W.CCR.6 — that's the 6th College and Career Readiness anchor standard within the Writing strand of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA/Literacy — reads as follows:
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Though I often see CCSS alignment synonomized with buying technology, there are actually very few anchor standards that specifically mention tech; W.CCR.6 is one of them.
Producing/publishing writing via the Internet
To put it briefly, W.CCR.6 is the online writing anchor standard. (<-Click to tweet.)
I have to admit, I'm glad this standard is in the CCSS. While I'm pretty old school when it comes to literacy (I like to find ways to get kids engaged with mastering fundamental print literacies), there's no doubt that students need ample experience thinking through and practicing the implications and strategies and methods for producing and publishing writing online. (<-Click to tweet.)
If they don't, they'll be that guy who creates squirm-inducingly private Facebook posts and blasts them out to all of his friends.
Down to business: how do we help students use technology to produce writing via the Internet?
There seems to be another option every time you turn around, but the main resource I use for online writing production is Google Docs. It's not very unique of me, but it's very practical — it links with other Google products, and it tends to work on anything that connects to the Internet (I've had students write papers on their iPods using Google Docs — I don't advise that).
For 12 other online word processors, check this out.
Now, on to online publishing. There are about 17 million ways to publish writing online, and they range from Tweets to notes to pages to blogs to ebooks and more. Here are some that I've used, with varying degrees of success:
- WordPress.com — I taught a Grammar for Writing class one year, and I wanted students to practice the editing skills they were learning by frequently publishing writing. Hello, blogging. Even though this was a small class, I had a hard time keeping students accountable for the editing they were supposed to be doing: 20 students X 3 posts per week X 3 minutes reading/assessing each post… It was hard. But I do think blogging is probably the awesomest way to publish online, so please: if you're a student blog whisperer, share some love in the comments section.
- Edmodo.com — This is a resource that friend/colleague Erica Beaton (@B10LovesBooks) turned me on to last fall. I used it all year, and it was a great way for students to post drafts or finalized pieces to the class and receive feedback.
- Google Docs — Again, it's not sexy, but it works. Students can “share” their documents with specific people, or they can make their documents public. They can also enable commenting on their documents, which allows readers to interact with the writing throughout the text.
Interacting/collaborating with others via the Internet
There are so many freaking ways to interact and collaborate with others on the Internet. Some of them aren't very easy to manage in K-12 ed settings (e.g., Facebook), but there are tons of resources out there for collaboration and interaction.
Unfortunately, I've already hit on two of the three main resources that I use: Edmodo and Google Docs. The third resource is simply Gmail — it's conveniently linked with Google Docs, and it provides various methods (email, chat, video chat) for students to collaborate and interact with each other, whether across the classroom or across the world.
Now, let's be W.CCR.6ish and collaborate!
What resources do you use to get students producing writing, publishing, interacting, and collaborating online? Share a resource in the comments section below.