Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. Hicks wrote the book, Crafting Digital Writing, focusing on introducing ideas for teaching digital writing in the classroom. In a youtube video of Hicks, he mentions that the writing process has changed so much over the years, with more interrelated and overlapping steps with the use of technology.
There are five principles of digital writers workshop that Hicks discusses: Choice & Inquiry, Conferring, Author’s Craft, Assessment, & Share the Writing. Choice and inquiry means the students should be able to choose topics that they are interested in and through their chosen topic, natural inquiry will lead students to participate within a community of writers. The principle of conferring means students need to work with one another and get their writing in front of a digital community to receive the feedback they need to continue to fine tune their work. Author’s craft refers to students determining what is good writing in all the digital avenues that they explore in their writing projects. Assessment is both formative and summative, and teachers must find ways to assess students in the digital age. Not only will teachers need to consider what makes the various forms of digital writing “good”, but there is also a strong focus on citing information throughout the process of writing. The final principle is how to share the writing beyond the classroom. Hicks discusses that digital writing is meant to be shared and in his book each chapter discusses different forms of digital writing that can be shared to an audience, such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts.
To go along with Hicks book, there is a website that has all the links that are discussed throughout each chapter.
Here is that link: http://digitalwritingworkshop.wikispaces.com/Crafting_Digital_Writing
I agree with Hick’s perspective on technology needing to be taught as a tool to our writers. In today’s world, I cannot see teaching writers workshop in my classroom without teaching how to write digitally. The five principles that Hicks discusses in his video are relevant to students and I can see using all five in my own plans for digital writing workshop. I would be interested in reading more about Hicks views on workshops, however the amount of information I could find for free online was limited.
Hicks says, “So, my advice, in short — keep the bigger picture in mind, give yourself and your students permission to play (and fail) with the tools, and then work intentionally as you model the digital writing process.” I look forward to implementing the use of technology into my writer’s workshops in my own classroom. Although it can be uncomfortable and scary to try new things, students will greatly benefit from exploring various platforms of writing.
As one example for my own classroom, I would love to implement blog posting, similar to what we are doing in this course. Students could create blogs based on their interests, however, instead of writing on what the teacher assigns. Then students could be assigned different blogs to read each week to deliver that feedback to the author, creating an online community.