Teaching With Technology: Empowering Students to Take Control of Their Own Learning
“I like to imagine an ideal world in which I would be able to sit side-by-side with each student in my class at the same time and make thoughtful, helpful comments to move their writing forward,” says Susan Van Doren. Van Doren, a George Whittell high school English educator, describes her experience working with students throughout the writing process in an article published in edtechdigest, titled (Not So) Rough Drafts. She speaks to the teaching challenges many educators face and how technology, namely Turnitin Revision Assistant, is aiding the process.
Van Doren discusses the importance of writing in this EduTalk Radio podcast, Teaching Writing with Technology that Motivates Students. “It’s an expectation in our district that the kids are writing across the curriculum. Part of an educator’s mission is to get students to understand the impact and relevance of their writing….With technology, it’s somewhat more important today to be able to write well and communicate ideas in writing than it was 30-40 years ago because students are putting so many of their ideas into writing. Students need to be able to write accurately in order to communicate well.”
Van Doren says that with Revision Assistant, students are empowered to get started writing on their own, and keep writing on their own. That enables her to have more in-depth conversations with students while they are revising their writing.
One student (her son, actually) submitted a single paper over 25 times in order to meet his goal level of proficiency. In her article, Van Doren details her experience: “The tool [Revision Assistant] meets the need for timely, specific, and effective feedback while also empowering students to take control of their own learning.”
In the case study, Motivating Students to Revise More Leads to More Practice, Greater Success, Van Doren says that her students’ writing has increased across the board, because they are more prone to apply what they have learned to all of their assignments. And a bonus benefit is that Revision Assistant has not only enabled conversations she has with her students, but “it has enabled conversations that they have with each other. And it has made all of us, not just better writers, but better communicators about writing.”
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