I know many of us love having students write as a way to connect with others during the GRA, and this year judging from Edmodo conversations, many people, myself included, are looking for a new way to connect their students through meaningful technology integration. I am therefore excited to reveal that WriteAbout – www.writeabout.com – is partnering with the GRA to give a FREE one year Classroom Plus account ($40 for each account!) to all teachers who want to use it for the project (and beyond) this year!
Why am I so excited?
Because this is the tool I have been searching for to use with my students for their continued development as writers, not just bloggers, and connecting with others.
In the words of Wes Fryer, who recently compared 6 student blogging platforms in a post;
“…WriteAbout offers some unique and powerful features that set it apart from the other five blogging platforms I’m reviewing in this post. I love how students can join interest groups within the WriteAbout community, and when they post they can submit their entries to a group so other students with similar interests can read and comment on their ideas. This addresses a perennial problem with classroom blog posts, which is: How do I get the attention of others so they can read and provide feedback on my students’ ideas? This also promises to connect students directly to others with shared interests… which is exactly what “real” bloggers outside the classroom do!
I also love how WriteAbout lets students record audio messages within individual posts, without using a separate app or website. The options students have to post privately, for the class, or for the world are also fantastic, and resemble the new publishing options KidBlog has rolled out with their new version. It’s also great how the site provides a wealth of visual writing ideas. (John likes the phrase “writing ideas” much better than “writing prompt.”) This 84 second video provides a good overview of WriteAbout.”
So why use WriteAbout?
- It provides you with a writing community where students can choose to share within your own classroom, or share with other groups.
- Everything is safe; all can be moderated by the teacher.
- Provides wonderful writing ideas that students can use for inspiration.
- GRA has its own unique communities set up around each book to use to connect with each other.
- Outsiders can comment safely without being members (all guest comments are moderated by the teacher).
- There are scalable options for entire schools or districts who are looking for a writing and publishing platform. See those features here.
To get started using WriteAbout and sign up for your free account:
- You need to be a member of the Google Group for GRA to get this information because this is an amazing opportunity just for us.
This 7 minute video walks you through everything you need to know and the steps to get started with using Write About for the Global Read Aloud!
I am looking for a few volunteers (2 or 3 at least) per book to help me moderate each group within the GRA Groups . Training will be provided as well as support from WriteAbout, your main role would be to make sure posts are appropriate for the groups and you can also facilitate communication between participants if you would like. It should take no more than 10 minutes a day, but would help me out immensely.
Reply to me to let me know you are interested. This will not commit you to be a moderator but simply give you more information.