Tag Archives: technology

Writing in the Digital Age

Boy writing on laptop

In an age where college applications are mainly accepted online, some universities and colleges now accept videos instead of essays. Our educational concept of literacy is evolving and so is the definition of “writing.”

Schools are beginning to recognize that students are writing in new ways. Our culture is no longer about pen and paper so writing teachers are seeking new ways to teach writing in the digital age.

Collaboration is a key component in digital writing, defined as a combination of words, images, audio, and website links. Students are collaborating in different ways. Often they create a text jointly, through shared documents or wikis. Other projects may involve taking turns posting on a collective blog. Teaching this type of collaborative writing is new to most classrooms.


In tech-savvy elementary and middle school classrooms the students are required to include digital content in their oral presentations. They may show a word cloud created with Wordle or an interactive poster made on

Digital Content Tools
Students are using many different websites and apps to add digital content to their writing projects.

Using photos, video clips, text, and music, students can produce a short video. The finished product can be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, and other sharing sites.

Combine text, audio, video, animation, data, and other multimedia elements to make interactive posters and collages. Facilitates online collaboration on projects.

Google Docs
This free document-sharing program allows users to create, store, and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online. Multiple users can work on the same piece at once.

Puppet Pals
This iPad application allows users to create and record their own animated story. The author(s) can select characters, a setting, and a title and narrate the story into the microphone while moving the cartoon “puppets” manually.

Students create wikis, or collaborative websites that are managed and edited by groups of people, through Wikispaces.

Users can create a “wall” or Web page, where others can add their own messages to this “online notice board.” Each new message looks like a post-it note. Videos and images can also be added.


T(w)eens go iSchool

My classmate and Techno(t)parent blogger recently wrote an interesting post on the iSchool Initiative. Some would say that iSchool is more likely to succeed if used as a supplement to provide students with differentiated learning options. Teachers need to keep every student engaged and focused on the material. Using iTouches both in class and at home may help them to achieve that goal. The challenge will be to keep kids from multitasking while they should be using their math app.

Here are a couple other videos from Travis Allen, founder of iSchool Initiative. He is definitely on to something…