I feel like the Inspired Writing Class has truly inspired me to use more technology in my classroom. I believe students are writing on their computers with more purpose than simply word processing. Additionally, I believe my students are using the computer for academic reasons with more confidence than in previous years. Both this purposeful use and confidence helped them be more successful in a number of settings.
For one, there was a big transition this year to state testing being computerized. I feel like the work my colleagues and I did related to our Inspired Writing Class helped our students to be comfortable and ready for that change. Having had all of our major reading assessments online this year, where students had to respond to prompts writing on the computer, as well as scroll through text, helped them work on those skills before they were state tested. I don’t know how their results will fare, but I know they were not worried or freaked out about the testing at all. They were excited for it, in fact.
Secondly, my students did better on the end of the year district writing assessment, because of the work they did with the computers this year. They were better able to add text features to their informational writing. Also, their writing was longer, with more detail than last year. I believe their daily use with the computer and their efforts at learning more about the available tools, helped them a lot.
In closing, participation in this course made me a better teacher, but more importantly, it helped my students be more successful. This was especially evident when they created writing in their very own Google Presentations, and shared their learning with their parents at their Student Led Conferences.