Social Media as a Tool for Peer Collaboration with Elementary Students: A Teacher Inquiry Project
“While writing may be required from 8:25am until 9:15am in the physical classroom, writing can be taught 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year in the virtual classroom.” I have never thought of social media this way, but I think it is an excellent point. Students are constantly writing as they interact in social media; why not use this to our advantage? Digital writing allows a broad audience to have immediate accessibility to students’ writing. It also allows the students who have internet access to work on pieces and comment on peers pieces in their free time at home.
However, there are practical and safety issues to be considered. Such as what tools are safe for kids and do not require email addresses. Also, what tools can easily organize all the students’ work in one place. I thought it was neat that Christopher Working suggested KidBlog.org since we spent some time in class looking at that. I thought it was an awesome tool for digital writing! I agree with him that students need to be taught how to use digital writing (such as putting spaces after periods and how to properly comment on a blog). Digital writing is beginning to play a much larger role in education today, so introducing students early will benefit them.
Technology in Kindergarten
I am not sure what I think about students in Kindergarten using computers. I did not use a computer when I was this age; however the world is much more focused on technology now. My first graders use net-books on a daily basis. I do think it would be good to expose young children to technology, I just think they need a solid understanding of writing with paper and pencil first. I do not want my future children to rely on spell check and neglect handwriting.
Persuasion Through Public Service Announcements
I think using technology to get students interested in persuasive writing is a great idea. The students will still be participating in persuasive writing as their form a script for their commercial. The students were all very excited about this project and put a lot of effort into it.
Digitalis.nwp.org is a great website that has a variety of information about digital writing. There are many articles on a variety of different topics from social justice in media, to technology in Kindergarten, to pod-casts to persuasion through public service announcements. Many of the articles have additional articles, student examples or websites you can visit to learn more on the topic. I think this is a great resource to use when thinking about incorporating a type of digital tool in the classroom.