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Teachers Are the Center of Education: Writing, Learning and Leading in the Digital Age

Teachers Are the Center of Education: Writing, Learning and Leading in the Digital Age

Written by Bob Jobin
October 29, 2010

Teachers Are the Center of Education is a series of reports that highlight the importance of teachers and the quality of their work. This report features eight Writing Project teachers and spotlights their innovative use of digital tools for writing and learning.


“When kids make a video about something, they know it a lot better than if they were writing a research paper,” says Joel Malley, a Buffalo teacher who is a teacher-consultant with the Western New York Writing Project. “There are a lot of decisions involved when they decide how to match up music, sound effects, audio, who to video or what shot to take.There is a deeper embedded knowledge required.”

Writing has never been more important than in this digital age. While the fundamentals of good writing remain constant, new forms of writing are quickly evolving, as the teachers profiled in Teachers Are the Center of Education: Writing, Learning and Leading in the Digital Age demonstrate.

For example, words are now regularly joined with images and voices—and teachers note how students become more engaged and motivated when using digital tools to create texts.

But effective teaching with technology requires far more than just adequate hardware and software. Teachers Are the Center of Education—a partnership among the College Board, the NWP, and Phi Delta Kappa International—shows that it takes commitment, trained personnel, planning, resources, and ongoing evaluation.

To meet the challenges of teaching and learning in the digital age, Teachers Are the Center of Education offers these recommendations:

  • Every student, at all levels of education, needs one-to-one access to computers and other mobile devices in the classroom.
  • Every teacher, at all levels of education, needs professional development in the effective use of digital tools for teaching and learning, including the use of digital tools to promote writing.
  • All schools and districts need a comprehensive information technology policy to ensure that the infrastructure, technical support and resources are available for teaching and learning.
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