Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
In an effort to increase writing and encourage students to increase the quality of their work, Fordson social studies teacher Angela Altomonte has been giving students assignments that they are to complete on their own individual blogs. Students use studentsites.dearbornschools.org to create a site and then post the assigned work on their blog. By default these blogs are only viewable by people with dearbornschools.org accounts–which means they’re not available to the broader public. This allows students and teachers to be able to see the work of other students because they have to log into StudentSites to see it.
For most students, publishing work online raises the stakes a little bit. Because it will be viewable by more people than just their teacher, many students put forth the extra effort to make things look good, care a little more about their grammar, and spend a little more time on the presentation. For some of these students, what would have been a simple writing prompt response statement has become a multi-media masterpiece.
Take a look at some samples of what students in Ms. Altomonte’s classes have done:
Why, as CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4 puts it, “produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience”–when there actually isn’t an audience? When students publish work online, there is an audience (or at least the potential for one).