Just a couple of quotes that I’ve run across of late to add to the reading and writing conversation. I love this one by Donal Leu:

Another difference from earlier models of print comprehension is the inclusion of communication within online reading comprehension. Online reading and writing are so closely connected that it is not possible to separate them; we read online as authors and we write online as readers [Emphasis mine.]

And this from Deborah Brandt at the University of Wisconsin Madison in a great article from the Chronicle titled “Studies Explore Whether the Internet Makes Students Better Writers“:

Some of the resistance to a more writing-centered curriculum, she says, is based on the view that writing without reading can be dangerous because students will be untethered to previous thought, and reading levels will decline. But that view, she says, is “being challenged by the literacy of young people, which is being developed primarily by their writing. They’re going to be reading, but they’re going to be reading to write, and not to be shaped by what they read.” [Emphasis mine]

(See also Kathleen Blake Yancey’s wonderful essay “Writing in the 21st Century” if you haven’t already.)

I know as a long-time high school expository writing teacher (who really misses that classroom), my curriculum would be decidedly different today than five years ago. There would have been a lot more situated practice in reading as a writer and developing the skills necessary to track and participate in the distributed conversation that hopefully occurs. I find it fascinating to consider the ways in which social technologies afford all sorts of potentially global, immediate connections around what we write. And I still think that a basic shift here is that we can no longer look at publishing as the final step in the process but see it instead as somewhere in the middle. Maybe even see it as the start of something.

Interested to hear from teachers who have begun to rethink or rewrite curriculum in light of the potentials of the technologies.