Making Writing More Multimedia
This class is dedicated to finding interesting ways of bringing technology to writing. Since writing is a component that we find in all curricular areas, this can be an incredibly powerful thing to introduce to your classroom, no matter what you teach. I have found that there is are so many ways to make writing more multimedia, with the technological tools that we have.
Making writing a multimedia presentation is something that can fuel students' creation. This can look so diverse. Bringing multimedia (many types of media) to a writing fosters creativity with the writing process, if taught well. Multimedia writing can bring students more of a sense of pride in their product as well. There has been a lot of studies showing that giving students choices, creates deeper learning and natural differentiation within subjects. Writing is no different. We can have pictures, videos, recordings, music, screencasts, clip art, drawings and much more adding to our writing, to make it a more meaningful product and students' exploration can create things we never thought could be accomplished. As you layer different tools together, we see active literacy in action as students read, write, draw, speak, listen and view to share their thinking. These multi-modal response options allow students to enter the learning sequence where they are able and thus, provide accurate feedback on what a child knows and is able to do.
Think of what you can do with a student's writing to take it beyond the page in this lesson. Here are some examples:
-Templates can add a lot to the way it looks. Add in pictures and videos as well.
-Journalism is in the new ELA core. Students need to think more deeply about communicating writing. Students can create their own thoughts in many ways with other media elements. Cinematic personal essays are a great way for students to take their stories and show it.
-Take a persuasive/argumentative essay and turn it into a public service announcement.
-Creating an essayistic documentary based culturally relevant customs and stories.
-Use Adobe Spark to turn writing into more of a slide-movie with voice over.
-Explain Everything. Do a screencast of a biography or an argumentative essay, to give live publishing to a document.
-TouchCast Studio. Do a newscast of an essay.
-Shadow Puppet or Toon Tastic. Give life to a script.
-iBooks Author, Book Creator, Creative Book Builder, Kid In Story, etc... Create an eBook of your writing.
-Google Earth (Lit Trips). Create a journey through a digital map, of a book essay.
-QR Codes and writing (put QR codes in writing to enhance the paper with interactivity. Use QR code to bring up digital version that people can download or keep.)
-Photography apps (StencilPic or any interesting photography app. Use the app to take a picture to enhance a writing. Embed picture in writing to help the reader picture more clearly what is being written about)
-Use writing as a script to create a podcast on any topic, by making a voice recording of the paper.
How to Draft:
-Drafting on a word processing platform is necessary. Word, Pages, Google Docs, Evernote and more are coming up every day. This is something that all kids can learn to do and understand the power of their words. It is such a great process to see a student take a handwritten document and have it show up, all nice and clean, in a typed document. It puts a finish on a paper unlike one that can be achieved with only handwriting. There are new apps being created constantly that are new word processing platforms. Many of these are created with the idea of how functionality or aesthetic aspects can be improved. People are always trying to improve Microsoft Word or Apple's Pages.
-Draft feature articles, poetry novels, branded blogs, challenge-based learning persuasive writing, choose your own adventure with a slide based program (PowerPoint, Keynote, etc...), current events with science writing or comic strip writing. These are all wonderful ideas that you can apply to your classroom. They are wonderful outside the box concepts.
-Digital ink is a newer idea that is interesting and powerful. Digital ink is how we can use a touch-enabled machine to write thoughts down the same way that we do with paper. You can use a stylus or even your finger (gasp*). There are equivalent platforms for using your handwriting digitally, as there are for word processing. Some word processing platforms even have the capabilities of writing with digital ink nowadays.
-Voice to text. One of my favorite concepts that I ever heard about writing was that "talking is just writing in the air." I don't know why this was so powerful for me, but it really helped me to understand and help my students understand that whatever they say, can be written. Most portable devices that have a microphone, can take speech and turn it directly into text on the screen. This is absolutely mind-blowing if you think about it. I loved having kids write assignments with speech to text, because, inevitably, it meant that they would have some serious punctuation editing that they would have to do, or they would have to say their punctuation explicitly in to the machine. I love the idea of a student having to picture where their sentence ends, or needs help, and having to speak the punctuation.
-Recording your voice. Think of how I said that writing is talking in the air. With technology, you can actually record your voice writing and then transcribe (in the literal sense) what you have said.
-On most devices, students can now change their keyboards to incorporate other languages and this is a fascinating concept for writing in general. Students of other languages can write in their primary/secondary language and then turn it in how they need to, much more readily.
-Drafting an eBook with voice and drawing pictures to illustrate their thoughts.
-Think of teaching "test writing" as a genre to help children understand how to write for a test. How could effective drafting help with the improvement of test scores?
-Gamifying editing can be a fun activity and rewarding. Get passages that kids can search and find, to try applying to their own work. (Grading Game)
-Lists for Writers is a great app that comprises general lists to help with coming up with ideas to replace words.
-Online dictionary/thesaurus services are amazing. Let the kids log on and find words to enrich the wonderful thoughts that they have.
-Turnitin. This is one of the most amazing plagiarism platforms education has ever seen. Just upload a student's work and it searches the whole web.
-Auto-correct. Turn it off.
-Speak Selection and listen to passage, while listening for things that sound weird.
-Using track changing elements to mark up a writing and let them choose whether to accept the changes or not.
-Take a look at the pen in this article, for those of you who would not like to get away from the paper and pen(cil) option. This is an article on a pen that lets you know if you make a mistake while writing on paper. http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/19/tech/innovation/spellcheck-lernstift-pen/ .
-Here is a cool revision checklist to use with writing, in a digital classroom. RevisingChecklist-2.pdf
Making Writing More Multimedia:
-Adobe Spark online
-Adobe Spark app
-Interesting idea for working on dialogue
-Living Wax Museum idea
-Innovative Project Ideas
-Podcast project idea
-QR Code Generator
-The QR Code Generator
-Go QR me
-AR ideas for the classroom
-More AR ideas
Here are some ideas for how collaboration can be used in the writing process, with technology:
-Writing in Today's Meet or Padlet during a lesson. Students can see others' ideas and respond to them. This is a great brain-storming platform to use with other people.
-Use cloud-based platform to share writing and have others edit or view.
-Living documents (Pages, Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc...). Student's can collaboratively write, edit and create together.
-Digital meeting platforms can be amazing (Moxtra, Baiboard, Padlet, Today's Meet, Apollo by Atlas Learning, etc...)
-Use a collaborative blog to have students create a writing together
Here are some of the new and interesting ways that students can showcase their work:
-Check out Figment, an online publishing tool
-Playing a podcast on the air or publishing it online.
-Screening an advertisement or film for a class or school.
-Do a performance over Skype with a classroom from across the world.
-Kids create a Wikispace on a topic and publish to it.
-Blogs (Kidblog) and collaborative blogs
-Website/webpage publishing. Publish your students' work on your class website.
-Social media (if students are of age). Posting finished products can be a great way to showcase your writing. Digital Citizenship comes in heavy for this option too.
-Learning Management Systems (LMS) are perfect for sharing and adding materials to digital portfolios.
-Digital portfolio services. There are many services (Seesaw and more) that are made specifically for collecting materials that are portfolio worthy.
-eBooks. Students can publish books to many different online platforms for free. iBooks lets students publish their books.
-Use ePub format to publish word processed documents. This helps with the feel of the book. Suddenly students can swipe through their writing like a book, even if it is not published on a mainstream platform.