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Collaborative writing
 

Collaborative writing

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Digital media can encourage social interaction and promote learning outcomes. Teacher-librarians at four Brisbane schools – two boys' and two girls' schools - initiated a collaborative project to ...

Digital media can encourage social interaction and promote learning outcomes. Teacher-librarians at four Brisbane schools – two boys' and two girls' schools - initiated a collaborative project to foster creative writing in Year 8 students. This project explored the notion of shared writing, challenging students to produce a joint story.

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    Collaborative writing Collaborative writing Presentation Transcript

    • Spring Hill Young WritersPromoting an engaging and collaborative writing experience Brisbane Girls Terrace All Hallows Brisbane Grammar School (St Joseph’s College) School Grammar School ASLA XXII Biennial Conference, 2-5 October 2011
    • The teacher librarians at four inner city schools – two girls’ schoolsand two boys’ schools – initiated a collaborative writing project forYear 8 students to investigate if it would improve their enjoymentof and success in writing.Eight students from each school were divided into groups of four –one from each school. Over two days, and with the guidance ofauthor, Brian Falkner, each had to write the same story, but fromthe voice of a different character.A shared wiki was set up where students could write their stories,and some of the final stories were published. Parents were invitedto an initial dinner and a final awards evening.Feedback from students, parents, TLs and author all supported theidea that collaboration promotes an engaging writing experience.
    • What we did…How and why we did it… What they said… What worked well…
    • ‘Pushing the boundaries’
    • Offer something different and challenging:COLLABORATION, COOPERATION, ICT TOOLS
    • Basic Organisational Decisions What we did …• 32 students • wiki• groups of 4 • TL input• author • celebration• parental involvement • publication• scenario • timing
    • The Program• Welcome function – Wednesday evening• Writing day #1 – Thursday• Writing day #2 – Friday [last days of Term 1]• Holiday – time to write, collaborate and edit• Presentation evening – Thursday [week 2 of Term 2]
    • Welcome Function
    • Food is always a good idea.
    • Find an enthusiastic author.
    • Engage their interests.
    • Actively involve your participants.
    • Reward their participation.
    • Writing Day #1
    • Organise groups early.
    • Plan activities with an element of choice.
    • Give them starting points and ideas.
    • Allow time for planning and negotiating.
    • Offer suggestions and assistance – but not too much.
    • Provoke and challenge. Throw in twists.
    • Ensure there is time to compose.
    • Writing Day #2
    • Sometimes writing is more difficult on the second day.
    • One of the positive benefits was …
    • the collaboration and …
    • … the cooperation.
    • Allow down time, and time to …
    • … laugh!
    • Emphasise that they are one group as well as many.
    • The Presentation Evening
    • Make it worthwhile attending.
    • Celebrate student accomplishments.
    • Make awards to the very best.
    • Ask for their honest feedback but also …
    • … read their faces.
    • Pedagogy and Technology Used How and why we did it …
    • Tool Powerhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/5019211728/
    • It’s not about the tool,It’s about the learning purpose.... Collaborative writing WikiAim:32 students, from 4 schools, collaborating in groups about writing, both online and in person, at school and outside school, to increase engagement, improve writing, for an authentic audience. BlurbSo what tools and why?
    • Collaborative writing
    • Why Collaborative Writing?Collaboration – aids in problem finding as well as problem solving. – aids in learning abstractions. – aids in transfer and assimilation; it fosters interdisciplinary thinking. – leads not only to sharper, more critical thinking (students must explain, defend, adapt), but to a deeper understanding of others. – leads to higher achievement in general. . . . – promotes excellence. In this regard, I am fond of quoting Hannah Arendt: For excellence, the presence of others [collaboration] is always required.‘ – engages the whole student and encourages active learning; it combines reading, talking, writing, thinking; it provides practice in both synthetic and analytic skills." (Andrea Lunsford, "Collaboration, Control, and the Idea of a Writing Center." The Writing Center Journal, 1991) http://grammar.about.com/od/c/g/Collaborative-Writing.htm
    • Writing is increasingly digital, collaborative and onlinehttp://www.fanfiction.net/http://www.fictionpress.com/ original
    • Why care about fan sites and fan writing?
