Teaching Writing in the Age of AI with Dr. Jennifer Wells

Dr. Jennifer Wells, the Director of Writing at New College of Florida, joins Mike Palmer to delve into the significance of writing skills in higher education and beyond. Jennifer shares her professional journey, highlighting the importance of fostering a culture of writing excellence and providing students with the necessary supports they need to learn and to put in meaningful effort into the writing process. You can learn more about Jennifer’s writing school and the workshops she offers here.

We explore the challenges faced by students transitioning from high school to college, emphasizing the need for a shift in mindset towards writing as a process of thinking and refining ideas rather than having to be perfect right away. Jennifer underscores the value of embracing revisions, project management, and time management skills like Pomodoro, which are transferable to various professional contexts.

As AI writing tools continue to evolve, Jennifer provides insights into their potential impact on college admissions essays and academic writing. We discuss the importance of cultivating a human connection through writing and the role of educators in guiding students to develop their unique voices and perspectives.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Writing is a fundamental skill that transcends academic boundaries, fostering critical thinking, resilience, and effective communication in both professional and personal spheres.
  2. Educators should prioritize teaching writing as a process, encompassing revision, project management, and time management, to equip students with transferable skills for lifelong learning and success.
  3. While AI writing tools can be useful in certain contexts, such as brainstorming and drafting, they cannot replace the human element of writing, which involves personal expression, nuanced thought processes, and the ability to connect with readers.

Concluding the episode, we emphasize the need for ongoing collaboration between secondary and post-secondary educators, as well as employers, to bridge gaps and align curriculum with the skills and dispositions necessary for students to thrive in an ever-evolving world.

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