“Young people are reading and writing more than I ever did at their age, but they are doing it using their computers and mobile phones … The mobile is central, and will become even more so as time goes by.” – David Crystal
David Crystal, a world renowned linguist, has researched text speak and digital writing for nearly a decade. He sheds light on many myths associated with writing with digital tools in this video interview and in his books and articles. We invest hours reading and writing on our digital devices every day. Often, teachers complain students won’t put their phones away. The problem is we don’t nurture or facilitate digital learning enough in schools. Many schools worldwide still ban cell phones and block websites. Many schools lack Internet access. Even when schools do allow access many teachers still need ideas, resources and training to be able to manage how their students stay focused and learn effectively with devices. Below, are many ideas, resources and tips for motivating your students to practice writing on their devices. This was a presentation created for ICE Indiana, where I was a keynote and presenter this past week. Feel free to slideshow (free to download) and bookmarks below. Don’t forget to check out my recent posts with my keynotes/workshops at ICEIndiana, Byte-sized Potential and Learning with the 8 C’s and STEAM it Up with the 8 C’s.
Ideas and Resources
- Ideas for digital writing projects, include comics, scripts for videos and podcasts, ebooks, multimedia posters, eportfolios, infographics, blogs, essays, scrapbooks, ezines (digital magazines), and online newspapers
- Inspire students to write by first creating a safe environment where students can share their work without it being full of red marks. Help students learn how to give and receive constructive feedback during the peer editing stage.
- Get them to practice writing routinely with journals or blogs. Blogs give students an audience. Check out my resources, Blogging Tools and Tips. Discover how to get your students’ blogs comments using Quadblogging or Comments4Kids.
- It’s important students get to practice free flow writing, which isn’t graded or edited. This allows them to generate thoughts about a topic.
- Students can organizer their thoughts with graphic organizers and interactives, such as Creately and ReadWriteThink. Find more sites for graphic organizers here.
- Get them to practice writing on a regular basis with writing prompts.
- Corn Dog Art features many video and writing prompts.
- The Photoprompts Tumblr and Image Writing Prompts has tons of visual prompts.
- Make Beliefs Comix has over 350 free printables for teachers. These can easily be shown on a projector and used as writing prompts. They are sorted by topic, event, and holidays. Students can create their own comic with this tool in multiple languages.
- Check out my Survival Tips for Digital Storytelling to discover tools for creating comics, digital books, and videos.
- Google has various tools, apps, and features to improve our students’ writing. The presentation introduces you to several tips, such as using the Research tab under Tools in Google Docs to find scholarly resources and cite them! Find more Google resources here.
- Get them to check their grammar and spelling with tools like Grammarly and the Hemingway app. Rewordify is useful for translating difficult texts. Find more grammar resources here.
- Learn how to use extensions on your browser (Chrome, Firefox, and Safari) to promote better writing. Students will learn so much about their writing process with Draftback (creates a video of their revisions and offers stats) and Read and Write (a must for English language learners and struggling writers with tons of features).
- Show them how to be skillful digital researchers. Find more digital research resources here.
- Show them how to cite their resources with the Owl of Purdue APA guide, Cite This for Me, and the EasyBib app.
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