"How can we use it with the younger students?"
As I was going through many of my peers blog posts, I came across this question in Rihanna's blog. I have been thinking the same exact thing as I have worked my way through this class and the readings that we have done for it. I find that there are so many great ways to implement technology into the classroom and the writing process, but I struggle to see the way in which it can be adapted for the primary grades.
I know that many of my students have computers at home and have grown up using them, but there are still many obstacles that I am faced with on an everyday basis when it comes to technology and my second graders. First off, they struggle to even log onto the computer since their typing skills are so poor. I know that they are still young and trying to perfect their fine motor skills, which will come with time, but it makes it difficult to implement many of the strategies that we have read about. I know that in computer class they are slowly gaining more of a tech savvy ability by learning to type a couple sentences and using power point. So hopefully with time they will be able to handle some of the more technology based strategies throughout the writing process.
I do believe that once my students gain more of a confidence and typing ability they will be able to type final drafts of writing pieces to be published while adding graphics to them. I could also see my students using some type of googledoc or blog to keep track of all of their writing pieces, so that I would be able to conference or even check in with every student on a daily basis by going to their blog or googledoc to read what they have written so far. With these ideas, comes many challenges. First of all, by teaching a private school the funds are very minimal. I am lucky to have a smartboard and two computers in my classroom. Ideally, for my plans to implement more technology based strategies into the writing process, I would need a computer for every student to use throughout writing time. I know this will never happen, or at least, not any time soon. So I could see my idea working if I had a roatating schedule, somewhat like centers, where some students would be working on the computers on their writing pieces while others were doing other writing/ reading/ phonics activities. So that way hopefully each student would be able to use a computer during writing time at least once a day. Then at the end of the week I would be able to go onto googledocs or their blogs to check in with their writing progress. In order for this plan to work, I believe that it would take a lot of my time to model, support, guide and scaffold the process for it to work the way that I would want it to. So hopefully by the New Year in the school year my students would be able to somewhat independently work through the writing process on either a google doc or blog. I know that there may be other hurdles that I am not intending for throughout this process, but with trial and error I believe this could work. Also, the blog or other program you decide to use would have to be simplified with specific directions as to how to use it so each student would be able to navigate through it on their own or with the help of a buddy.
Ideally, I would love to be able to implement this idea with my class and see how well they move through the writing process while using technology. I am still trying to refine my idea for implementing this, so hopefully I will be able to start taking the baby steps towards this idea very soon.