First National Congress
6-7 December 2004, Cebu City, Philippines


Creative eWriting for Basic Education: A Project Profile
by Cymbeline R. Villamin
Science and Technology Information Institute - Department of Science and Technology (STII-DOST)

Publication of the student-writers' work on the Internet has become a valuable incentive for writing. With ICT, Creative Writing is transformed to Creative eWriting, which means writers create with digital technology and publish their work on the Web or through other digital media such as email and compact discs (CD).

The use of creative writing as a strategy to enhance achievement can be tied to A. H. Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which includes the need for psychological well-being, need for safety, need for love and belonging, need for self-esteem, need for self actualization, need for understanding, and need for aesthetics.

Of course, not all young people are inclined to writing. Some may be the athletic type who go for sports, others the performing types who are inclined to music, dance, and theater. But everyone, regardless of personality type and interest, has the need to express his/her thoughts and feelings honestly for catharsis and for self-discovery and self-knowledge. Creative writing is an excellent venue for such self-expression.

In this Creative eWriting project, the young writers, who are 4th year public high school students, are encouraged to write on their own terms. There are no rules for writing, only reading selections and guides to inspire and help them to begin the act and process of writing.

The project began with a prototype book, called Creative Expressions, which serves as the writing activity book. It consists of 50 reading selections, 10 writer's tips, 10 warm-up writing activities, and 50 writing activities. It encourages the users to compile all writings as their first book. Parents and teachers are encouraged to publish the students' writings in an anthology and sell copies to neighborhood parishes, convenience stores, and barangays. This was the original intent of the book when it was first printed in 2001.

The book has been revised in accordance with the evaluations of what was then the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (not the Department of Education) when it was submitted to the DECS Call for Supplementary Learning Materials in May 2000. It will be re-submitted for evaluation again hopefully when DepEd issues another call in 2005, this time with a CD-ROM version accompanying the print version. The CD-ROM is a cheaper alternative to providing every student with a copy of the printed book as the CD-ROM can be used by all of the 4th year high school class sections of a school once its content has been uploaded to the school server.

As of August 2004, the CD-ROM has been made available to 100 public schools who are beneficiaries of the Ayala Foundation Inc. initiative under the ConnectEd consortium. Moreover, Creative Expressions ebook on PDF is included in the Literature CD being offered at cost by the Science and Technology Information Institute in support of the WSIS Declaration 2003 Geneva, facilitating access to public domain information (sec. B3, par. 25) and consistent with fair use (for educational purpose).

The revised version of the book provides the URL (http://www.geocities.com/youngpinoywriters) of its online version and the email address (youngpinoywriters@yahoo.com) of the author where the young writers can submit their works for online publication.

 

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