Improving your students' writing skills
In this section we will reflect upon the question of - what does education competency in writing mean? How do we engage our learners in writing development using social media?
Today, most of the information in social networks is transmitted through writing. Tuenti or Facebook usually ask about our life: what do you do? What do you think? Tag people who are in this photo, describe this picture. Skype asks: tell your friends what you do, send instant message. When we want to participate in an Internet chat, we need to write to say whether we want to do it in the general chat room or in private. If we are doing a blog in Blogger, we have to know how to write properly, because it might be embarrassing if we made any orthographic errors or other type error.
Do young people think that writing well for social media content is important? What is considered good writing? Which types of criteria do young people bear in mind when writing online? How can we, as educators, persuade young people about the positive influence of writing, and writing properly?
Writing well helps us to be better explainers, better persuaders, better story tellers, and better thinkers, so good writing is more important than ever.
You might ask why students’ writing skills are often poorly developed. The answer could be:
- Young people are very pragmatic; they want to send a message that is short and clear.
- They are impulsive people; they don't like to think too much or rather for too long.
- Young people like to communicate fast and immediately. For this reason, they write poorly and add many abbreviations with errors, for a classic example, “lol”.
So how do we help students improve their writing skills?
Exercises for writing better are more important than ever. Writing exercises will give young people the skills that they need to use the Internet. Educational competences in writing means the ability to participate actively with texts in the digital world.
We have shown above that as time goes by, and traditional letters are not sent we use e-mails to communicate with other people. When we travel we no longer send postcards to our families, we send a whatsapp message and, at the same time, we can say where we are (GPS), we can send a photo or a greeting via flickr, twitter or instagram. All of this without effort.
On the one hand we need to know how to present concrete ideas in a limited number of words; to say with more with less.
On the other hand, we must properly handle writing to argue, refute and express our thoughts and feelings. The development of these two aspects in writing is one of the most important challenges of educational skills for communication.
Why is this important to you as a teacher?
- Because on the social media platform young people often write sloppily, therefore if you are able to write well, using clear and accessible language, you will have an opportunity to influence learners and to differentiate.
- Because "good thing, when short, are twice as good". If you are able produce this "short and good language", you will have success within the social media network and therefore your student will hopefully have the opportunity to learn and develop from you.
It is very difficult to answer this question as we need to choose how we should write within the digital world. Things to be mindful of…
- A writer should be a good reader(e-reader, e-book)
- Reading newspaper, magazines, journals, blogs, books is important to learn different writing styles.
- Learners might develop skills by keeping a diary for life experiences, taking notes, comment in forums , social media, rewriting newspaper and magazine articles, creating a blog, commenting on their favourite blog posts, joining a writer's group, participating in literary competitions, stories contest, attending a writer's conference, taking part in chat rooms.
- Remember that the activity or exercise depends on the type or style of writing required.
Let's consider some examples:
- February 14, Valentine's Day, you can creates a shared account in http://www.dropbox.com or http://www.googledrive.com and provides access to yours students and makes sure that the communication channel is working properly. You may request at any time of day, to send him or her a Word document, in which students must set out information on any topic related to St Valentine, for example, information about Romantic poets and his work, and even a crossword about this, a review of a romance, make any dessert valentine recipe, make a video in which they make a recipe and they subtitle the video, and open to feedback from students as the best recipe video commented by users on Facebook and YouTube.
- You can propose a debate among all students in the class in real time: the teacher creates an account in Google Drive http://www.drive.google.com and invites students to participate. The teacher presents the subject of debate and all students at the same time can share their ideas and even modify them to develop together an argument for or against the proposed topic. The advantage is to share real-time ideas and discuss them together.
- Edmodo http://www.edmodo.com is an educational social network that lets you work with students, families, and other teachers worldwide through group membership, interest and invitations as well as allowing communications through the world of individual, large group and small group class, setting alerts, assignments, test preparation tools, survey and evaluation and assessment of students, consists of a library for the teacher and the student backpack, search engines, progress statistics, applications, links to publishers and communities and can store the history of each group. All members have a profile and can send invitations, and report errors or set preferences to use and in this communication process the teacher can choose to control the publications sent to the learners. You can access an online platform for developing writing skills.
Somes page to correct written: http://www.grammarcheck.net/10-ways-to-improve-your-english-writing-skills-today/ http://www.spellcheckonline.com/ http://ed.grammarly.com/editor/view?f=1 http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/
This page http://www.essaywritinghelp.com/format.htm helps you to write an essay and these other too http://www.privatewriting.com/essay-format http://socialmediatoday.com/ndcv/862641/7-editing-tips-improve-your-blog-writing-skills to helps young people writing on blog.
To consolidate your learning it is suggested that you have a blog, along with a username and password in several social networks. We think that education should adapt to new technologies, so we should use a range of applications and innovations, for example, the program http://www.issuu.com to publish long text with chapters. For language learning: http://www.translate.google.com, http://www.wordreferences.com In this wiki, see this section http://curriculum.learn2teach.eu/w/index.php/How_social_media_can_help_you_to_write_reports
(Collection of useful resources (websites, videos, books etc.))
Twitter, Blogger, Youtube, Google, Wikipedia, Picassa, Flickr, LinkedIn, Ski Drive, Dropbox, Whatsapp, Tuenti, Facebook, Google app for Education,Google Sites,Google Talk, Google Docs, Google play Book, Issuu.
- http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com/social-media-training-2/writing-well-for-social-media/ Social media explore is a agence services that content several articles about the importance of writing well for social media content for example the rule of writing according to the web and the world.
- http://www.issuu.com Web to publish long text for chapter, for example
- http://www.writingforward.com/category/writing_exercises Writing forward is a web that it has got several materials for writing exercises, better writing, creative writing, writing prompts, writing resources...
- http://www.davecopeland.com/2011/05/19/50-ways-to-use-social-media-to-teach-writing/ 50 Ways To Use Social Media To Teach Writing
- https://drive.google.com Web to share docs and writing together and the sharing