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Do Texting and “Cyber Slang” Harm Students’ Writing Skills?

Education World – Jason Tomaszewski

“While this communications boom has been praised for its educational benefits, some argue that a negative side effect is beginning to take hold in our classrooms. Cyber slang is suspected of damaging students’ writing acumen. Cyber slang is a term used to describe shortcuts, alternative words, or even symbols used to convey thoughts in an electronic document.” (more)

Writing to Heal

Edutopia – Amy Purevsuren

“As a teacher in an alternative classroom in the Aleutian Islands, I work with many students who have experienced trauma, including drug abuse, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, abuse, and poverty. Driven by a conviction that my greatest responsibility is not helping them pass but helping them better realize their human potential, I teach language arts by focusing on ideas and content aimed at helping them grow emotionally as well as intellectually.” (more)

The Value of an Imagined Audience

Edutopia – Andrew McNally

“Much has been written lately about the value of students writing to an authentic audience. But for all writers, a known, flesh-and-blood audience is less common than one that is imagined. Published writers never meet most of their readers. And when someone does write to a specific known audience—sending an email to a colleague, turning in a paper to a teacher—they still must venture guesses about that audience: how they will react to an exclamation point at the end of a sentence, whether a clever or straightforward introduction would be more appropriate, which example would be more persuasive. Douglas Park made a similar point in an important 1982 essay called “The Meanings of ‘Audience.’”” (more)

How Important Is Writing by Hand in This Digital Age?

The Tech Advocate – Mathew Lynch

“Given the opportunity to take notes by hand or on the computer, most students choose the latter. After all, modern technology offers plenty of benefits for writers. The digital writing workspace is convenient for several reasons. A single laptop or tablet can hold all the books and materials a student needs. It can also contain tools for research, entertainment activities, and curated music. The tech devices make learning more accessible. With the push of a button or a tap on a screen, students can activate engaging learning experiences, or they can record lectures. Convenience, however, doesn’t trump old-fashioned writing by hand when it comes to learning. Writing by hand has benefits that technology has not been able to reproduce – yet.” (more)

Can Writing Skills Help Bridge The Education Gap?

Forbes – Greta Solomon

“They say love makes the world go around. But when it comes to education and the world of work –money makes all the difference. On the whole, the more money you have, the better you’ll do at school. And the better your work prospects will be after that. Of course, there are plenty of examples where this doesn’t hold. But these are exceptions.” (more)

Group Work That Really Works

Edutopia – Jori Krulder

“Group work is a mode of learning I’ve struggled with for much of my teaching career. The concept of students working together to learn is valuable for many reasons, but creating a group activity where all students are engaged in the collective work can be challenging. Recently, I tried a group essay writing activity that not only involved every student in the task but also created conditions for rich student discussion that resulted in some real growth in their writing skills.” (more)