The Western Massachusetts Writing Project strongly believes that our cultural conceptions of literacy are changing as a result of the outgrowth of technology in the lives of young people. Texting, blogging, tweeting, social networking, gaming and other elements of the daily use of media and technology in the lives of students and teachers make for a rich environment in which writing has never been more central to the ways we communicate. WMWP teachers explore, use and innovate with technology as a mean for enhancing learning with writing and composition at the center of that inquiry.
Under the leadership of a WMWP Technology Team, our site often hosts a technology conference in the Spring that seeks to explore technology and learning for Pioneer Valley teachers.
Click here for details and resources from this year's digital conference,
"Digital Composing and the Common Core: Using Pop Culture to Nurture
Past themes have included digital storytelling, social networking, and more. We are now working on ways to showcase the use of student voice through technology with connections to the new Massachusetts learning standards that are built around the Common Core.
WMWP teachers have also been part of the emerging Digital Is site, which is hosted by the National Writing Project and funded by the MacArthur Foundation. At Digital Is, NWP teachers explore and share out projects and ideas that demonstrate how the modern world of technology and media is influencing classroom instruction and student learning.
Here are a few of the projects that WMWP teachers have published at the Digital Is website:
- Digital Portfolios: A Richer Picture by Tom Fanning
- Civil Action in the Cyberpublic: Critical-Rationale Debate in Web 2.0 by Donna LaCourt
- Using Digital Storytelling to Write Feature Stories by Tina Browne
- Assessing Multimedia Compositions (A Collection) by Anne Herrington and Charlie Moran
- Students Predicting the Future by JoAnn Pellecchia
- Illuminating the Process of Creating a Kinetic Text by Kevin Hodgson
- More Than a Game: One Teacher’s Journey into Gaming by Kevin Hodgson
- Students on a Global Stage by Kevin Hodgson
- Bringing Digital Books to Life by Kevin Hodgson
Three leaders of WMWP also published a book collection through Teachers College Press on the balancing act that many teachers from are facing as they explore technology in the face of increased standardized assessment programs. The book -- Teaching the New Writing: Technology Change and Assessment in the 21st Century Classroom -- is co-edited by Anne Herrington, Charlie Moran and Kevin Hodgson. The collection features chapters written by teachers from early childhood right up through college on a range of topics, from collaborative writing to social networking to digital books.
The Western Massachusetts Writing Project has also co-sponsored numerous summer youth programs with a technological twist as part of the annual SummerWRITE programs. Camp offerings have included digital storytelling, stopmotion animation movie production, webcomics and video gaming.
The Western Massachusetts Technology Team
- Kevin Hodgson, WMWP Technology Liaison
- Tom Fanning
- Tina Browne
- Donna LaCourt
- JoAnn Pellecchia
If you are interested in joining the Technology Team, contact Kevin Hodgson at Dogtrax@gmail.com.