Wireless Generation, a leading provider of tools, systems, and services that help teachers to teach smarter, announced that it has acquired The Writers’ Express (WEX), a creator of writing curriculum and professional development for grades 3‐12. Based on 15 years of research, the WEX curriculum and teaching methods have helped thousands of students to become motivated and effective writers.
I hadn't seen WEX before today, but it is essentially a structured writing workshop program developed by two former Brown MAT's. It is used a lot in summer and after-school programs. It is always a good sign when students don't have to be bound by law to get them to participate.
It is an interesting acquisition for WG; WEX doesn't seem to have a technology component, and one of the big hurdles of writing workshop is the amount of in-classrom administrative overhead, paperwork, re-copying, and other fiddly paper-based procedures. There is a real opportunity to do a completely integrated content management system based around a well-defined workshop system.
OTOH, WEX's mission -- "To give all students the power to explore their ideas, the skills to communicate them clearly, and the conviction that the world wants to hear them." -- is poorly aligned with the draft Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, of which WG is an endorsing partner, so they may want to straighten that out one way or another.
Tom, it amazes me that curricula keep being developed with zero technology components. What saddens me, however, is that school districts keep gobbling them up.
For something I think is on the right track, check out http://digitalwritingworkshop.ning.com/
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