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Companion Website for The Digital Writing Workshop by Troy Hicks

The companion website for The Digital Writing Workshop (Heinemann, 2009) by Troy Hicks adds necessary multimedia components to this important text.

In his book, Hicks takes what we know of the writing workshop and shows us how to look at our work as writing instructors through a 21st-century lens. Hicks references a number of new and exciting digital tools, but his intention is not simply to discuss ways of integrating these new technologies into our writing instruction. In Chapter 1, "Imagining a Digital Writing Workshop," Hicks explains:

By discussing these technologies [blogs, wikis, social networks, podcasts, and digital stories] through the framework of the five principles of the writing workshop noted previously—allowing for student choice, encouraging active revision, studying author's craft, publishing beyond the classroom, and broadening our understandings of assessment—I intend to place digital writing tools in a context that those of us familiar with the writing workshop approach can understand and apply them to create better writers (p. 5).

Throughout the text, Hicks references digital writing tools, tutorials, research, and resources to help writing teachers make this transition. The Digital Writing Workshop companion website provides access to the numerous links mentioned in the book as well as related resources and student work, organized by chapter. Additionally, the site includes lists of audio, video, additional resources, and news and media.

Linda Biondi, a fourth-grade teacher from New Jersey, describes her exploration of the resources on The Digital Writing Workshop companion website:

The online article, How to Use Digital Storytelling in Your Classroom, helped me with practical advice and digital storytelling “how tos”. I became excited as I realized that Digital Storytelling wasn’t just a new technological fad that I should try, but something that I needed to do to gain the interest of my students and prepare them for the future.

She goes on to say,

The companion site is an exceptional resource with or without the book, but I encourage you to read the book as well. Both are written in concise, easy to understand language that will get you excited about bringing your Writers Workshop into the digital age. It reminds us that as teachers we need to be cognizant of our students' needs and desires to work in an online environment.

Discussion of The Digital Writing Workshop is presented as a VoiceThread on the website. Click on the image below to listen to teachers across the country share their thoughts on how we can move forward with the writing workshop in the age of digital composing.