The Common Core standards offer clear and consistent knowledge of the things that students must learn. With the help of these national academic standards, the teachers and parents of the students can understand the kind of assistance they can offer to ensure that students learn the essential things.
Notably, the standards comprise of conceptual knowledge and involved in the valuable skills and subjects that the students will need to enjoy college. Similarly, the standards equip them to be successful career-wise and live as our society becomes more reliant on technology. Furthermore, the Common Core standards have been adopted by several states in the US. Nowadays, they are known as the vital source of the subjects and skills that are taught in most of the public schools across the country.
Writing as an essential strand of the Common Core standards
One of the most important stands of the Common Core standards is writing. Typically, writing skills include the ability of an ability to plan the subject to write on, revise, edit and then publish what has been written. As a part of the Common Core standards, writing also encompasses certain writing types such as narratives, explanatory texts, and arguments. It requires students to be able to make inferences from evidence and create informational write-ups.
Common Core and Tech
Notably, there is no limit to what students can write on. From social sciences to geology, computer science, ecosystem, mathematics and so on, writing forms an essential part of all types of subjects. Regardless of the subjects that the students are writing on, they can gain immensely from using the power of technology. According to the Common Core standards, "[u]se technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others". Without a doubt, digital tools can be from general ones such as the internet to more specialized technologies that can improve the writing of students.
As stated by the Common Core, "gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism". This shows that students need to have the skill required to read information from tablets, smartphones and other digital tools – whether they are outside or inside of the school environment. This has necessitated the integration of digital devices into the learning environment.
Tech tools that can be integrated into the writing strand
Expectedly, tons of digital tools have been created for improving the writing skills of people of different levels. While some are paid tools, others are offered to users for free.
Google Docs and Forms are some of the best writing tools that allow students to share documents with others. The tools allow different students to collaborate to create a wonderful writing piece. Microsoft Word is another tool that can improve the ability of students to present their conceptualized ideas. Collaborize Classroom, Study Blue, and Diigo are a few of the tech tools that can be integrated into writing to achieve the goal of the Common Core standards.
Tips for using tech to achieve the writing strand of the Common Core standards
The integration of digital tools should be encouraged
A few school districts are already providing tablets and laptops for their students. These tools are meant to replace textbooks, notebooks, and other conventional writing media. In view of the writing strand, the students must be encouraged to create and publish writing pieces for people to read. By encouraging the integration of digital tools, the students will develop the relevant skills they need to take their academics and careers to the next level.
Automated programs to provide feedback on writing pieces
If students have to wait for their teachers to grade all their writings, they may not get the quick feedback they need in some cases. Therefore, tech tools that can grade the writing pieces of the students automatically can play a key role in enhancing their writing. The tools should cover grammar, punctuations, formatting and other essential components of writing. The feedback can assist the students to correct the errors in their writing without overburdening the teachers.
Collaboration on writing tasks via tech
Google Drive, for instance, allow students to share their writing projects as they deliver. So, students should take advantage of technology to collaborate on writing tasks.
Publication of student writing projects through tech
If students know that their works will be published for others to see, they tend to put in more effort to write amazing pieces. Fortunately, tons of publication options are already available online. Yudu, Zoho Writer, and Google Drive are some of the options that students can consider for publishing their writing works for others to read. Also, school websites can have a blog section where articles of their students are published.
Writing with the aid of multimedia
For many students, writing is boring and this is why they often avoid it. However, by adding several other media into writing, teachers can make writing more fun for their students. For instance, teachers can ask their students to participate in live news streaming or make a short video to support their writing. While using tech to make the video may be the only intriguing factor that the students love, the whole process will make them write and, thus, improve their writing skills.
Real-world application of their writing skills
Another way through which tech can be used to accomplish the writing strand of the standards is by applying the writing skills in the real world. Instead of asking the students to write on uninteresting topics, what about writing on things they like? Reviews of their favorite video game, the choicest toys or other things will pique the interest of the majority of the student. Also, the real-world applications are more relatable for the students; hence, they will be motivated to write on them.
If all hands can be on the desk, tech can be one of the most important factors that will guarantee the attainment of the writing strand of Common Core standards across the country. Therefore, teachers, parents, and students should do their parts in this endeavor.
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