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Teaching Innovations: DW

published by Janet Hester

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Digital Writing
ESC Region 13   ::   Teaching Innovations   ::    Austin, TX
January 2014
Written by: Region 13 Literacy Team
Student-Composed Blogs
Typically when students write in school they are writing only for the eyes of their teacher in order to earn a grade. The connection to real-world writing or a public audience is usually not discernible, and sometimes not even present. The “so what?” for writing is not answered. The age-old student question, "When am I ever going to use this?" is a valid one. Students deserve an authentic context, and that context has never been easier to provide than it is in today's digital age. Access to industry specific writing, a live audience, and ways to participate and create abound via the internet. Secure and safe student blogs are easy to implement, and they provide instant engagement and relevance.
Implementation Steps
Find reliable technology and ensure sufficient bandwidth.
Research blogs. Determine the safety and accessibility features that will work best for your students and needs.
Determine how your students will use the blog: as a Writer's Notebook? a place to receive feedback on writing experiments? a place to publish processed pieces?
Plan how you will motivate students to contribute to blog. Assignments? Badges?
Allow for learning--yours and students'. Be patient. Look for ways to improve the process, but also look for success.
Share your experience with others. Tweet your findings to your professional account. FB links to student posts on school's page.
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