Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Enriching Writing Instruction with Technology at IS 93

I always enjoy sharing successes I encounter in NYC schools. During a recent conversation with a reporter looking to do a story about how innovative educators are using technology in their classrooms to enhance writing, I was reminded of a wonderful visit I had to a teacher's room at IS 93 in Queens.

The email excerpt below will give you a glimpse into some of the ways he is using technology to enhance the delivery and receipt of writing instruction at his school.

Dear Nate,

Thank you so much for inviting us to see the wonderful work you are doing to enrich literacy instruction with technology at your school. It was truly a pleasure to see how your students were using technology to enhance their writing. The motivation and engagement of the students was evident as we saw students eager to share the work they were doing. As we watched the lesson, we saw how excited students were to see their work published onto the “Writing Matters” eZine. It was also great to see the work from the OIT literacy professional development incorporated into instruction. One student, Miguel, enthusiastically showed me the comments that were color-coded and inserted on his writing draft from other classmates. He explained to me how the revisions he made in response to their remarks made his writing even better.

It was also interesting to see the feedback students provided on one another’s writing drafts using the discussion boards. This is something I think will take on an even larger role in future units as students were very interested to read their classmate’s reactions to their work. Several students explained how they were able to extend their learning outside the classroom using innovative methods (class website, discussion board, usb drives, "Writing the City" website) to transfer their work and access the internet so they could work on their writing and respond to the work of others outside of class.

It really was a pleasure to see how enthusiastic students were about the work they were publishing and how eager they were to share their pieces with all of us. I look forward to visiting again to see more of the great work the IS 93 students and staff are engaged in.

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