Reading and Writing in a Networked World

Address to this page:

Why School? (TED Books, September, 2012)
Learning on the Blog (Corwin Press, August, 2011)
Personal Learning Networks (Solution Tree, May 2011)
Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms ( Corwin Press, 3rd Edition, March, 2010)
Latest Articles:
"Preparing Students to Learn Without Us" (Educational Leadership, February, 2012)
"Investing in Teachers as Learners" (Education Week, January, 2011)

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"Writers are everywhere; audiences are everywhere." --Kathleen Blake Yancey

The World is Changing

"For any given organization, the important questions are 'When will the change happen?" and "What will change?" The only two answers we can rule out are never, and nothing." --Clay Shirky

Framing Questions:
How does online writing differ from offline? What enhanced purposes might we have for online writing?

Connective Writing is...

...the ability to publish in a variety of media with the intention of connecting and sharing it with others who have an interest (or passion) in the topic.

It's the first step in preparing kids for living and learning in the 21st Century.

"Students will be able to create, grow and navigate their own personal learning networks in safe, effective and ethical ways."

Repeat after me: "I want my students to be found on the Internet."

Writing literacies are changing: NCTE
  • Develop proficiency with the tools of technology
  • Build relationships with others to pose and solve problems collaboratively and cross-culturally
  • Design and share information for global communities to meet a variety of purposes
  • Manage, analyze and synthesize multiple streams of simultaneous information
  • Create, critique, analyze, and evaluate multi-media texts
  • Attend to the ethical responsibilities required by these complex environments

Digital Literacies for Writing in Social Media
Writing in the 21st Century, MUST READ by Kathleen Blake Yancey

Connective Writing Is...

1. Writing that is inspired by reading and is therefore a response to an idea or a set of ideas or conversations. Where do we read?

2. Writing that synthesizes those ideas (either individually or collaboratively) and remixes them in some way to make them our own and is published to potentially wide audiences.


3. Writing that then becomes a part of a larger negotiation of truth or knowledge that is evolving in the larger network.

4. Writing that is written with the expectation that it too will be taken and remixed by others into their own truths by this continuous process of reading, thinking, writing (and linking), publishing and reading some more.

Connective Writing Spaces:

Blogging (the Genre) as Connective Writing Continuum:

  • Posting assignments. (Not blogging)
  • Journaling, i.e. “This is what I did today.” (Not blogging)
  • Posting links (Not blogging)
  • Links with descriptive annotation, i.e. “This site is about…” (Not really blogging either, but getting close depending on the depth of the description.)
  • Links with analysis that gets into the meaning of the content being linked. (A simple form of blogging.)
  • Reflective, meta-cognitive writing on practice without links. (Complex writing, but simple blogging, I think. Commenting would probably fall in here somewhere.)
  • Links with analysis and synthesis that articulates a deeper understanding or relationship to the content being linked and written with potential audience response in mind. (Real blogging)
  • Extended analysis and synthesis over a longer period of time that builds on previous posts, links and comments. (Complex blogging)

My Delicious bookmarks on connective reading: