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Book Review: Because Digital Writing Matters

Title: Because Digital Writing Matters: Improving Student Writing in Online and Multimedia Environments, by Danielle Nicole DeVoss, Elyse Eidman-Aadahl and Troy Hicks. Jossey-Bass, 2010.

Description:  Digital writing skills are now the standard in most classrooms. This offering from the National Writing Project has its strengths, but in the saturated market of professional development books on the topic, readers may be left wanting more.

Having grown up with next-level technologies in their hands, students are already using mobile phones and other devices to write on a daily basis. Text messaging and social media posting are the new building blocks from which student writers can learn proper form. For this reason, the thought of applying student tech-enabled writing skills to essays and other traditional writing assignments would appeal to English or language arts teachers interested in taking instruction in a digital direction.

Because Digital Writing Matters focuses mostly on fundamental writing skills. For educators completely new to using digital media in the classroom, this book will outline the basics. Educators already immersed in the world of social networks and blogs will find the title less useful. After all, many blogs and other tools are available online, offering full tutorials on digital writing and multimedia presentations.

Because Digital Writing Matters will help teachers build lessons around incorporating narratives into student presentations. The new frontier of writing that the book describes is no longer new territory, however. The book should spend more time addressing the potential audience that can be built when good digital writing skills are applied.

Bottom Line:  Because Digital Writing Matters discusses the major role of writing in the digital age, but has limited impact in terms of integrating technology into classroom lessons.

About the Authors:  Danielle Nicole DeVoss acts as director of the Professional Writing Program at Michigan State University, where she is an associate professor. Elyse Eidman-Aadahl has been published in many literary journals in addition to her role as director of National Programs and Site Development at the National Writing Project at the University of California - Berkeley. Troy Hicks is the director of the Chippewa River Writing Project at Central Michigan University where he is an assistant professor of English.

How to Purchase:  The book retails for about $15 and is available on Amazon.


Article by Jason Cunningham, EducationWorld Social Media Editor
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