Discover the potential of the internet to engage your students in the writing process

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This was a presentation given at the RASA conference in May 2012

This was a presentation given at the RASA conference in May 2012

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  • 1. Discover the potential of the Internet to engageyour students in the writing process (RASA presentation) by Fiona Beal
  • 2. Introducing myself…• Have taught Grades 1 - 7 and was then appointed as Computer teacher at a local primary school where I made writing the hub of the computer room. Now working for SchoolNet SA in professional development in technology-integration. Am a Web 2 fanatic for FREE sites!• Writing is my passion – I am a textbook and story writer, a blogger, a creator of technology integration courses, etc.
  • 3. Background to this presentation (this is an explanation oflearners not being keen on writing in general and the importance of good pedagogy in writing lessons)
  • 4. The importance of pedagogy in writing – they must WANT to write
  • 5. Our digital learners start young these days
  • 6. The Internet is the teacher’s friend!
  • 7. Learn from the multitude of resource wikis available
  • 8.
  • 9. Start aScoop.it
  • 10. The Internet is full ofamazing templates for writing
  • 11. Poetry templates that also give an explanation of the type of poem being written
  • 12. Poetry idea engine
  • 13. Diamante Poems
  • 14. Write a Haiku
  • 15. Vocabulary templates to aid writing
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  • 19. The Internet can beused to encourage all sorts of writing
  • 20. Book reviews and book trailers
  • 21.
  • 22. Trailers
  • 23. 10 technology driven alternatives to book reports
  • 24. There are so many of thesetemplate-type sites available
  • 25. Talking avatars whereyou write the text and the avatar speaks
  • 26.
  • 27. Story starter sites to aid writing
  • 28. Use a programme like
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  • 32. Using photos inconjunction with writing
  • 33. Older classes like to use fake Facebookand Twitter templates
  • 34. Fake book
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  • 37. There are a number of ways to writenewspapers and then publish them
  • 38.
  • 39. Some of Microsoft’sfree tools can help you produce fabulous writing from your learners
  • 40. Microsoft’s free ‘Songsmith’ – the learners writethe lyrics and Songsmith creates music for them
  • 41. Microsoft’s free ‘Autocollage’The learners could create autocollages and then write poemsabout their pictures. This was done by an 8 year old at a school inJohannesburg.
  • 42. Windows MovieMaker can be used in so many ways using the writing process Grade 8 Science students were asked to create an HIV Aids Awareness campaign using Microsoft Movie Maker. One of the outstanding submissions was entitled Nandis Story and it tells the heartbreaking story of a teenage girl diagnosed with HIV Aids.
  • 43. Grade 4 students create their own stories with Windows Movie Maker Our Grade 4 students have been hard at work creating, illustrating and narrating their own stories using Microsoft MovieMaker.
  • 44. Creating video projects involves plenty of writing
  • 45. Other sites that can induce writing
  • 46. Voicethreads
  • 47. Glogsters
  • 48. • Backchannelling using TodaysMeet when starting something new
  • 49. The Internet is full of amazing free story writing sites
  • 50. Storyjumper http://www.storyjumper.comThis is flip-page book with artworkattached. You can enter a wholeclass to have these e-books
  • 51. A sample from Tamsyn in Grade 5
  • 52. A sample from Tamsyn in Grade 5
  • 53. Storybird http://www.storybird.comThis is a free online writingprogramme where you start withthe pictures and get the story fromthe pictures
  • 54. Storybird
  • 55. Little Bird Tales using-little-bird-tales-today/This is a free online writing programmewhich has a place for the learners to eitherdraw or add their own illustrations to theirstory, and also to narrate it their story so thatone reads and listen at the same time.
  • 56. /
  • 57. Story Maker
  • 58. My Storymaker
  • 59. Friendly letter creator
  • 60. Storyboard generator
  • 61. Character scrapbook
  • 62. The Internet is a greatplace for collaborative writing and creating e-books
  • 63. We sent codes from school to school (
  • 65. The Tooth FairyA collaborative story between three nations Part 1: Kirdup and Geocro in South Africa Part 2: Brandon in Canada Part 3: Alan, Jero and Nico in Argentina
  • 66. Part 1: The Loose Tooth
