9 Notes to the Writers in Ed Leadership Magazine
A MiddleWeb Blog
For April 2014, Educational Leadership magazine’s theme of the month was all about writing and its importance in the Common Core era. I read through the articles, which really got me thinking about the continuing relevance and power of writing. So much so that I found myself wishing I could engage the folks who wrote the pieces in a conversation.
But the articles and the publication don’t provide an easy means to do that. A few articles from the April issue are accessible to the public online (the rest are behind a members firewall), but even the unlocked articles require non-members to sign up for the free ASCD Edge community before making a comment (and that requires some searching).
This difficulty in commenting is a bit frustrating in the digital age, where we have some expectation that we can have at least a quick dialogue around professional articles we read and wonder about. Who wouldn’t want to ask Penny Kittle a question about her work around writing about reading? I’d love to pick the brain of Mary Ehrenworth about how to get parents on board as partners in the teaching of writing. And Carol Jago’s wealth of knowledge of writing is something to be further explored. Or I might add to Jeff Anderson’s list of what is and what isn’t writing.
Commenting: My Plan B
Since I could not react directly to the articles and their authors, I decided to go another route. On the last page of Educational Leadership’s Writing: A Core Skill edition, there is an infographic of sorts called “Nine Notes About Writing,” where the editors have plucked out quotes from nine selected articles. It’s a nice way to bring to the surface some main ideas, and I decided it would be the perfect place to write my own responses to the featured authors.
I downloaded the graphic from Educational Leadership, and moved it into ThingLink, a handy site/app that allows you to layer text and media. For each of the nine takeaways, I wrote a short letter to the author, reflecting on what they wrote and pondering some ideas. It’s not a perfect way to engage in conversation but I felt better afterwards, knowing my ideas were blending with (or at least sitting alongside) theirs. Below, you can tap/mouse over any tile and click the red/white circle to see my letter.)
Let’s talk among ourselves . . .
What are your thoughts on writing? How is writing changing in the age of technology? What skills do you see as most important? How do you engage your students in meaningful ways? Leave a note in the comment section of this blog and let us know. We always appreciate a good conversation about learning here at MiddleWeb.