The Changing Spaces of Reading and Writing

What is Text?

Although we certainly do see and use text on computers and the internet, I wonder if there is something inherently flawed with using this way of viewing text with students. I don’t believe that the text excites students but that the computer that excites students.

A few short months ago I was teaching a primary summer school program. The program was designed for young learners to improve their English writing skills. I decided to have fun one class and have them create their own sentences using stamps. One thing that I noticed, apart from the activity getting really messy, was the excitement that the students had communicating their ideas onto paper using the stamps. There was something in the action of choosing a word, placing the stamp on the ink pad, and seeing their work that that engaged the students far more than a computer activity ever could.

Now is this text that the students created? I think that it is. The students printed their own work on paper, using letters and numbers.  It did not matter if the text was coherent or not. Of course, is this the proper way to teach writing skills? However the students received an intriguing lesson and were able to create text manually in an old fashioned way that hopefully enforces the message that there is more than one way to create text.stamp

1 comment

1 Drew Murphy { 09.15.09 at 8:54 pm }

David: I was intrigued by your word stamping lesson. Great idea. I think stamping text is the opposite to creating text on the screen: Ink versus light, hard pressure versus soft pressure, secondary image versus primary image, light reflecting surface versus light emitting surface. I’m sure they enjoyed the physical interaction with the words and the break from tapping out text. And I agree, its very valuable to experience text in other forms. Enjoyed your post.

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