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The Basics of Writing in the Digital Era Cherie Dargan CWW15


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The Basics of Writing in the Digital Era Cherie Dargan CWW15

  1. 1. The Basics of Writing in the Digital Era: Habits & Tools CWW 2015 Cherie Dargan
  2. 2. Overview ● Technology has changed everything we do as writers as we move towards web-based tools, cloud storage, and mobile devices. ● We will talk about 7 habits that will help you work more efficiently and confidently in our digital era ● We will also point out 7 tools for tech savvy writers
  3. 3. First habit: Go Digital ● “If I don’t have it digitally, I don’t have it!” Find a way to start doing your brainstorming digitally. ● Take a picture with your phone ● Use the notepad app on your phone ● Find your stack of little scribbled notes and transfer them to Evernote or Google Keep or Google docs
  4. 4. Digital also means MOBILE!
  5. 5. Second habit: Get organized ● Learn how to save files (file names matter! Where you store them matter! ● This file: The Basics of Writing in the Digital Era Cdargan CWW15 ● Folder: CWW15 Presentation ● Your name + what is it? (draft? Poem? Column?) ● My pet peeve: vague file names.
  6. 6. My folders for summer projects on PC & Google Drive
  7. 7. Label pictures as you scan them in ● My Grandma Nellie with her second husband, Art, in the 1940s. ● I used Picasa, a free program from Google, to scan this in, edit it, & add the caption.
  8. 8. Third habit: use what you have! ● Don’t get hung up on PC or Mac or iPad? What do you have now? Unless it’s ancient, you are probably comfortable with it. Changing platforms won’t make you a better writer. ● However, are you taking care of your machine? Deleting old email or pictures you don’t need, updating software, & running virus protection? ● Hopefully you’ve moved on beyond Netscape navigator for a browser and have web-based email!
  9. 9. Fourth habit: Back it up! ● Computers will FAIL you, sooner or later! I lost a hard drive in the spring of 2014, only a few weeks before finals. I had a deadline for a column as well as papers to grade. How did I survive? ● External hard drive backed up weekly ● Student work turned in online ● Personal work on Google Drive ● Installed new hard drive & copied data over from the external hard drive and back in business.
  10. 10. Fourth habit: Back it up, cont. ● Invest in an external hard drive: Staples has several with 3 Terabytes storage for under $100! ● Set it up to backup your files on a regular basis (usually weekly)
  11. 11. Fifth: Make it Easy to Find your Materials ● Creating a folder for each writing project makes sense, and slowing down to create good file names saves time and frustration later on (research. docx versus August column apps for seniors research.docx). ● If you have to collect photos, sources, compile notes, etc. it is easier to put them together now and not have to hunt for them later. ● You can create those folders in Google Drive, Drop box, Evernote or many other web based tools. ● Google Drive is my personal favorite! I can move from PC to iPad to laptop without a problem.
  12. 12. Fifth: Make it Easy to Find your Materials, cont. ● As you do research, don’t rely on bookmarks. If you see a source you want to use, copy and paste the URL & add a brief descriptor. ● learning/mind-mapping ● Inspiration – there is a lite version is free for the ipad. Can download for a free 30 day trial. Hands down my favorite mapping tool. Link explains a mind map.
  13. 13. Sixth—AVOID making a list of naked URLS & find credible sources ● learning/mind-mapping ● learning/brainstorming-webs ● learning/outlining ● One of those was really cool….wonder which one? Always add a quick blurb to help yourself remember content.
  14. 14. Sixth—AVOID making a list of naked URLS & find credible sources, cont. ● Make friends with a librarian if you’re a newbie! ● Go beyond Google to specialized search engines. ● ● List of search engines and tools ● Look for the date last updated, sources cited & person or organization behind website (Webmd or Facebook post?)
