Digital Artifacts

Sunday, November 18, 2007

An Exciting Idea!

I just finished reading the article Digikids: cool dudes and the new writing by Guy Merchant. I was interested in reading this article because it explored ways of beginning to understand new textual practices and putting them to use in the classroom. I continuously find myself thinking of ways to incorporate these new technologies into my classroom practices. I teach first grade and I tend to use the computer to teach the basics to the children - typing skills, how to use the printer, etc. I found it difficult to think of new innovative ways to use the computer with such young children. However after reading this article, an idea came to mind. In the past years, my students have had pen pals with other first grade children in New Jersey. I would have the children write "sloppy copies" in which I would then edit and the children would rewrite. What about if I use email for pen pal writing??? Well the same issues came to my head that were addressed in the article. When we write emails, we tend to make language choices that we would typically not make if we were writing on paper. (for example the use of the lower case i, incorrect punctuation, etc) The writing style becomes more informal. A lot of questions came to mind. Would I allow the students to use this informal writing or would I have them type the email first and then edit it with them? Would I have them write it out on paper first and then apply all the corrections when the type out their email? I am really excited about this new idea but was wondering if anyone has ever used email writing in their classroom, especially with younger students? How would you go about this?


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