Tuesday, March 18, 2008


On Tuesday, March 18, my Language Arts partner and I attended the NJECC conference at Montclair State University. We were really looking forward to hearing Marc Prensky ( the man who coined the term "digital native) speak, but unfortunately he became very ill. We attended sessions on iLife, Leopard OS, and Improving Writing with Technology. While we didn't have time to take a ride on the Cisco bus we got some great classroom ideas for language arts teacher. Here are some:
  1. Give each student a topic to write an essay on. Collect them and give them out to a different student to rewrite.
  2. Create a class blog. Have students who are finished early with their work update the blog on a weekly basis. Include topics that were covered, asssignments we are working on, pictures of projects, links for topics we are researching, etc. Then, invite parents to comment on the blog. This is a great idea for many reasons. First of all, the author of the blog could simply be "The Class" so there are no privacy issues. Second, it keeps parents in the loop. Finally, it differentiates instruction. Writing an article on the blog could be a reward for some students or something to work on for others that tend to finish early.
  3. Instead of using a notebook as a Daily Writing Journal, have each student create a blog at the beginning of the year. They must post at least one blog for every school week. Also, they must comment on 2 other student blogs each school week.
Here are two groups/networks to join for ideas about improving student writing through technology:
  1. http://groups.google.com/group/writingtech
  2. http://writingwithtech.wikispaces.com/