What am I hoping to achieve by encouraging my students to use social media?

What am I hoping to achieve with social media and my interest group, Writing Interest Group (WIG), formerly known as Competition Writing?

Why am I insisting so much on the students’ participation in the comments section of the Facebook Group or the blog, Unicorn Express?

The screen capture below gives a clue. I had shared on Facebook Jason’s blog post (sonnet).

I want the blog to be a publishing platform for student writing. I want students to write for a real audience – both their peers as well as anyone outside the school and even in other countries.

I want students to know their work is being read and appreciated, and that other students will take the time to tell them so, or to leave constructive comments.

My aim is connected learning, interaction and reflection after writing.

I love the fact that former MHS students are still part of the Facebook group and read current students’ work, and even more when they come in to say something about it. That connection beyond the classroom, beyond the year level, the school – that’s what I want for our students.

How do you think Jason Li feels when he reads what Hanford, a former MHS/WIG student, says in the comment section of the Facebook group:

I stay to get the opportunity to read things like that poem!

6 thoughts on “What am I hoping to achieve by encouraging my students to use social media?”

  1. This is wonderful Tania 🙂 I can sense the happiness in your post.
    Feedback is so important to everyone at all ages but especially to students. Kind and encouraging feedback helps them find the courage to express themselves, and it also helps them learn ways to express themselves and provide feedback without being destructive of themselves or others.

    I missed seeing your contributions during the DigiWriMo in November. The Young Writers Project contributed and your students’ expression reminded me of them.

    1. Hi Maha, so nice to have you stop by and comment. Yes, I’m so happy when the community starts stirring. The other day a student who has just finished year 12 came back to show me a poem he’d written and ask for my feedback. I got the sense through his language with me that he expected me to either confirm his writing piece or condemn it. When I mentioned process and editing he was uncomfortable with it. I told him that I wasn’t ‘the one’ to judge his poem, and that he should join a writing community where he would be involved in a process of commenting and editing. I’m not sure it was what he was hoping for but I think finally he began to understand what I was saying.
      It’s a pity I was too busy to get fully involved in Digiwrimo, although I did enjoy writing the tenth chapter of the collaborative story, and I tried to read others’ writing. Next year maybe! For my students it was the wrong time – exam time.
      I loved how the students completed the Storyjumper.

  2. Oh yes of course you wrote for the storyjumper, it’s a clear give away that I haven’t read all the parts, but I hope to get around to doing it. I was mostly in twitter and blogs 🙂 .

    I am not sure if you’ve seen Geoffrey Gevalt @ggevalt from the youngwritersproject.org ‘s invite to join the site and comment and also bring in students who would be interested in writing and having audience.
    I am thinking, maybe part of what your student was looking for is audience. I am not a writer and cannot comment on technicalities. Instead I comment briefly as a reader/audience, on how I felt reading the piece, on the meaning or impression that I got and ask a question if I feel it can be useful. I enjoyed being the audience to some of the youngwiters who joined us in DigiWriMo and even learned a thing or two about poetry 🙂

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