As my district moved to a 1:1 environment with Chromebooks for all students in grades 5-12 a few years ago, I couldn’t help but be excited about the possibilities of moving to digital writer’s notebook. Afterall, wouldn’t that be a more authentic, modern writing experience for students? How many of us handwrite a draft of anything these days? For me, the majority of my writing happens digitally, with my drafting, revising, and editing happening concurrently as I type, rather than as discrete steps. For many students, their out of school writing happens this way, too: on social media and in messages to friends. Despite this, I also wondered if some intangible part of the writing process would be lost or if the magic of having such a linear, messy paper notebook would hinder students’ thinking.
Jianna Taylor (@JiannaTaylor) is the ELA/SS Curriculum Coordinator for the West Bloomfield School District. Prior to this role, she was a middle school ELA and Title 1 teacher. She is a MiELA Network Summer Institute facilitator and member of the Oakland Writing Project Teacher Leader. Jianna earned her bachelor’s degree from Oakland University and her master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She also writes reviews of children’s books and young adult novels for the magazine School Library Connection.