Mr. August has written a wonderful article on his blog that was first a speech he gave at his alma mater, Drake University. I found his language easy to read, quite affable to be sure. This being originally written as a speech, it flows as such. He wrote a very palatable take on where we are in the digital age and where we’re going. It read like a conversation. He concisely sums up his view as this: writing matters. All writing, not just academic. How? Why? Because, August states, we’re being graded on everything we write. Whether we like it or not, we’re being judged. I like that he didn’t shy away from how unsettling it may be to hear this. He gets it. He agrees it’s okay to be a bit rattled and paranoid, but it’s what we need to be fully prepared for the digital world we are living in. This world, he continues, is not going away.
This book is easy to read. Right from the start, it sets up a nice, neat narrative as to why, as the title suggests, digital writing matters. Because teachers have always been interested in tools of the trade, they’ve been “early adopters of new digital tools for writing.” The book’s main author, per se, is the National Writing Project (NWP) which started in the early 1990s with teachers and early online communities began the groundwork for “sustained attention to the new networked and digital technologies at local Writing Project sites.” Through the years, decades, in fact, networks have been fostered to raise questions about the nature of writing and the learning of it. The new millennium began with a bang.