Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Google's Student Speakout

We recently completed the Global Warming Student Speakout in my English classes. It makes me wonder about the differences between digital writing and traditional writing. Here are four things I've noticed:

  • Revision is becoming more visible. It used to be a black box. Among other things this is significant for writing teachers (e.g. a writing conference with more evidence) as well as for the writer.
  • Linkage. It feels different reading a document that can link to the source material rather than just cite it.
  • Web surfing for information during collaborative projects is more conductive to the ebb and flow of conversation, and is better suited to the psychological connections our brains make.
  • Audience matters. Nothing new here. Audience influenced the choices we make in traditional writing too. But a potential immediate worldwide audience that allows others to interact with the content? That seems different. Maybe Marshall McLuhan's predictions about a global tribe aren't so far off.

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