Intro to 6 Actions to iPadify the Writer's Process #iPad #Writing #edtech

Note: Welcome to this new series on the iPad to transform how we approach writing in the classroom (or anywhere)! In this new series, the focus is on 6 actions you can take to iPadify the Writer's Process. Yes, that's right. The Writer's process. Maybe we've gone a bit astray with our focus on the writing process. As a writer, what do you do? That's what this series focuses on. 
By the way, if you haven't read the previous series, iPadifying the Writing Workshop, you'll definitely want to in this convenient post that combines all the sections into one. 
6 Actions to iPadify the Writer's Process
by Miguel Guhlin

You can’t write with an iPad,” said an angry critic of iPads in schools. “It doesn’t come with a full-sized keyboard. Why would anyone want to painstakingly, laboriously type anything on the on-screen keyboard the iPad does have?” It’s hard to believe that my attitude has changed so much since March, 2012 when my iPad--which I purchased with a Logitech Zagg keyboard before graduating to a clamshell from New Trent--arrived at home. As a writer, the keyboard and I are old friends. Could I, or for that matter, students in K-12 schools, adopt the iPad as a writer’s best friend? The answer is a resounding YES, for the simple reason that writing isn’t all about typing--there’s a lot more to writing that that.

Revisiting the Writing Process
When working as a writer workshop facilitator (also known as 6th grade language arts teacher) in my early years, I would encourage my students to reflect on the writing process. That process has been immortalized on countless wall posters, flyers, bookmarks, and online. It looks like this:

PreWriting: Students may engage in freewriting, create concept maps, semantic webs, graphic organizers.

Drafting: Quickly writing down your ideas, not worrying about how correct, accurate, well-formed (or not) ideas are, paying scant attention to spelling, grammar, etc. After all, that can be handled later.

Revising: This is where the real work of writing is in my opinion, changing the organization of a piece to make it flow better, adding details that enliven the tale or that support concepts.

Editing: This is the work that word processing spell/grammar-checkers have made obsolete, although editing can include discussion of what constitutes revising.

Evaluating: Asking yourself, is what I have written say what I set out to say? Or perhaps, did what I write explore ideas and concepts in a way I didn’t imagine but that is worth keeping?
Publishing: This has to be one of my favorite aspects of writing--to publish is to make known one’s work to the world.

In classroom’s today, even those endowed by the Curriculum Director with writing workshops a la writer’s trinity of Nancie Atwell, Lucy Calkins, and Donald Graves (just so you know what denomination we’re in), this recursive process remains as elusive as white unicorns in the winter. But what isn’t as elusive is the wealth of iPads flowing into schools. Could we rely on one to help the other? I sincerely hope so.

This article purports to iPadify the Writer’s Process, to reconstruct the very foundation of what the writing workshop is all about--The Writer’s Process, a personal journey in search of meaning and sharing, rather than the writing process that has been commercialized, slapped on a wall and forgotten. Shall we begin?

This is the first in a series of article with similar title! Check back every day for a new installment!

Check out Miguel's Workshop Materials online at

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


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