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Is writing education vital to emerging technology?

E-School News – Jeremy Cunningham

“In an age of technological advancement, it’s easy to feel obsolete. I feel confident that education will always be needed; but, occasionally I wonder if writing education has value in a computer-driven world. Students enter my English classrooms and see the course as a requirement for advancement. They look at is as one of many “basics” they need until they can study their actual interest.”(more)

Kids Prefer Math and Science Subjects While Parents Value Reading and Writing

The Journal – Sri Ravipati

“A majority of parents will say their children favor math and science subjects the most in school, while they themselves tend to think reading and writing skills are more important for future success. That analysis comes from Science Everywhere, an initiative supported by the Overdeck Family Foundation and the Simons Foundation to encourage outside-school math and science learning. With help from digital media and survey research company Morning Consult, the organizations commissioned a survey earlier this year of more than 2,500 Americans with school-age children to determine how they view math and science compared to other academic subjects.”(more)

How to write better essays: ‘nobody does introductions properly’

The Guardian – Zofia Niemtus

“As the government begins its crackdown on essay mill websites, it’s easy to see just how much pressure students are under to get top grades for their coursework these days. But writing a high-scoring paper doesn’t need to be complicated. We spoke to experts to get some simple techniques that will raise your writing game. Tim Squirrell is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, and is teaching for the first time this year. When he was asked to deliver sessions on the art of essay-writing, he decided to publish a comprehensive (and brilliant) blog on the topic, offering wisdom gleaned from turning out two or three essays a week for his own undergraduate degree.”(more)

Is It Time To Go Back To Basics With Writing Instruction?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Most educators acknowledge that literacy is important, but often the focus is on reading because for a long time that is what achievement tests measured. In the last few years there has been more focus on writing in classrooms and on tests, but many students still have difficulty expressing their ideas on paper. Often students struggle to begin writing, so some teachers have shifted assignments to allow students to write about something they care about, or to provide an authentic audience for written work. While these strategies are important parts of making learning relevant to students, they may not be enough on their own to improve the quality of writing.”(more)

How Writing Can Help Close the Achievement Gap: An Interview with Turnitin’s Elijah Mayfield

Ed Surge – Wendy McMahon

“You might expect Turnitin’s Vice President of New Technologies, Elijah Mayfield, to have a lifelong penchant for technology. But Mayfield’s true passion is language—particularly writing. Mayfield spent his grad school years studying natural language processing, computational linguistics, and machine learning. He also spent time consulting for high profile companies like CTB McGraw-Hill and College Board, which wanted to learn more about student writing. Those combined experiences led him to one key realization: writing is a core skill that many students haven’t mastered—and for a variety of reasons don’t have the opportunity to master—leaving many students at a disadvantage.”(more)

A quarter of pupils ‘write only for school’

BBC – Hannah Richardson

“A quarter of eight- to 18-year-olds rarely or never write something that is not for school, a report says. Just one child in five told a survey for the National Literary Trust they wrote daily outside of school in 2015, compared with 27.2% in 2014. And that writing was dominated by social network posts and text messages, the survey of 32,500 pupils suggests.”(more)