I finally had a chance to sit down and read their responses to the Google form I sent out. I only heard from 8 out of 21 kids, but what they had to say made me happy that we had a digital writing workshop.
What stands out to me?
- the importance of choice
- being able to share with a wider audience besides the teacher
- variety of ways to express creativity (not only the digital tools available, but also the ability to insert images, links and video)
- ability to work collaboratively via Google Docs (they boy who will be typing a lot of stories this summer is working on a story with another student - both of whom would say that before last school year, writing was their least favorite thing to do)
- level of engagement
Working alongside my young writers in a digital writing workshop has only strengthened my beliefs.
- Having conversations around mentor texts is always important in both traditional and digital writing.
- Kids are smart and make smart moves when we give them support and choice (I already knew that...I just had to stress it).
- It's not about the tools, it's about the meaning. It's important to help young writers understand the purpose of different digital tools and how those tools can help them get their meaning across to others.
- Authentic purpose and audience is key to successful writing.
- Time for exploring, processing, and creating is essential.
As the new school year draws nearer, I'm a little saddened that I won't have my own classroom. I'm counting on teachers inviting me into their rooms to continue this work, because there's still so much I want to do.