I was searching for something in our blog’s archives when I came across a video Ruth and I made about Bubbl.us, an online brainstorming tool, nearly four years ago. (Click here to watch that video. It’s one of the first ones we placed on TWT. We also created our first digital story on Movie Maker, together, around the same time. That will definitely give you a good laugh, so click here if you want a quick chuckle.) Since 2008, when we started blogging about technology and its role in the writing workshop, there have been a myriad of online tools and apps that have been created and have found their way into workshop classrooms around the country. What online tools or apps do you use in your writing workshop? What has transformed your teaching? Feel free to share anything that ranges from podcasting to digital story creation to social networking sites for kids and beyond. If you think other teachers can benefit from learning about the technology you and your students use successfully, then please leave a comment.
What kinds of online technology are you using in writing workshop?
Published by Stacey Shubitz
I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island. I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010). I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels. View all posts by Stacey Shubitz
4 thoughts on “What kinds of online technology are you using in writing workshop?”
What technology has transformed my teaching? I would have to say that it’s slicing with my kids on our class blog every Friday which I blogged about here : http://tmsteach.blogspot.com/2012/09/launching-slice-of-life-project-in-our.html and also using video prompts which I blogged about here : http://tmsteach.blogspot.com/2012/10/writing-workshop-video-prompts.html. I need to do more, obviously, but that’s what I’ve begun.
I just taught an online tool class with some 7th & 8th graders, hoping they will use them in their work in classrooms, Stacey. Some of the tools are IMovie, Animoto, Popplet, Glogster, and Wallwisher. I use Diigo to communicate with the class & to show them they can continue to use it to keep their own sites as they research. Teachers in class do more movies & podcasts as communication tools. No one is blogging, unfortunately. If I still had a class, I definitely would be doing it with students.
Writer’s Workshop is an ever-evolving process. At the beginning of the year, my 5th graders do almost all their writing in paper notebooks because that is what they did in grades 3 and 4.
Sometime around January, the 5th graders get to a place where they brainstorm on paper and type rough drafts.
But workshop goes beyond typing… I’ve started some Pinterest pages to bookmark lessons:
Kidblogs has changed my life this year. I had no idea the impact it would have on my students. I teach gifted at two schools, so the blog serves as a way my students from each school can read and respond to each other. The motivation for writing has increased tremendously.
I have set a goal for one writing project each week. The students are also asked to respond to at least 2 classmates. I use a rubric for participation that includes 4 aspects: 1. Posting in response to the prompt, 2. Using correct grammar and spelling, 3. Responding to 2 classmates, and 4. Responding with thoughtful and constructive comments. There are management tools that help me keep up with this easily.
I have not required this work from my younger students in 2nd and 3rd grade; however, they are probably my most enthusiastic writers. They beg me to let them post on the blog. Even my 4th grade math student is writing an ongoing story.
Another plus: Kidblogs is password protected, so our district internet service does not block it. I highly recommend the site.
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