Sunday, December 5, 2010

It Is the Writing Process

I have been saying for years that when children use technology they are engaging in the writing process.  They prove this time and again although they may not realize it.  Whether they are creating a glog, digital story, recording, or webiste they are writing. 
  • They get an idea that they decide they absolutely have to say more about.  
  • They plan what their tech project.  What is their message?  What  key points do they want to make?
  • They draft, or script, their idea.  Which pictures they will include, videos they may use, or words to highlight their thoughts.
  • They revise.  They record their words until it sounds just right.   They move around pictures until they are in the right space.
  • They edit.  They ask friends to help spell words.  Which punctuation sounds better.  Which font & coloring to use.
  • They publish.  Depending on the tech, they click create, save & publish, or post.
 While I've recognized this each time my students create with technology, I've never explicitly had this conversation with them.  Or provided them with ample opportunities to do this after commenting on a blog or tweeting.  I may have mentioned this before, but feel compelled to do so again.  I have never learned so much from a group of children as I have this year.  And one of my students provided me with yet another lightbulb moment last week. 

While commenting on a math post one of my kiddoes realized that after clicking comment, he wanted to add on to what he said, he wanted to fix a couple of spelling errors.  I do spend ample time teaching my students to re-read before clicking, but this can be a struggle for 3rd graders.  But, what if I provided them with time to reflect on what they posted, and gave them time to re-comment?

I could very easily delete their original comment, but won't.  A few important lessons can be learned from this.  How important it is to re - read what you write online before hitting enter.  There's a strong possibility that what you say online, stays online.  You don't always have the power of delete once you put something out there.  Constructing their own knowledge of what it means to be responsible online.