Kervin, Lisa and Mantei, Jessica, 2008, "Virtual writing conferences" as a bridge between the university and classroom contexts, in K. McFerrin, R. Weber, R. Carlsen & D. Willis (eds.), Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education 19th International Conference, Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education, 3555-3559.
We define a “virtual writing conference” as focused, written dialogue between two writers using computer technologies. In this study, we have worked with a cohort of exit year students in a university (all completing their final year of study for a Bachelor of Education degree) and Grade Five children in an elementary school (aged 10 – 11 years) and explored their virtual interaction. The children created electronic texts in their classrooms. These were examined by the university students, who then responded to the children using the tracking tool in Microsoft Word. In this paper we present an embedded case study from our research. Analysis of Kate’s experiences shows how her virtual interactions with a child empowered her as an educator. In particular, her connections between university studies and classroom application will be explored as she reflected upon her learning.