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Springing in to DI: Positive Potential

Written by Katherine Frank
March 14, 2012

When I first read Kevin Hodgson’s found poem, “Beyond This Moment in Time,” in response to Elyse Eidman Aadahl’s interview regarding digital writing at DML Central, I was struck by its positive and hopeful tone:  “Writers still mean something–/We make the world: piece by piece, bit by bit”.  The poem is full of action words, and the writer and process of making/(re)creating is at its center, as is the call for civic engagement.

The comments in response to Elyse’s interview also emphasize the power of writing, the importance of the teacher’s role in modeling this power, and the need for authenticity.  Erin comments on the potential represented through and following from “the extraordinary nature of the transformations happening in writing classrooms…We are discovering, creating, learning together…It truly is an exciting time to be a teacher.”

Elyse discusses how digital tools and digital communication have changed how we write and teach/discuss writing, but she also emphasizes fundamental issues with respect to writing that have remain unchanged in the 21st century:

1. “To write still means to make something.  Writers are makers.”
2.  “…this is an incredibly exciting time to teach writing”
3. “writing [is] the engine for developing a new understanding”

While it is important to consider the challenges that we all face as learners and teachers of writing in the 21st century, Elyse reminds us of some essential fundamentals:  we write to learn, to inquire, to develop, to create in this present moment and into the future.

In Kevin Hodgson’s words:  “Writers still mean something” so “[s]tep out into the world.”

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