Writing digitally

I am often asked, ‘how can I motivate my students/child to write more?’ It’s no secret that the more children write the better they will become.  It is also true that the more authentic the writing is the more effort is put into it as well. We know ourselves that when we are sending an email out to our supervisor, or writing a reference letter we are very motivated to make sure it is well written.  Audience does matter, with our students as well as our colleagues.

The best way to have students care about their writing is to give them authentic writing tasks. Here are some ideas:

  • ePals– having students communicating to other students around the world through email. ePals helps you epalsconnect with others and sets you up with student email accounts that are walled (secured).
  • Write scripts for podcast ‘radio shows’
  • Digital storytelling projects can be done with almost any topic/content. Students could write a memoir and turn it into a digital story using PhotoStory, Movie Maker, iMovie, or any of the free photo/video tools on the web.
  • Writing their own storybooks to publish online and print out
  • Creating ‘how to’ tutorials to share with a global audience (could publish on a wiki or website)
  • Have digital conversations through blogging

Do you have ideas on other authentic digital writing projects?  Add them here and share them with others.

This digitally writing series will continue with:

Part 2: Digital Story tools (tools online where students create stories within the website)

Part 3: Digital Writing… graphically speaking (creating graphic novels and comics)
Part 4: Publishing writing (Two ways to publish on the web)

Part 5: Online Publishing Tools

Part 6: Student Publishing Sites

For more information on digital storytelling check out the following posts:

Telling a story digitally

5 thoughts on “Writing digitally

  1. I have found that by using Storybird my students are now more empowered with their writing., they enjoy it and the amount of students writing them at home after school is amazing.

    We have also set up individual blogs for our students as well. This is a truly unique opportunity for the students to interact with other members of the class.

    1. @2sparkley, Thanks for the ideas for authentic writing. I explore storybird in part two of ‘digital writing’, it looks like a great tool and is growing and changing for the best all the time. I’m glad you are using it with your students, the artwork is beautiful.

  2. My class have English pen-pals, from a year 5 class in Dorset. They love writing them letters and yes many of them choose to write using pen and paper. The thrill of receiving them back is all the motivation they need to continue the process.

    1. @Mrs Miller, We often forget that yes it is also great to get a letter through the mail. Whether we have them write with pen and paper, or email the excitement is truly amazing. Thanks for the comment!

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