ERIC Number: ED296717
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr-7
Reference Count: N/A
"I've Lost My Story!" Integrating Word Processing with Writing Instruction.
Dalton, Bridget M.; And Others
Focusing on ways to teach fourth-grade students the machine skills they need to make the computer a fluent writing tool, this study sought to identify the word processing skills that students need to learn and the ones that are most difficult, and the instructional approaches that work best in teaching word processing skills. The problems and solutions presented in this paper draw on weekly observations of writing sessions with both normally achieving and learning disabled children in four 4th grade classrooms, together with ongoing conversations with their teachers. Preliminary findings indicate that word processing skills may be too difficult for elementary school children to learn, but it is suggested that this conclusion may be premature. While the research identifies the problems of acquiring word processing skills, it also illuminates several factors that contribute to student's difficulties and points to some practical directions for teaching word processing skills more effectively. These factors are: (1) simultaneous attention to writing and word processing; (2) interference of keyboarding problems; (3) lack of systematic monitoring and follow-up; (4) premature teaching of advanced editing skills; (5) teacher inexperience with computer software and management; (6) software weaknesses; and (7) a research artifact (requiring students to save each day's work). An approach to teaching machine skills based on these findings is suggested, including several general guidelines and a model for balancing attention to writing and word processing. The text is supplemented by two graphs and one figure. (13 references) (EW)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 5-9, 1988).