Educational Website Integration Scenario: Write About


Write About is a platform for digital writing in today’s classroom. The site describes itself as, “A community where students engage in high interest writing for an authentic audience and teachers help students grow through the writing process” (par. 1). Write About is a controlled blogging site specifically for students and teachers; simple and safe digital space to become a better writer. We want students to be able to grow as writers; I am a firm believer that more writing practice makes a better writer. The more you write, the better you become. I read that a student should be writing more than what the teacher is grading in a English Language Arts (ELA) classroom. Write About gives students a place to do just that. Students create the post assigned by teacher, on their own topic, or through the variety of subjects/ ideas available on the site. Students can receive feedback from teacher. Published posts can get be read and receive comments publicly, privately, or through specific groups.
The opportunities for this site are endless, the teacher has complete control of how he or she would like to use it in the classroom. One way that I would like to use Write About is in a weekly writing experience. I will have guidelines for the writing experience based on the current unit we are in and what I would like to see the students complete; argumentative, persuasive, reflection, personal narrative, poetry, analysis, etc. Then through the week, students will search through the topics made available on the site based on what I have provided them. I will keep most of their posts to being published within the classroom. At student's request, I will make them open to my other classrooms and to the public. I believe that students will be motivated to write better if it is open to their classmates (and parents). Often students are lazy in their writing experiences if it just another weekly assignment for their teacher to read. Posting to their classmates gives them an authentic audience and they become published authors. Once their post is finished, with pictures and videos if they choose to do so, they will need to respond to other students posts. This will help in the revision process for the commenter and the writer. Students will then have the opportunity to make changes before I respond. When I was little, I remember creating a short story book that was made available in the library for classmates to read. It made me become a better writer, I wanted to make sure that this short story would be a fun read for my classmates. I wanted to make them smile. I recall hearing from classmates and teachers that they read my short story and that they loved it. One stated that I should write an entire series. I can only imagine how much of a better writer I would have become during the school years if I had the opportunity to do this more than once. With this site, students have this opportunity each week!
     Often teachers and students are left with limited ideas in their writing and/or teachers are left with piles of papers to read and grade. Write About solves both of these issues quite simply; students have a variety of topics and teachers can read their posts from anywhere without having to carry around multitudes of folders of paper. Students often are bored with writing week after week for their teacher, Write About gives them an audience. Students of all writing levels can appreciate this platform. Students will low writing abilities receive a lot of practice in developing the writing process and gain feedback from their peers and teachers. Students with high writing abilities are able to choose from higher level topics and able to publish their material for other classrooms, the entire Write About community, or even published to all on the internet. English Language learners will benefit from having a variety of levels of topic and frequent feedback to assist them in learning the writing process. Those students with a various learning disabilities will benefit with the online environment; text to speech, videos, typing, read aloud instructions and topics, and more.
     This site truly is one for all students, eliminating common barriers in learning the skill of writing. I am truly excited about this site and cannot wait to use this or one similar in my future middle school ELA classroom.


References
Write About - Digital Writing for Classrooms. (n.d.). Retrieved from
     http://www.writeabout.com classroom.

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