Over the years, I have witnessed the power of social media and the draw of compelling images in the classroom. My students love connecting with others globally, and they are inspired by interesting photographs. Having a broader audience and a topic to write about is oftentimes all I need to turn student writers into published authors. With Write About,I have found a free tool that puts the power of both social media and images into the hands of my students.
Write About is a new social publishing platform designed for students to share creative responses to engaging images. Building background knowledge is essential when it comes to student learning, and children of all ages learn more about the world around them when they see and discuss interesting photographs. That said, Write About is chock-full of over 500 visual writing ideas, and students and teachers have the option of adding more!
Once you sign up for an account, enter your students and get started! The folks at Write About have thoughtfully included features that teachers and students will love:
Protect PrivacyStudents will be connecting with students and teachers worldwide on Write About. Though teachers can create closed groups, this is a great opportunity to teach students about protected participation in public groups - their identity is protected while their participation remains public. Teachers can monitor and moderate student posts as they become online authors.
Groups GaloreWhether your students are into Minecraft, origami, animals or sports, there are many public groups where kids can connect and write about their favorite topics. Teachers can also create public or private groups for students! Students can comment on each others’ posts, and teachers can leave feedback for students by posting annotation, voice recordings or private comments.
Customize ContentBecause students are motivated to participate on Write About, be sure to create content customized to fit your curriculum. You’ll be impressed by their reflections, and your lesson ideas can be shared with teachers Hither and Yon. Everyone benefits!
Bridge the GapHelping students make the leap from paper to digital writing takes know-how. The folks at Write About have provided valuable tools to teachers and students to make this happen. There is a Digital Writing Starter Kit Teacher Guide which includes tutorials for teachers new to these digitally-based lessons. There are also writing tools available to authors in the Writing Center including help with word choice, vocabulary and figurative language.
Take some time to open an account and see what Write About has to offer your students. Connect with others and see where the digital writing process takes you!
Suzy Brooks will be teaching a Technology in the Elementary Classroom workshop this summer in Boston for EdTechTeacher. You can learn about all of their workshops at ettsummer.org.