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Blog

Stay informed of the latest company news, product releases, and musings on education policy and technology by subscribing to the MyloWrites blog.

 

Why We Need a 21st Century Approach to Writing Instruction

Mylo Dunlop

Academic Excellence.

That phrase encapsulates the independent school movement, represented in the successful enrollment of thousands of their graduates in the top universities of the world.  

Central to that achievement is developing students with a superior ability to write often, ethically and thoughtfully.

Unfortunately a study by the The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that most students are not achieving excellence in writing. Here’s their data on eighth-graders for example:

While attending an independent school offers a clear advantage, even at independent schools 60% of students fail to achieve more than a basic writing ability.


...at independent schools 60% of students fail to achieve
more than a basic writing ability.


Every assessment framework has to be evaluated critically. Writing does not lend itself to cookie cutter measurement.

Yet our discussions with the specialists, teachers, and leaders at the top independent schools in the US have reflected this challenge: many students struggle with writing, few regularly achieve excellence.

At MyloWrites, we are intimately familiar with that struggle. Our son Mylo created the first version of the app to help him overcome it, with a dream to helping kids who struggled like him.

What our journey has taught us it that schools often focus on the quality of the output of their students’ writing, but students are too frequently exhausted by the process.

MyloWrites is designed to walk students through their writing assignments so they can master the writing process and internalize it.

This means fewer delays in the classroom and more time working with teachers to improve their ability to express their ideas - the key to achieving writing excellence.

We’re looking for schools who are leading the pursuit of excellence in 21st century education. If this sounds like a goal your school is ready to focus on, we’d love to learn more about what you are doing and collaborate on bringing writing excellence to every student!

This Month’s Must Read: Is It Time To Go Back To Basics With Writing Instruction?

Nicole Abesamis

We wanted to share with you this eye-opening article on how returning back to the basics of writing a simple sentence turned around high schoolers from struggling to successful writers and higher overall test scoring students.

Exposing the tough reality students of NYC public high school students face today, Katrina Schwartz for the insightful MindShift blog reports in depth with Nell Scharff Panero, director of the Center for Educational Leadership at Baruch College.

This article sheds light on the challenges students are facing with writing, discovering that their challenges stemmed from their lack of understanding of how to build and write a basic sentence.

Read on here to learn more about this writing revolution.


Quotes that stood out to us:

When teachers try taking instruction back to basics using what she calls ‘progressive mastery,’ they see big improvements in the quality of both thinking and writing, and that students can meet high school expectations when teachers slow down to show them how to write well.”

“Scanlon said it was difficult for his staff to acknowledge that pointing fingers at students wasn’t going to improve performance. Instead, the staff had to accept the reality of where their students were at and try something new and different for most high school teachers.”

“School administrators chose to implement writing across the curriculum because they began to see that many of the gaps in writing knowledge also pointed to fundamental abilities to express relationships. Using “so” correctly in a sentence, for example, indicates causality, an idea that’s just as important in math and science as it is in more writing-intensive disciplines like social studies and English.”

“Asking students to read longer and more challenging texts, and to write longer essays without first showing them in concrete ways how to build up to that level, defeats the purpose in her mind.”

“Ideally they should have learned this in elementary and junior high school,” said Lauren Salamone, who teaches sophomores Global History. “That’s your automatic reaction, but it’s not the reality.

MUST READ– The New York Times: “How Google Took Over the Classroom”

Nicole Abesamis

We wanted to share this timely article with you:

Natasha Singer, technology reporter covering digital learning at the New York Times in her article “How Google Took Over the Classroom” investigates how internet goliath Google transformed public schools across the country with their low cost technology, in only 5 years.

From Chromebooks dominating a previously Microsoft and Apple saturated market to the question of student’s security, Singer paints a detailed image of how edtech is quickly taking center stage in schools.

You can read the article here.


Quotes that stood out to us:

We help to amplify the stories and voices of educators who have lessons learned,” he said, “because it can be challenging for educators to find ways to share with each other.”
- Bram Bout on how Google in the classroom helps develop community and collaborate
‘Education is the great equalizer, and technology breaks down barriers between rich and poor students.’
- Jaime Casap on how technology creates equality in the classroom

Here at MyloWrites, we’ve been witness to the rapid evolution of the classroom as educators, students and parents.

With growing adoption of edtech in schools, the success stories shared in this article remind our team that we are building in the right direction, working amongst the digital revolution invested in giving every student an opportunity for success.


Keep posted in the coming weeks for new updates on how we’re improving MyloWrites to make writing even more simple and effective.

Read more about MyloWrites here, and sign up to get a free 14 day trial of the writing app.