I have been mulling ideas about the writing process and the impact of computers and technology for some time. Now that I am working with my students to create wiki pages on science topics, it occurs to me that they are particularly well suited as a means of shifting the writing process in some way, but I am not yet sure. Wikis by their fundamental nature are revision driven as is the writing process.

Those who have done this before--what kind of process or work flow did you use when students were writing their pages. Right now we are still in the research phase, so I am interested in hearing what others have done or have experienced in terms of drafting, revising, and the writing process.

Tags: process, wikis, writing

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Hi Terry--

Long time no "see."

The recent changes capability is great. I use MediaWiki and it has the same feature. I can also tunnel back to the last 50, 100, or ... revisions.

Steve
Deanna,
I would assume that you have done this report writing before if you are interested in pursuing technology (Wikis) as a method of technology integration. In terms of action research, qualitative data is often what we have to start with to make progress. I would recommend that you detail the positives, issues and concerns you have seen in writing these reports in the past, and then use that as your baseline data to move forward. Outline the key ways that this use of technology should impact learning including any research you have to support your choice. You are using a very specific technology, but that is fine as long as you can compare it to work you have completed in the past. Finally, let me know how it goes, as this is a very interesting topic! Good luck! :)
You're very welcome. I am grappling with some of the same issues as I move into an embedded coaching position this year, and will be gathering data from 40+ teachers at various stages of understanding about classroom improvement. Glad I could help!
From the standpoint of an English teacher, I see the writing process evolving into a much more openly creative process (the fun part), and a lot more emphasis on WHAT we revise, not just THAT we revise. I was taught that revision was rewriting with a draft to guide you. No one writes like that anymore. We stream consciousness onto the page and then spruce it up a bit. In terms of all digital-first writing, I think the evolution is that writers do not see stages as "drafts," but rather that the stages of revision are fluid and continual, a flow rather than connected events. Whether there is one author or there are 200, the revision process is continual. THe technology makes this easy. What I think we as educators need to do is: 1. Embrace writing in this manner so we can better understand how our students manage idea-flow, and 2. Teach the fundamentals of sentence and paragraph structure better, so that the young writers can otherwise self-correct and revise as they go. We are indeed changing the way we communicate. You are very wise to see that the long-lived writing process must also evolve.
We are in our second year of using a wiki to support the Writer's Workshop model in 8th grade. Please email me at ncallahan@fairfield.k12.ct.us and I will invite you to the site. Here is our process:
Parent Permission Letters with student email addresses.
Invite to site. (Google Sites)
Intro to Site, First Posting
Class separated into work groups of 3 to 5
Group required to commment on each others work only
Revising and Editing highlighted in different colors.
Students post questions on how to face challenges in their writing
Students work in class and at home.

We have seen a huge improvement in motivation for the writing assignments, a better effort in each assignment and a higher level of thinking in the writing process.
I agree. Wikis are very easy to revise, and thus replicate the writing process. I have not created a wiki for my classroom, rather for my Masters Degree in education. However, I believe you are using Wiki in a great way that will reach a variety of learners.

Technology is the future, and whether your school's colleagues will agree - within 10 years, it will be the norm for each teacher to have a website per course (just like 10 years ago, some scoffed at teacher emails).

Dan
Hello Steve!

I use Wikis for writing with my 7th grade students! They love it! They can publish their papers to our wiki, get feedback from their peers, and immediately change or fix their errors. So far it has been fantastic!

Here's our page!

http://msspiezio.wikispaces.com

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