    • Collectively, The Mortal Instruments series of books have spent 28 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List. http://screenrant.com/mortal-instruments-movie-next-twilight-robf-32936/
    • “You and I grew up with the notion of the little girl [boy] curled up in her chair reading, or the writer in her garret, right?”… “But what we’ve discovered is that when you move the function of reading and writing online, the social aspect comes forward.” http://spotlight.macfound.org/featured-stories/entry/the-future-of-reading-and-writing-is-collaborative/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20macfound/iQaL%20Spotlight%20on%20Digital%20Media %20and%20Learning
    • Collaborative writing on mobile phonesAt the end of 2010, one of the 2 best selling books in Japan was a 142-page hardback book that was originally typed on a mobile phone. Rin’s Moshimo Kimiga (If You …) began as a series of instalments that was sent out to the phones of thousands of subscribers. When it was converted into a hardcopy book, it sold more than 420,000 copies in the first 2 months.“It might seem strange that young readers are going out and buying the book after they’ve already read the story on their mobile. Often it’s because they email suggestions and criticisms to the author on the novel website as the story is unfolding, so they feel like they’ve contributed to the final product, and they want a hardcopy keepsake of it.” http://www.smh.com.au/news/mobiles– handhelds/in-japan-cellular-storytelling-is-all-the- rage/2007/12/03/1196530522543.htmlFive of the ten best selling novels in Japan in 2007 were keitai shousetsu or cellphone novels. These novels were originally written and published to phones via text messaging, by and for young adults. This phenomenon began in 2003, and spread to countries such as South Korea, China and South Africa.Maho no i-rando (Magic Island) is a site that has free tools to help readers create their own mobile phone novels. It has accumulated nearly 1 million works in its first 7 years of operation.
    • At school - Clouds got in my way...
    • Wiki
    • Wikis, Blogs, Google Docs?Issues• Control of information – if we delete the wiki, who owns the content? Facebook.• No spellcheck - need to produce it first in Word for spellchecking. Google docs has its own spellcheck .• Formatting.• Privacy.• Ease of use – problems with passwords.• May need it unblocked. http://blogswikisdocs.wikispaces.com/
    • Wikispaces
    • Blurb
    • Here is an example of Issuu online only - no hardcover book – pdf format only.http://issuu.com/mrburrettsclass/docs/ictmagic_sh ow_jun_11?mode=embed&showFlipBtn=trueThe other 2 options are Blurb and Lulu. Both provide online plus hard-cover books.http://photos.timchuma.com/advice/blurb_vs_lulu. htmBlurb – can copy and paste, pdf or own design. Must order print copy within 2 weeks or book will be deleted – load to Issuu first
    • Here is an example of issuu online only - no hardcover book – pdf format onlyhttp://issuu.com/mrburrettsclass/docs/ictmagic_sh ow_jun_11?mode=embed&showFlipBtn=trueThe other 2 options are blurb and lulu. Both provide online plus hard cover books.http://photos.timchuma.com/advice/blurb_vs_lulu. htmBlurb – can copy and paste, pdf or own design - have to order print copy within 2 weeks, or book will be deleted – load to issuu first
    • Authentic AudiencesOur print book, ordered July 10, arrived on July 14Can be shared online with everyone and anyone at no cost (for 2 weeks anyway with Blurb)http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/invited/18173 05/33dc7953dc4f71571d8a041e9378dc8abf65 220f
    • Conclusion
    • Tool Power - Power Learning $Active learning $Engagement $Collaboration $Problem solving $Critical thinking $Higher achievement $Abstractions $Transferhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/tom-margie/5019211728/
    • Reflections What they said …
    • Q1 - What did you learn from the opportunity of working with an accomplished author?
    • Q1: Notes• Inspiration & getting started I learnt how to start every story idea with what if..‘• Planning a story• Plot structure • I learnt a lot from Brian, but the thing that will stay with me forever is the structure of the story. Ive learnt a lot of story structures but Brians was different and fun, and I will use it in other stories I write.• Opening lines I learnt some useful tips about the climax of the story and a lot about opening lines.
    • Q1: Notes• Story Climax• Character development • I learnt how to write a story with an engaging plot, and also how to form my characters over a space of time.• Effective descriptions• Stories are complicated to write and require effort I learnt that to produce a good story you have to think outside your comfort zone.• Authors That authors are cool :) accomplished writers are a little strange!
    • Q1 - What did you learn from the opportunity of working with an accomplished author? I learnt how to start every story idea with what if..‘
    • Q1 - What did you learn from the opportunity of working with an accomplished author?Newberg, Kim 2011, Building StructureSeries, Public Domain Pictures, viewed 25 July 2011, <<a href="http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view- image.php?image=8465&picture=building-structure-series">BuildingStructure Series</a> by Kim Newberg>.
    • Q1 - What did you learn from the opportunity of working with an accomplished author? That authors are cool :)Accomplished writers are a little strange!
    • Q2 - What did you gain from the opportunity to work with other people your age who are also interested in writing creatively?
    • Q2: Notes• New approaches & techniques I think I learnt a lot of new words, phrases and methods that I wouldnt have thought of.• Different ideas• Companionship & fun It was great working with the other writers. We share the same passion and I could really connect with them. I gained more knowledge from them.
