Audience matters – especially when it comes to student writing. Digital technology makes sharing something to a global audience easier than ever before. How can teachers leverage this technology to motivate students to become better writers?  And how do we help them express their thoughts and creativity safely?

Lessons Learned

Dennis – Remember to always check the seat pocket.

Chris – “Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles.”

  • Maltbie D. Babcock ((August 3, 1858 – May 18, 1901) was a noted American clergyman and writer of the 19th century. He authored the familiar hymn, This is My Father’s World, among others. (Wikipedia))

Notes & Links

Reflections from Clay Shirky’s keynote and session at ACAMIS Tech Conference in Suzhou, China…

Ways to Encourage Student Reading/Writing: Fan Fiction

  • READ and critique the works of others
  • WRITE – They already know “the world” and can focus on crafting a story with existing characters, settings, and themes.

Student Group Work – 3 or 4 works best

“Low-Risk” ways for your students’ writing to be shared with the world.

  • Pick one of their favorite books and write and Amazon Book review.
  • Edit Wikipedia – Don’t add new information, or worry about fact checking, just focus on fixing awkward sentences.

Fun ways to get kids to learn how to write effectively

  • Speaking of sentences, have young writers edit a single-sentence Amazon review.
  • For older kids, find poorly written fan fiction for the students to parse.
  • For an excellent “bubble sort” activity have kids choose between two sample pieces of writing, and then break down why one piece is better than the other. An excellent website for this is NoMoreMarking (