DEN Fall VirtCon – Mixing Sources, Amplifying Voices: Crafting Writing in an Information Age

By Silviac (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (

If you missed the DEN VirtCon Tech or Treat, it’s not too late.  Follow the link to the archives.   Be sure to check out the session “Mixing Sources, Amplifying Voices: Crafting Writing in an Information Age” presented by the author of a book with the same title, Troy Hicks. He also wrote Digital Writing Workshop and is the coauthor of Digital Writing Matters.  Troy advocates teaching students to use the digital writing resources available while emphasizing the need to craft their writing as they use these resources. The components of craft include mode, media, audience, purpose and situation.

Mr. Hicks covered five types of digital writing.

  1. Web-based texts – A Common Core Writing Standard is “Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. ” Teachers should help students create web-based texts using the typography, page design, color scheme, and external or internal links to enhance their message.  This will enable students to go beyond the classroom to a global audience and invite broader conversations.  Mr. Hicks recommended The Non-Designer’s Design book by Robin Williams for more information.  He also showed an example of a digital essay by a student showing a pdf. of a wiki page critiquing the great way she included links and images.
  2. Presentations – How can we use presentation tools to guide their thinking and create thoughtful texts?  Crafting presentations involves slide design and layout, lines and shape, colors and textures, and charts and infographics.  Mr. Hicks discusses three examples of student work.  Two examples were to show the experience of the Titanic’s final voyage.  One student created a Glogster including a YouTube video and artifacts with explanations.  The other was a time line created in Capzles.  The third example was a Prezi using a big question in literature.
  3. Audio Texts – When crafting audio texts, students can use character and narrator voices, music and sound effects.  The student example used Aviary Audio Editor to create a book trailer.
  4. Video Texts – Crafting video texts involves cinematic techniques, establishing shots, framing, angles, panning and zooming, documentary techniques, and voice-over interviews, archival footage and reconstructions. His student example is a documentary video of the Old Blair Auditorium.
  5. Social Media – This section includes microblogging, social networking, group text messaging, social bookmarking, backchanneling, and content curation. He reviews questions that need to be asked as the students use social media.   He recommends the Youth Voices website to invite students to blog and use social media in thoughtful ways and with sample templates for students to use.

Finally, Mr. Hicks suggests that it is great that we share resources for students to explore, but it’s not enough just to let them use them.  We need to make them aware of the importance of crafting their writing with these resources.

You can contact Mr. Troy Hicks with his email or check out his wiki at



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  1. hardwell said:

    mam it will also arrive by sound application on music stores dont o be forget that nothing will happend in poor life

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