  15. 15. Seventh -- Get Feedback, Revise and Proofread One More Time! What works for you? Read it out loud? Most of us do not do well when proofreading on the screen: we need to see it on paper, mark it up and make changes. When you’re done, look back at the guidelines. Need a word count? Have you saved the document in a format and with a file name that fits the guidelines? Are there other materials that need to be sent?
  16. 16. Sharing a document from Google Docs for feedback
  17. 17. Part Two: Tools for the writing process! ● Good writing doesn’t just happen: most of us follow the writing process (Plan, Compose, and Revise) to brainstorm, generate and organize information before we write, and then edit, proofread and revise, sometimes more than once. ● There are technology tools to help you at each stage.
  18. 18. Plan (brainstorm to gather ideas) Inspiration – the lite version is free for the ipad. Download free 30 day trial on your PC. Can display map as visual or outline. Hands down my favorite mapping software or app to generate and organize my ideas. Notetaking--Google Keep—another tool from Google to create notes & lists that you can check from all devices and the web.
  19. 19. Research tools is a People Search tool Don’t forget refdesk! Great overall reference – like having your own library. A very dense website, with three columns full of search tools, reference resources, daily information and inspiration. Weather, news headlines, pictures, videos, & lots of links.
  20. 20. Compose (draft your story, poem, article, etc.) Most people use Microsoft word, Libre office, or Google Docs--word processors Scrivener -- specialized software for writers. Free 30 day trial. x.php Helps you outline, write, revise and export. Can gather notes, visuals, drafts.
  21. 21. Proofread and edit (Web based tool--just copy and paste a chunk of text for feedback that helps you revise). The Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear. Using color coding, “Hemingway highlights long, complex sentences and common errors….”
  22. 22. Revise--get rid of tired language like cliches Afraid your writing is full of cliches? Copy and paste a chunk here and it will pick out the cliches! (It was a dark & stormy night...she had a heart of gold….he was looking a gift horse in the mouth)
  23. 23. Get feedback! ● If using Google Docs, you can share your document with someone by clicking on share. ● If not, send it by email in a format that they can open and if you want comments, do not send it in PDF. ● Be sure that the file name makes sense ● (your name + what is it?) Which would you prefer-- short story.docx or SusieSmith short story June15.docx
  24. 24. Sharing a document from Google Docs for feedback
  25. 25. Responding to comments from Google Docs I have used this feature with my Education students and they love it-- especially when they answer my questions, correct errors, and resolve the situation, and then trash the comment! Read through comments and respond, clarify, and correct as needed. Send back a quick thank you!
  26. 26. Send off your manuscript--and keep track of it ● ● Manage the business side of writing with a free account here, at the Writers Database. It lets you keep track of the articles, stories or manuscripts submitted to publishers, with a place for the results.
  27. 27. More great stuff for writers m/Websites_And_Apps Websites and Apps for Teaching Digital Writing. Lots of great apps & web tools for brainstorming, generating and organizing ideas.
  28. 28. Cheat Sheet for Google Docs e-docs-cheat-sheet Kasey Bell has put together some terrific guides to using Google Docs; check out her site, cheat-sheets.html Here is a list of her various cheat sheets -- visual guides to using Google Apps
  29. 29. More Cheat Sheets from Shakeuplearning google-apps-for-the-ipad Google Apps for the iPad google-drive-cheat-sheet Google Drive Cheat Sheet (store docs & folders) cheat-sheet-for-teachers Google Forms -- use to create surveys and the results get dumped into a spreadsheet, with the summary of the results just a click away.
  30. 30. My Personal Favorite iPad Apps for Writers Google Docs/Drive, Gmail, Google Search Audio Memo to record an interview Camera to take pictures of key visual elements Camera to use a Scanner app of old documents, pictures, maps, etc. (Scanner Pro) Notepad app to take notes when no wifi: can email them to yourself later Dictionary Serenity (soothing music & photos) to recharge my batteries
  31. 31. What are your favorite Web tools or Apps?
  32. 32. Any Questions? Cherie Dargan Professor of Communications, Hawkeye Community College Follow me --