The National Conversation on Writing is meant to change the sensationalist stories suggesting that writing skills and abilities are declining. This site--meant for those of us concerned with literacy and literacy education--is a space to share resources that will help change the stories about writing.
NCoW Campaigns: Regularly during the year, this site will focus on one of these sensationalist stories to initiate a conversation that will result in different stories about writing. Each campaign will offer background materials and examples of teachers' assigments and students' writing related to the campaign topic. These campaigns invite teachers and students to contribute to the ongoing conversation.
The first of these campaigns, our summer 2009 feature, focuses on one of the most significant modern media stories responsible for inventing a literacy crisis—Newsweek’s 1975 cover feature, “Why Johnny Can’t Write."
Spotlight On: As more teachers and students contribute materials to this site, we will include them in our "Spotlight On" section. Here you'll find resources from groups who have integrated NCoW into a program or course, and you will find resources grouped in ways that are meant to suggest how you can use NCoW. By turning the spotlight on these various creative uses of NCoW, we are invitiing you to contribute to NCoW and to turn the spotlight on your students' writing.
You can join this conversation in three ways:
1) Explore this site--the current Campaign, the Spotlight section, Browse Contributions--and use what you find to change stories locally. You’ll find interviews, videos about writing and writers, poems, literacy narratives, collages, graphic narratives, photo essays, photographs, and more. Use the NCoW collection to develop your own materials. Everything included here is licensed through Creative Commons, which means that contributors encourage users to make use of these materials.
2) Pay it forward—We want your stories! Contribute your assignments and activities, your students' work--text, visuals, audio, video--for other users. Visit the "contribute" section to see how.
3) Learn more about NCoW, follow our blog, subscribe to news updates. And share this site with others.