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Using Blogs, Wikis, and Digital Stories in the English Classroom

Dana shows us how to build a bridge between the actual literate lives of adolescents outside of school and the literacies we want to teach them inside school. Using wikis, blogs, and digital storytelling, she proves that the right technologies can improve motivation, engagement, and learning.

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“It’s not that our students aren’t reading and writing, but that where and what they are reading and writing is off the school radar. We can build a bridge between the literate lives of our students outside of school and the literacies we want to teach them.”

--Dana J. Wilber

The power of Dana Wilber’s insight is in its simplicity. Students are texting, networking, and blogging— i.e., writing and reading— all the time, everywhere, just maybe in places we aren’t necessarily paying attention to. Build on their authentic interest and motivation using the technologies they are already committed to and you’ve won half the battle. You won’t believe how engaged they are; they won’t believe they’re learning for school.

In iWrite, Dana shows you how to guide students through the complexity of new literacies, including:

  • how to discern between media
  • how to account for audience and voice
  • how to choose appropriate genre
  • and how to harness what they already know to be more successful in school.

Dana deftly elucidates the lives of Millennials, those students growing up around the turn of the 21stcentury, and the technologies embedded into their everyday reading and writing. She shows us how three accessible tools—wikis, blogs, and digital storytelling —can be used to scaffold learning for our students. And she demonstrates how they can help us address 10 key issues in the literacies of today’s students:

  • Safety
  • Authenticity
  • Practice
  • Relevance
  • Meaning and identity
  • Interest and inquiry
  • Cognitive development
  • Community
  • Process
  • Motivation
Let iWrite show you how to capture students’ daily literacy practices and develop them for the kind of writing we want them to learn.

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