Inspiring in our young people a lifelong love of reading, for both learning and pleasure, remains—and should always remain—a core aspect of school librarianship. As embedded as we may be with technology, literature and literacy is still central to our mission. Hand in hand with reading also comes writing. In this month's column I will be featuring some collaborative writing spots, useful for our students to gain writing experience and interaction with their peers.
This site is all about young people and their authoring, focusing on improving writing skills for students at the high school level. They do this through community writing and a guided interactive method. Writers are encouraged to discover their voices, work on their editing skills and share their work through the site's digital, global platform. Write the World's goal is to direct students toward writing for life. This site offers material for educators and school librarians to encourage writing in schools, classrooms, and libraries. A great location for creative writing ideas, prompts, and more. Useful for sharing writing among peers at the school and community levels as well as with other students nationally and internationally.
Edublogs lets users create and manage student and teacher blogs. Users can quickly customize designs and include videos, photos, and podcasts. This is by far one of the most popular youth-based blogging tools as well as the easiest to use. Edublogs has been around for over ten years largely because of their amazing educator support. They are available via social media and email and offer their own blog posts with activities for teachers and librarians in the field. Blogging offers a space for students, librarians, and peer educators to express themselves through video, text, and image. Blogging encourages a reflective practice and is also a more relaxed form of writing students can enjoy. It can be completed individually or as a group. Blogging is useful for writing of any type, for any project or subject. Think about students' blogging on their latest maker projects, creating fan fiction, or reflecting on reads from their battle of the books.
This is a space for teen creativity in a safe, supportive environment. Teen Ink is a writing spot for kids to express themselves through words and art. It has been around for twenty-five years and holds thousands of teen-created submissions to read and view. A word to educators, librarians, and parents: this site is created for students 13 and up. There's the potential for sensitive or mature subject matter, although all the work is prescreened for inappropriate language or content, and overall the site is clean and creative. Teens can choose to join for free, and they can comment, chat, and use the forum functions. The focus here is on all aspects of writing, including the creation, discussion, rating, and publication of writing. Submitting work is very easy, but like professional authors not all submissions are chosen for publication. There are no writers on staff at Teen Ink. All of the work shared on the site is created by teens from around the world. There is a forum where teens can request help and feedback on their writing or provide feedback to peers. There are also reviews from teens on television shows, books, games, and music. Teen Ink also provides a section on colleges with links to school reviews, essays, articles, and more. When it comes to a collection of writing for and from young people, Teen Ink is a great resource.
Be sure to share these online resources with your school. Your students, peer educators, and librarians might discover a new favorite resource for both reading and writing.