Chapter 5: Making Purposeful Decisions as Digital Writers
This work is messy. It’s not easy. There are ups and downs. But it’s all worth it. Giving students the tools they need to make strategic, purposeful decisions is so important. Using mentor texts to help ground students’ understanding of craft moves is fundamental to my digital writing workshop. Mentor texts invite observation and conversation which help students articulate the digital composition moves they see authors make. The more we study mentor texts, the more patterns we can see emerge. Just as I see students taking on different craft moves that they notice in print based texts, I also see them begin to try some of those same moves in their digital compositions. They slowly build a collection of tools and skills that they can transfer to any digital composition.
As I move forward, I realize that I need to continue to find mentors for my students’ work, especially those that focus on using sound. I’d like to create a central hub so that students can easily access those mentors. As new tools emerge, it’s important that I continue to find opportunities for digital composition. Participating in professional learning opportunities like the National Writing Projects Connected Learning MOOC, help me improve my technology skills, introduce me to a community of others who understand the importance of teachers of digital writers needing to be digital composers themselves, and grow as a learner and teacher.