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Research Writing Rewired

  • Title:Research Writing Rewired: Lessons That Ground Students’ Digital Learning
  • Author:Dawn Reed, Troy Hicks
  • Publication Date:November 2015
  • Grade Level:6-12
  • ISBN:9781483358987
  • Publisher:Corwin Press

Our students are online constantly, and yet research shows that only half of teachers say digital tools make writing instruction easier. Research Writing Rewired seeks to turn that statistic upside down.

Or, rather, upside right: If we want to ready students for a globalized world, 100% of teachers ought to consider technology an asset to any kind of writing, assert authors Dawn Reed and Troy Hicks. But the “main wiring” still has to be the ELA standards and the essential questions at the heart of each content area. To that end, the authors show you how to use digital tools within a multi-week inquiry unit to increase students’ engagement as they write-to-learn and share knowledge. Their book a clear model for tech-rich research writing that will inform your own inquiry-driven units. Guiding components include:

  • An inquiry-based, technology-rich unit on identity and culture that provides learners with opportunities to engage with the very same issues that are written about and discussed by citizens of a global society
  • 28 model lessons and a framework including extensions, tech tips, and activities that blend print, image, apps, and video so students build multi-literacy skills day by day
  • Recurring use of best practices like formative assessment, close reading, think alouds and teaching key skills, including analyzing and synthesizing, annotating, checking credibility of sources, discussion, and writing about reading
  • Dozens of lessons and activities built around students’ favorite technology tools and online destinations, including: Citelighter, Smore, ThingLink, Padlet, and Cazles, Animoto, Mural.ly, and getLoupe, Genius and Lit Genius, Now Comment, You Voices
  • QR codes that take you to video clips on a companion website, so you can see the teaching techniques and digital tools in action

It’s up to us to make the digital learning in school a lot more like the digital learning we all do in life. Research Writing Rewired shows us how to channel students’ passion for digital communication into meeting ELA goals.

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Author Bio

Dawn Reed is an English teacher at Okemos High School in Okemos, Michigan and Co-Director of Red Cedar Writing Project at Michigan State University. She earned her MA in Rhetoric and Writing in Critical Studies in Literacy and Pedagogy from Michigan State University, and she continues to engage in teacher inquiry and research. Her research interests include the teaching of writing, digital literacy, and authentic writing opportunities, including writing for civic engagement. Through her work as a consultant with Red Cedar Writing Project, she is involved with supporting teacher professional development through work with schools and the National Writing Project.

Dr. Troy Hicks is an associate professor of English at Central Michigan University and focuses his work on the teaching of writing, literacy and technology, and teacher education and professional development. A former middle school teacher, he collaborates with K–12 colleagues and explores how they implement newer literacies in their classrooms. Hicks directs CMU’s Chippewa River Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project, and he frequently conducts professional development workshops related to writing and technology. In March 2011, Hicks was honored with CMU's Provost's Award for junior faculty who demonstrate outstanding achievement in research and creative activity and, in 2014, he was honored with the Conference on English Education’s Richard A. Meade Award for scholarship in English Education.

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