|How many hours of computer contact time did it take for you to complete today's writing assignment?
How many times a year should your students have a chance to experience this kind of writing? Once? Twice? Five times? Ten times? Fifteen?
Modern writers spend much of their time with their laptops in the most unusual of settings. They may be in a home office or sitting on an airplane or ferry. They may be perched alongside a lake. They pass through many of the stages you tasted today, and they take advantage of electronic technologies to provide plenty of time for incubation and idea generation. The word processor has freed the modern writer from the desk and greatly reduced the threat of writer's block.
How do we introduce our students to this new kind of writing? The better job we do, the greater the power we give them. It doesn't matter much which kind of writing they end up doing, public relations, technical writing, travel brochures or the next great Australian novel, they will thank us for showing them the advantages of idea processing.
Time for discussion. Gather with 3-4 colleagues and
make a list of the obstacles which stand in the way of your introducing this kind of writing.
Next to each obstacle, make a list of strategies to eliminate the obstacle.
If your students have a chance to write this way, you will see major improvements in their ability to make a case, to persuade others and to sell an idea. The stakes are high, but so are the obstacles. In most schools, students spend far more time learning to type fast or pass basic skills test than they spend on learning to write powerfully.
What can you do to make a difference?
Please do not move ahead to the next activity until asked to do so by your workshop leader.
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