Technology in Writer's Workshop

By: Kaitlin Harris

Why have technology in Writer's Workshop?

The technology driven society we live in is the only one our students know. Students born in the 2000's have always been surrounded by some form of advanced technology, so why not use the advanced technology in the classroom. Studies show that increases occur in students sentences, words, and overall length with the use of technology as well as their overall attitudes towards writing. The study conducted sought to see what happens when 5th graders use technology in writer's workshop, and what type of impact it is has on 5th grade students behaviors. My research questions were as follows:


1. In what ways will the Google Documents software improve 5th grade students writing?


2. What types of behaviors can be observed in association with using Google Documents?

Methodology

My study included 19 5th grade students, and it lasted 3 1/2 weeks. Data instruments that were used were a pre and post-test writing prompt (same prompt for both), the Garfield Writing Survey that surveyed students attitudes in writing, an enthusiasm chart for writing, an on/off task chart for writing, and a teacher journal.

Data Results

Conclusions: What was Found

Students overall test scores increased and attitudes towards writing time was positive. The research class showed a 28% increase in the writing test, and the results show that students overall attitudes towards writing improved while using Google Documents. The benefit of using Google Documents during writer's workshop was greater than using the traditional paper and pencil method.

Future Uses in the Classroom

The use of technology in writer's workshop will be continued. The students used computers and laptops throughout the research so iPad use will be looked at for further implementation in the classroom and the school. Research will be shared with fellow colleagues so that they can implement the use of Google Documents into their writer's workshops.
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