this session’s activity, participants will download a free trial of Inspiration and create a graphic organizer. Participants will also complete Sections II and III of the Writing Lesson Template, continuing to make note of useful resources in Section VII.
Session Four: Writing and Revising: Online Tutorials, Mentors and Peer Editing
This session re-examines the editing stage of the writing process by exploring ways to incorporate technology and take the editing and learning process outside of the classroom. For this session’s activity, participants will explore a range of online resources to support the middle stages of the writing process. The readings examine the benefits and importance of peer review and feedback. Participants will complete section IV A of the Writing Lesson Template.
Session Five: Publishing: Creating an Authentic Audience and Purpose for Student Writing
Participants will read about and explore ways to find authentic audiences for their writing. Participants will choose to either set up a blog or use one of the resources in the explore section before completing Sections IV B and V of the Writing Lesson Template.
Session Six: Assessment: Online Writing Resources
Participants will read about the 6+1 Traits of Writing and consider the elements of effective writing, paying particular attention to ideas for instruction and sample rubrics. Participants will practice evaluating authentic samples of student writing for the activity and complete Section VI of the Writing Lesson Template to finish the course’s final project. A final survey will complete the course.