    • Q2: Notes• Cooperation skills Accepting other people’s opinions and being helped by them. For the first time, writing has reached the heights of a team sport for me, and compromise and negotiation can be both good and bad. It was great working with the other writers. We share the same passion and I could really connect with them. I gained more knowledge from them.• Connections with like-minded peers I now know that there really are others like me, who enjoy writing as much as I do and who can write stories that I can go "thats brilliant, why didnt I think of that?"
    • Q2 - What did you gain from the opportunity to work with other people your age who are also interested in writing creatively?I now know that there really are others like me,who enjoy writing as much as I do and who canwrite stories that I can go "thats brilliant, why didnt I think of that?"
    • Q2 - What did you gain from the opportunity to work with other people your age who are also interested in writing creatively? Image from Microsoft Office
    • Q3 - What was the most difficult of challenging aspect of the workshop?
    • Q3: Notes• Getting started• Working with a given scenario• The time limit• Finishing the story• Meeting a deadline• Editing
    • Q3: NotesGroup work (most students found this difficult) The most difficult aspect of the workshop was working in groups because not everything we talked about was agreed with. In my opinion, the most challenging part of this workshop was attempting to collaborate our stories without meeting up with my other group members and asking their opinions. The most challenging part of the workshop was communicating with my group (my story had nothing to do with theirs).
    • Q3 - What was the most difficult or challenging aspect of the workshop? Image from Microsoft Office
    • Q3 - What was the most difficult or challenging aspect of the workshop?The most challenging part of the workshop was communicating with my group (my story had nothing to do with theirs).
    • Q4 - In your opinion, what was the best aspect of the workshop?
    • Q4: Notes• Working with an accomplished author. They all enjoyed Brian.• Working with like-minded peers.• Group work (some of the same kids who found this the most difficult aspect also found it the most rewarding). The best aspect of the workshop was meeting new people who have a keen interest in writing and gaining new friends. Also it has been a great honour working with a well-known author such as Brian Falkner.
    • Q4 - In your opinion, what was the best aspect of the workshop? The best aspect of the workshop was meetingnew people who have a keen interest in writing, and gaining new friends. Also, it has been agreat honour working with a well known author such as Brian Falkner.
    • Q5 - How has your writing changed since attending the workshop?
    • Q5: Notes• More planning• Improved descriptions• More structure• Attempt different perspectives• Improved dialogue• Consider reader engagement• More editing I now realise why editing is so important, and why authors hate editors.
    • Q5 - How has your writing changed since attending the workshop?I now realise why editing is so important, and why authors hate editors.
    • Q6 - Do you think the wiki was a useful tool for a group of people working on a combined project?
    • Q6: NotesYES because:• Easy to access• Enabled students to communicate• Could view each other’s workNO because:• Editing was difficult• No spell check Yes and No. Yes because it was very interactive and No because there were certain restrictions like no spell-check.
    • Q6 - Do you think the Wiki was a useful tool for a group of people working on a combined project?Yes and No. Yes because it was very interactiveand No because there were certain restrictions like no spell-check.
    • Q7 - Would you recommend this workshop to other students if it was offered again?
    • Q7: Notes• Fun• Great to work with an author• Improve creative writing Yes. They would gain a lot of things from doing this workshop and it really would strengthen relationships between students and librarians.
    • Q7 - Would you recommend this workshop to other students if it was offered again?Yes. They would gain a lot of things from doing this workshop and it really would strengthenrelationships between students and librarians.
    • Video - reflections from students
    • Parent Feedback: What pleased you?
    • PQ1: Notes• Dynamic, published author• Collaborative school approach• Well planned program• Workshop style• Team work• Range of venues• Opportunity for students to work with peer group sharing similar interests• Including parents at opening and closing events• Students grew in confidence• High quality of end product• Opportunity based on desire/passion for writing• Required effort to achieve the finished product
    • Parent Feedback: What worked well?
    • PQ2: Notes• The opening night – teacher librarians’ input, author’s introduction and ice-breaker game.• Presentation evening showcasing writing and celebrating efforts.• Having time on holidays away from other commitments to complete writin.g• The use of each location and transport provided.• Author related well to students.• Interaction between four schools.• Using technology – wiki.
    • Parent Feedback: What do you suggest we do differently next time?
    • PQ3: Notes• Wiki – worthwhile but students weren’t clear on use as a communication tool – more explanation needed• Make presentation power point available on College websites• More assistance with editing• One more working session• Give parents more information about the final written product – 1 story with four contributors or four separate stories?• Catering on final night• Team story – all four have to be committed or do individual stories• Impetus & some enthusiasm lost on holidays
    • ‘Fantastic!’ Brian Falkner
    • Brian: NotesWhat pleased you about the workshops?• The enthusiasm of everyone concerned was wonderful to see. I really appreciated the effort put in by the teachers, and the energy and enthusiasm displayed by the students.What worked well?• The best aspect of the workshops was the ability to spend a number of days with the participants, developing their stories over a sustained period of time.• Another excellent aspect was the final day, after they had had time to work on their stories over a number of weeks.What do you suggest we do differently next time?• I don’t really have any suggestions here. This would have been the best multi-day workshop with students that I have ever done. I felt it was a great success.
