Saturday, February 28, 2009

Teaching Writing in 21st-Century Demands Change

At a recent press conference in Washington, "Writing in the 21st Century," the National Council of Teachers of English promoted a new literacy based on omnipresence of technologies that demand adjustments. Kathleen Blake Yancey, a chief spokesperson for the organization, advocated for incorporating in the curriculum new modes of communication, such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. She stated, today we write "with new audiences, for new audiences, and to new audiences," and called for the recognition of modes of communication that have relevancy for our students in this century. Yancey’s report, "Writing in the 21st Century," proposes that educators formulate curricula and teaching methodologies that prepare students for the multifaceted, multimedia ways in which communication will emerge in this century. Skim her report, and post your responses regarding her plea to teach writing in new ways. Do you believe shifts are essential? If so, how might your teaching require adjustments in respect to your discipline and target population? credit for image.


Kathy V. said...

Not being a grand writer and not having been taught the specifics of writing to my best recollection, I definitely feel the art of how to write needs to be changed because of all the technological advances we have today. After reading, "Writing in the 21st Century," I can see how writing could be a positive interactive part of each student's life. Some basics need to be introduced, but then allowing students to fly using all types of Internet sources and working with others to better their own writing could be both educational and intrinsically rewarding. To have a sense of accomplishment that a student has created something he/she can be proud of, can encourage more pursuits for the students to better what they first write to constantly improving their writing in many ways. We as educators do need to shift our ways of teaching. It's NOT out with old and in with the new but using the BASICS of the OLD to incorporate with many NEW ways that writing is expressed whether visually or in written from all different people or all sorts of sources. Learning what is a good source of information needs to be taught depending on what is needed for the "audience" that is being targeted. The Internet is constantly changing so the learning of good sources would be ongoing. The availability of computers and software will impact how far, I believe, a teacher can go in implementing changes. We, as teachers must make our teaching relevant to societal changes that create better learners and better writers. I agree with the article that we need to be creating "citizen composers" to meet all the needs in their life ahead, and in reality make education even more exciting where it continues in a student's life forever--in a positive way.

Jill said...

The idea of changing curricula to meet modern tech sounds good in theory, however I am sure there will be some down sides to it as well. My husband works at the high school level and he comes home all the time saying that the kids don't know how to write formally anymore (for example, an essay for a college application). The kids use abbreviations, like on text or IM, and also use short phrasing instead of detailed thoughts. My husband often has to work with the student to reinvent the piece of work so that it doesn't sound like it is off a cell phone or a blog. So, with any new approach, there will always be the ups and downs.

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