This digital classroom space is brought to you by -- and supported by -- Young Writers Project (YWP), a small non-profit in Vermont. This platform is a powerful tool for this class to create community stories, practice writing, use digital media, give each other support and engage in independent projects. It is a private space -- only teachers and students with accounts can see the content.
This website is specifically designed for you to participate in YWP's My Community Story Project. Teachers can create their own challenges, combine them in a workshop here (a collection of sequential challenges) or import challenges from https://mycommunity.ywpvt.org (teachers need to log into that site to access this content and to bring it to this site. Go to that link for more.) The challenges are grouped by "genre" (mostly in the narrative text type, but also grouped by idea-development, research/interviewing, digital media, feedback, editing, polish and audience.) There is a workshop on this site for you to get started with community storytelling; YWP will be holding video conferences during the year, first on a few technical walk-throughs, and then on the content; the latter will also afford an opportunity for teachers to share and learn from colleagues. We hope that teachers will bring students into those conversations as well.
Young Writers Project has worked extensively with youths and teachers. Since 2006, YWP has connected with 100,000+ youths -- mostly through its open, online community at youngwritersproject.org and offered guidance to 2,000 teachers. We have found that these digital spaces -- when used regularly -- increase students' interest and performance in writing. For more details of all that YWP is providing in the 2017/18 school year, go to https://youngwritersproject.org/ywp4teachers.
The platform is robust and offers some of these features:
- Easy access to work which is automatically grouped by each challenge -- students merely click the RESPOND button at the bottom of each challenge to post their work;
- Text and audio commenting on individual posts (click the post's TITLE to see the full version, at which time the comment box will appear to the right);
- Revision history where the student author and teacher can view and compare changes that were made in a post;
- Teachers can post private annotations within the body of a student's work that only the student can see;
- Teachers can send a private message to a student, a student can reply and also send a message to a teacher; (there is no student-to-student messaging; sorry, kids);
- Full digital media integration including drag-and-drop upload of multiple photos to create a slideshow; upload or direct recording of audio onto a post or comment; easy, un-moderated commenting (and an easy sort to see all comments posted); and embedded video (copy embed code from video display site);
- Integration with Google Docs and Microsoft docs (including PowerPoint). Just upload to the "embed file" field in a blog or challenge;
- The ability to select all of a single "author's" work (recent posts) to cut and paste into a desktop portfolio program;
- The ability to print, email or create PDFs from any post or challenge;
- Teachers can create individual challenges or import challenges to this site from the My Community Story site or youngwritersproject.org. (Again, think of a challenge as a simple, one- or two-step prompt, exercise or assignment, like a daily quick write);
- Teachers can create a workshop -- a series of sequential challenges that lead to a more complex finished project. An example is the starter workshop on this site, My Community -- Getting Started;
- Teachers can import resources to this site from https://mycommunity.ywpvt.org as well;
- AND students can access the YWP Academy, a collection of short, fun workshops of varying levels in writing, digital media and issues: https://youngwritersproject.org/academy or just join the YWP site to share work and have fun.
Contact Geoffrey Gevalt for help or more information.