    • Animoto Videohttp://animoto.com/play/9WHwQcAknRv0ubidqaUntA
    • Implications What worked well
    • The author • Brian Falkner was very enthusiastic and inspiring. • He is a published author and the students respected his ability.
    • The team• This was a great way to work together with other teacher librarians.• We were doing something collaborative, not competitive.• Involving a team took the pressure off one school doing all the organising.
    • Involving the parents • Parents were invited to the first evening and the final evening. • Letters were sent home explaining the process and seeking permission for publishing stories and photos. • Parent feedback was given at the end of the project.
    • The groups• One student from each school was alphabetically allocated to each group.• Each group was made up of two boys and two girls.• The students at times found it challenging to compromise their own ideas and work as a group, but this is a model of what will happen in their future careers.• They enjoyed the social interactions in their groups.
    • The story development • On the first night Brian introduced the students to a story structure. • At the beginning of each session he introduced new story elements so the students were able to keep adding to and improving their initial writing.
    • The social interaction • The students were a little shy at first, but after the first two sessions they felt very comfortable talking to students from other schools. • One of the selection criteria was for students to be happy to work in a group setting.
    • The different venues • All four schools involved hosted a session. • The students enjoyed going to the different schools, and it gave them a sense of shared community. • This also took the pressure off any one school to organise all the events.
    • The food • On the first night, parents and students were invited to a buffet dinner at BGGS. • Terrace and All Hallows provided morning tea and lunch on the writing days. • BGS provided supper for the Presentation Evening. • Costs were then shared equally between the four schools.
    • The activities • Brian used activities to introduce humour and fun into each of his sessions. • These helped the students to relax and feel comfortable with each other. • Prizes were edible!
    • The awards • Parents were invited. • Pens, trophies and certificates were awarded. • Supper was provided. • Best Individual Story • Best Group Story • Best Title • Best Opening Line • Funniest Line • Ickiest Line • Best Concluding Line
    • The published book
    • Implications What didn’t work
    • Some aspects of the wiki • Permission was blocked for students with Hotmail addresses. • There was no spell- checker. Text created in Word and pasted into the wiki often had trouble with formatting. • We needed to first demonstrate how to use the wiki to comment on other students’ work, and to message each other.
    • Not all groups ‘pushed the boundaries’• We wanted to extend the students out of their comfort zones.• Not all felt comfortable to work with other students’ ideas.• Not all were happy to write about the character that was allocated to them, so they wrote a story they felt comfortable with. This won’t be allowed next time.
    • The length of the stories • Students wrote too much – one story was 15 pages long! • There needs to be a definite length set from the beginning to encourage precise writing. • It took a lot of time for the author to read all of the stories.
    • The amount of time to edit• Editing was very time- consuming.• It was difficult to contact students from other schools after the workshop.• It was difficult to find time to meet with the other TLs.
    • Implications for other schools
    • • Writing is essentially a personal and potentially lonely experience, but students love collaboration and working in groups.• This type of project works better in a face-to-face environment, rather than with schools in other cities/countries.• It’s best to choose highly-motivated, capable students as a trial, otherwise there may be possible behavioural issues and extensive editing.• It’s important to have an author who teaches narrative crafting and story construction, rather than a teacher.• There needs to be a shared online space for writing, viewing and editing.• Make time for a wiki exercise and encourage students to use it as a communication tool for commenting on each other’s stories.
    • • Allow a few days for the students to write their stories, however it’s essential to set a word limit.• It would have been good to have allowed one more day for editing and to show the students how to publish their stories online.• It would be possible to reduce costs by cutting down on food and accommodation provided.• The final presentation evening, with parents invited, worked very well.• It was a good way to establish strong ties with other schools and colleagues, and to share the tasks.• It was an innovative way to improve literacy and enthusiasm, and to incorporate ICT skills into the curriculum.
    • It was a fabulous experience!!
    • Find our documents here… http://www.scribd.com/bgslibrary http://www.scribd.com/documentshttp://animoto.com/play/9WHwQcAknRv0ubid qaUntA http://www.blurb.com/books/2304958
    • PresentersKristine Cooke Brisbane Girls Grammar SchoolAnne Weaver All Hallows School http://readingpower.wordpress.comHelen Stower Mt Alvernia CollegeCathy Oxley Brisbane Grammar School http://libguides.brisbanegrammar.com
    • ‘Pushing the boundaries’ Brisbane Girls Terrace All Hallows Brisbane Grammar School (St Joseph’s College) School Grammar SchoolPromoting an engaging and collaborative writing experience