National Writing Project

Maine Writes a New Ed-Tech Success Story

Publication: eSchoolNews
Date: June 2, 2008

Summary: Maine's decision to provide every student with a laptop has created a number of positive outcomes: equity of access, increased attention to professional development, as well as improved standardized test scores. Sharon Bowman, a teacher-consultant with the Maine Writing Project, is featured in this article.


Excerpt from Article

Sharon Bowman, an eighth-grade teacher from Mt. Ararat Middle School in Topsham, Maine, sums up what we have heard from teachers across the state:

"... All writing teachers will tell you that at the heart of the writing process is revision. Revision is the step in the process too often overlooked in the past, [owing] to many factors—most simply put, it's just a lot of work if it's to be accomplished on paper. Revision is the opportunity for the student to step back from the rough draft and re-see, rethink, re-feel their first thoughts plunked down on the paper....

"In the past, in the days without computers, students were forgiven for a rough draft, quick edit, and copy-over by too many teachers; hence, unthoughtful writing [resulted]. Since the introduction of laptops in writing classes, I have been provided with the one tool that makes revision accessible and real to my students. It has never been that kids refused to revise; it was just not possible on paper to make revisions easily. Students in my class learn revision techniques based on purpose and audience, which drives writing strategy. They learn this mantra early on, and through it [they] understand the reason people write. You have a message, you choose the audience, and then you choose the techniques that best fit your purpose. It sounds simple, yet students for the first time get the idea when they can so easily manipulate words."

Copyright © 2008 eSchool News. Reprinted with permission. Visit for daily news and resources for K-12 educators. For free subscriptions please visit
Manchester, Bette. 2008. "Maine Writes New Ed-Tech Story." eSchool News. June 2.

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