The importance of writing for an authentic audience is well established (Bruning & Horn, 2000; Kixmiller, 2004). In today’s world, writing for the teacher is not enough and internet provides a wealth of both writing tools and audiences. This web-based resource focuses on digital writing for authentic audiences. Digital writing for the purposes of this resource refers to producing writing using digital means. Authentic audiences refers to writing done with a particular audience in mind.
This resource is underpinned by a blended learning and social constructivist approach. Social constructivism theorises that learning is socially constructed though a series of quality interactions in particular communities (Dudley-Marling, 2012; Woo & Reeves, 2007) This, combined with the blended learning approach in which utilises the best of both digital and real life worlds to maximise learning opportunities, underpins the decisions made in selecting resources for this guide (Thorne, 2003). Blended learning was additionally selected as an approach because where collaboration is not possibly synchronously online, it can utilise strategies such as people working together on a single device, or doing planning on paper.
Digital writing has become increasingly popular (Robin, 2016) and the options for use seem to be growing infinitely. Time heavy teachers often don’t have the resources available to explore, test and enact a range of digital resources when they have ones that do the job. Consequently, I have selected English as a curriculum area of focus for this resource, with the subtopic of 'digital writing for authentic audiences.' The topic was selected because writing is an essential part of the New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007).
The resource is largely aimed at practicing educators, providing a range of tools to support their implementation of digital writing in authentic contexts into the classroom. Selected resources are either aimed for teacher informational use or at students in middle to senior primary school.
Bruning, R., & Horn, C. (2000). Developing motivation to write. Educational Psychologist, 35(1), 25–37. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15326985EP3501_4
Dudley-Marling, C. (2012). Social Construction of Learning. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 3095–3098). Boston, MA: Springer US. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_96
Kixmiller, L. A. S. (2004). Standards without sacrifice: The case for authentic writing. The English Journal, 94(1), 29–33. https://doi.org/10.2307/4128844 Ministry of Education. (2007). The New Zealand curriculum for English-medium teaching and learning in years 1-13. Wellington, NZ: Learning Media
Thorne, K. (2003). Blended learning: How to integrate online & traditional learning. London, UK: Kogan Page. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=81879&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Woo, Y., & Reeves, T. C. (2007). Meaningful interaction in web-based learning: A social constructivist interpretation. The Internet and Higher Education, 10(1), 15–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iheduc.2006.10.005