Then and NowThe 21st century learner needs communication skills that transcend writing essays and technical skills that go beyond setting up margins for printing. Young people must learn to write using a variety of technology tools from iPads apps to multimedia generators. In addition, they must be able to write cooperatively and collaboratively across subject areas.

If you're still teaching the basics of Microsoft Word and asking for paper-based reports, it's time to think beyond 8.5 x 11 with 1 inch margins. Learn to transform your writing assignments while addressing standards across the curriculum.

How can traditional writing assignments change through the use of new tools and technologies?

Let's start by going back in time to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Writing is about sharing. We can experience events through journals. This writing can include words, drawings, maps, and other elements to convey meaning. Reading can often jumpstart an experience. For instance, the graphic history Lewis and Clark by Nick Bertozzi isn't intended to replace the journals, instead it provides a way to experience the adventure.

Technology can also provide new ways to experience a time period. The iPad app U.S. Westward Expansion provides background information. An iPad app like Momento and others provide tools for students to write their own journals. They can even add images and share their work electronically.

Lewis and Clark Ideas:

It's all about writing...

Explore each of the following six sections of this online article to learn more about this new world of reading:

Go to Five Tools: The History of Digital Writing.