Thursday, 14 November 2013

Crafting Digital Writing

Today, there are more people writing every day — e-mails, text messages, blog posts — and more self-published authors than ever before. But unlike when traditional writing, digital writing is public, globally connected through hyperlinks, and easily shared and remixed. Digital writing can a blog post, e-mail correspondence, a text message, a tweet, a Facebook update, or a conversation on Tumblr. It can be comments on blog posts, responses to news articles, or book reviews shared on GoodReads. It can have a traditional look such as poems posted on the web, self-published works on LuLu and iBooks, or short stories uploaded to an online ‘zine.
In his book, Crafting Digital Writing, Dr. Troy Hicks explores the questions of how to teach digital writing by examining author’s craft, demonstrating how intentional thinking about author’s craft in digital texts engages students in writing that is grounded in their digital lives. Digital writing involves understanding the underlying grammar, features and structure of the mode and crafting an online, public media form suited for an intended audience.

Noticing Author's Craft

The following tools can be used help students prewrite/draft by annotating the author’s craft.


Formative Assessment

Formative assessment of students' ability to embed the structure and features into narratives can be conducted through quick writes including, OneWord.

Distinguishing Between Modes

The modes/purposes of writing are description, narration, exposition (informational) and persuasion (argumentative). Writers must make thoughtful decisions about topic, audience and purpose when creating text. Attention to purpose or "why am I writing" and ""who am I writing to", directs the writer to identify a mode of writing best suited to deliver the intended message.
Using Padlet distinguish between the modes of writing. Think about the difference between the texts treatment of:
  • Voice – What voice (first or third person) is each text written in order to be an appropriate tone for purpose and audience?
  • Organization - How is each text structured - sequential, chronological, ...? What are the features of the texts?
  • Sentence Fluency – How are the sentences structured - complex, simple, direct, descriptive...?
  • Word Choice – What vocabulary is chosen to make the text specific and memorable?
  • Conventions – How do the punctuation choices (dash, ellipse, parenthesis, etc.) communicate the intended message?

Crafting Writing For A Specific Audience

Audience consideration is part of a larger model called MAPS. MAPS is a model for thoughtful, effective communication: Mode, Audience, Purpose, Situation.
  • Mode
  • Audience
  • Purpose
  • Situation

Building A Culture of Citizenship

Digital citizenship is the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use. Students act ethically by citing sources, abiding by author's licenses, and licensing their own work in the public domain. The following technologies can foster a culture of citizenship.



Reflecting On The Text

Deep reflection and purposeful revision of writing occurs through dialogue (peer, group, teacher). The following technologies can engender conversation of students' writing and provide effective feedback.

Samples of writing to discuss:

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