English teachers love to improve writing. Every day they teach techniques and find best practices, finding those methods that engage the students has been their passion. I recall my 8th grade English teacher using prompts to promote writing. "Who it your favorite teacher, write a paragraph why?" "Write 2 paragraphs about President Reagan." While I wrote, I hated writing. I didn't appreciated the topics and and it made this time "hellish". The only people that ever read my writing was my teacher, and I'm not sure she looked at all of them either.
Recently I read this tweet from @tomwhitby re-tweeting @cwebtech.
Micro Blog = Prompt. Hmmm! I paused and reflected. Yes, I have done more writing and commenting in the last year that ever before in my life. Why? I am prompted to do so by others with the same interest that I do. I even started to blog, putting my thoughts and visions into words in an electronic web log format (blog).
Do you want to get your students to write more? Have them sign up for a twitter account. Search keywords and have them follow people with the same passion. Soon they will be prompted to write. They will be doing a lot of R and W (Reading and Writing) Then have them expand those thoughts as they create there own personal blogs in blogger or edublogs. How about partnering with another school, maybe outside your state and country. Students can read the partner schools blogs and have them share their thoughts? Let the conversation begin. Let the writing expand!
Yes, twitter and blogs are powerful collaboration tools that can engage a student in learning. It makes writing relevant and also creates an audience for students to write to. Go on get those students writing by having them enter in the conversation.