In The Digital Writing Workshop, Troy Hicks explains the benefits of working with Internet writing to help student writing. He states, “Moreover, many students appreciate the way in which we build relationships with them through digital writing connections” (Hicks 35). This means, students can strengthen their writing habits by working with their teachers and classmates online. Also, if teachers have a course site online or students are researching something, typically there are links on that website leading to another one. Links in this sense are helpful to search through things because one website is leading to another, which will most likely contain similar content. This can then help the student better understand the subject with more than one perspective. For the reverse side of this, students could submit work online and have their sources at the bottom. This way, their teacher can click on the link to see their sources instead of looking them up by hand or not at all when students hand in paper copies of their work.
Hicks also states a benefit about online collaborative working. He explains, “Teachers and peers can also offer feedback using collaborative word processing…” (Hicks 36). Having this feedback online is easier to keep track of because there are not multiple pieces of paper the student is looking at once if it is all one document. Hicks concludes this idea by stating students are able to evaluate the progress of their work by seeing this.
There are disadvantages to always working online for school, whether it is with a blog, classroom site, or resource links. Hicks states that it can be confusing for students to following all of these tools because of the multiple accounts. Furthermore, this could get confusing if students have more than one teacher using online tools such as a course site and blog because students could loose track of which one is for which class. This could then hinder the instruction of writing because students may feel overwhelmed or confused with multiple online sites and not put as much effort in, especially if students are used to more classroom engagement using paper.
This article focuses on online courses for students and how it can be helpful since it can only consist of online group work: Creating Effective Collaborative Learning Groups in an Online Environment
Before taking Currins 547 I had no experience with blogging and Tweeting. However, I am a Resident Assistant and last year my staff created a Facebook page for our building. We used this to interact with residents online. We would post pictures of campus to see if they knew what that place well to help familiarize them to UW-Milwaukee. We also used the Facebook page to promote events we were putting on and then we would post pictures we took at the event for residents to see. This helped the turn out at our events because residents not only were notified for events by seeing posters (which most residents do not even read thoroughly) but by seeing it on their Facebook News Feed. Then, we were able to share pictures of them from the event.
The potential of blogging in my classroom seems to be beneficial. For example, students could write short stories and have their classmates comment on them at home when they would like. Students could do this and have a week to complete the assignment instead of having to have multiple peer editing sessions in class period. Tweeting would be beneficial for me as a teacher to tweet reminders for students, which they could look up by following a class Twitter account or a class hashtag.
Here is a link about 50 ways Tweeting can be beneficial in a classroom: 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom
The first one happens to even be sending reminders to students.
I want to learn ways to stay focused and be able to read not miss things while reading digitally. Typically, when I read things on the computer screen I end up skimming it, missing information, or getting lost. As a teacher, I feel it would be important to learn how to stay focused since I will most likely have to read about thirty papers online multiple times a semester. Also as a teacher, I am reading these papers to give students a grade and it is not just an article for me to read for myself.
For digital writing, I want to learn the benefits beyond being able to edit and revise more freely since those are obvious things that the computer lets us do. What really is the benefit on transiting to learning more electronically? This will be good to know as I continue being in college since I have noticed my professors use D2L more often now than my freshman year. For instance, my first year all of my papers were due in class printed out. Now, as a junior, half to most of my classes have me turn my papers in electronically on D2L. By the time I am a teacher, my students will probably be very used to turning in papers on online. Because of that, it would be helpful to know how to structure online assignments to benefit my future student’s schoolwork and writing performance. This will also help me to know what to look for when grading or what to assign in assignments.