Urging students to write in the age of Twitter, texting, and Facebook


Technology resources for writing

Virtual Village Classroom is one product that’s gaining traction in classrooms, specifically because of its focus on flipped learning.

Each month, a new 400+ page ePublication publishes on the website, giving K-12 teachers access to four reading and writing lessons with imbedded critical thinking skills. Lessons include videos modeling the writing process for teachers to use with their students in the traditional or flipped classroom format.

Writing lessons include print and video modeling lessons in all four modes of writing, and each lesson is followed by an activity aligned with Common Core State Standards, and additional activities using the Speaking and Listening standards. Video lessons are modeled by writing specialist and author, Darren J. Butler. After spending nearly fourteen years traveling to schools training teachers and students for state based writing assessment, he provides an invaluable resource to teachers.

Another resource is BoomWriter Storytellers Camp, which invites kids ages 9-14 to sign up for a new and innovative week-long online camp that brings campers together to write, edit and publish original works with first chapter “story starts” created by the award-winning Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney.

Kids collaborate with others online to create their own stories and come away with published books. Campers get writing tips and can even participate in a Skype chat with Jeff Kinney.

BoomWriter Storytellers Camp hopes to inspire kids to write and showcase their creativity while helping to prevent summer learning loss. Registration is open for camp sessions starting July 22, 2013.

Zaner-Bloser is also trying to entice students to write through its Online Writing Center, a writing and grammar program written to the Common Core State Standards. The Center provides a teacher-managed environment where students can use technology to produce and publish writing and to interact with and collaborate with others.

The Online Writing Center also includes ‘My Writing Pad,’ a built-in word processing application. Students can write essays, submit assignments, and receive teacher feedback online; it also includes ‘Peer to Peer, Peer Group, and Teacher-led Conferencing.’

(Next page: Apps for writing)

Meris Stansbury

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