  • 67. One day a little girl was playing in the garden. Her name was Taylor andshe was playing with her cousin Kirsty. You see, Taylor had a wiggly tooth,and it was really bothering her, a lot. All of a sudden, POP! Out came thewiggly tooth!!"Hooray!" said Kirsty. "At last your tooth has come out. You will have to putit under your pillow so that the tooth fairy can come and get it and leaveyou some money.“"Oh really?" said Taylor clapping her hands with excitement.
  • 68. Our stories with sound project
  • 69. Blogs have anincredible potential for encouraging writing
  • 70. Think about starting a classroom blog or a subject blog
  • 71. Think about starting a classroom blog or a subject blog
  • 72. Use a blog to write book reports
  • 73. Further down in the same blog
  • 74.
  • 75. St Cyprians Gr 10 blogging project reading project that they set up involved groups of three students selecting novels with acommon theme and then blogging about these books as they read them, with each member ofthe group paying specific attention to plot, character or theme. The resulting blogs show how thestudents have engaged with the books and reflected on their interpretations of the novels. Thequestions and answers in the discussion threads show that the blogs have become a virtual bookclub in which students can ask one another questions and agree or disagree with one another’sinterpretations in a non-threatening environment. At the end of this project, students wereexpected to have one-on-one discussions with their English teacher about their books, a taskaccomplished with more flair and confidence after having sustained a conversation virtually onthe blog.Examples of student blogs:The Color PurpleRomeo & JulietEngelbyRumoursA million little pieces
  • 76. Romeo and Juliet
  • 77. Writing about slavery embedded-connected-classroom-englishMy students decided to create Common Craft-styled videos toeducate viewers about slavery. First, students needed to distill allof their “fact” knowledge into a compelling story. Then theyneeded to write the script, create paper characters, and finallybegin to practice moving their papers on the whiteboard. In theend, it took hours to coordinate movement with script, film &then edit our videos.As part of this project, my students have also Skyped intoclassrooms to teach what they have learned, so that otherstudents can begin this enormously important discussion in theirown communities. This is the connected part.
  • 78. Smuggling Zereda
  • 79. Price list for the various types of books
  • 80. Wikis have anincredible potential for encouraging writing
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  • 82. Writing a class novel using a wiki
  • 83. You can use a wiki to display all your class’s pieces of writing in e-book format
  • 84. Grade 6 stories put into – Karen Stadler’s project
  • 85. Projects and global projects with other schools haveincredible potential for encouraging writing
  • 86. Flat Stanley travel buddies
  • 87. Reading the diary as a podcast for the classroom blog
  • 88. The Internet can be an inspiring place for ateacher…find out what others are doing
  • 89. Join a global project
  • 90. Find out about cell phone projects - Teacher fromthe Leap School starts publishing house (Fundza) andincludes three mobi stories via Mxit per month
  • 91. Find out about the ‘Flipped class’ approach “My teaching . . . then and now • Before the technology/constructivist shift in my classroom, I would have taught all of this quite traditionally. We’d read books, answer questions, and then address those questions in class. I’d lecture a lot, with supplemental grammar lessons here and there, and I’d include some type of artistic project to achieve viewing and representing objectives. The whole design would have been extremely teacher centered. And at the end of it all, I’d hope they learned something about writing and thinking. • Instead, inquiry and technology are a natural part of our English classes. It’s what my students have come to expect and have started to design themselves. Instead, of saying, “hand in your assignments,” I say, “publish your assignments and send me the link.” They think about connecting and sharing their learning in the larger world. • That’s the 21st century difference.”
  • 92. Enter competitions that encouragewriting advertised on the Internet
  • 93. Skype in the classroom competition
  • 94. Thinkquest competition example
  • 95. So much is happening in the teaching world via the Internet. Share your experiences with other• Twitter – sharing ideas and resources• Tablets – are they next? Are they the answer?• Join in TeachMeets around the country• Join a local Twitterchat for teachers• Share a (as mentioned earlier) CONNECT ON THE INTERNET