Monday, November 29, 2010

Writing for a Global Audience - Classroom goes Real World

Students are energized after finding out that their writing is being read globally.
It just got real . . . Real World!  "Canadians love me!" and "Look, Latvia is reading my blog!" and "Wow, they found my blog by searching for Thoreau and Gandhi!" bounced around the classroom.  Today, students were introduced to the Stats tab of their blogs.  It was eye-opening and became a competition for bragging rights for the blog with the most countries viewing it.

Doing their summer reading journals on a blog for their Accelerated English classes (A4 and B1, this group of students have been blogging for me since June.  When school started back up in late August, the blogs evolved into a creative writing journals as well as a means to publish literary analysis assignments.

Students were told from the beginning that having their writing online meant that the world would see their writing.  Writing this year has been much better than in years past when the writing was just between the student and myself.  There are still some minor grammar mistakes and some typos here and there, but the work is considerably more polished than the work that was stuffed in the "in box" organizer of the past.

Now that the students have realized that people are reading their blogs, they are more attentive to their writing.  Some were confused that people were reading their blogs but were not commenting.  They have heard of  "lurkers" before, and we discussed how most people are comfortable reading the blogs, but not so comfortable adding a comment to a blog of someone that they do not know.  I told them that it is a matter of time before they start seeing comments from people that they do not know.

Because the quality of writing and analysis has been increasing, I also announced that I will be choosing a Student Highlight a few days each week.  I will tweet out a student's blog on #edchat and #engchat.  I will announce the blog as a Student Highlight and will ask for comments.  As page views increase, I am confident that the writing will continue to improve.

The audience just went from "public" to "scholars" in a matter of moments.  While they are excited to see their published writing being viewed, I am ecstatic to see them so excited about their writing!  The energy in the classroom is amazing!  Throughout my teaching career I have been striving to bring bits of the Real World into the classroom - now, bits of the classroom are being taken to the Real World.

No comments:

Post a Comment