Research into Practice

DeGroff, Linda
February 1991
Reading Today;Feb/Mar91, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p11
This articles presents guidelines on working successfully with computers in whole language classrooms. Whole language teachers share common beliefs about literacy learning. When they bring computers into their classrooms, they want to use computers in ways that are consistent with those beliefs. Early computer use was often restricted to drill and practice of isolated skills. Such uses are incompatible with whole language beliefs and practices. Teachers can foster authentic reading and writing experiences by selecting software that allows students to read and follow directions while playing games, write personal narratives or imaginative stories with word processing software, communicate with audiences outside of classroom or school via networks and electronic mail, or organize and retrieve content area information from databases. The idea of using a process approach to teaching and learning has been most prominent in writing instruction. Word processors offer functions that can facilitate writing processes, particularly revising and editing. At present, we understand very little about the effects that using these functions have on writing processes. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that teachers' understanding of writing processes is more important than the technology itself in determining how computers are used in process-approach classrooms.


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