Common Sense


Writing, Journaling, and Blogging Websites for Students

It's critical for students to learn to write clearly, communicate effectively, and express themselves. In today's classrooms, it's especially important that students practice these skills in authentic digital contexts that help them become good digital citizens who can contribute ethically, critically, and responsibly in online communities. Students, however, can find it hard to write what they mean, or they might find writing flat-out frustrating and boring. To help, we've curated some of the best student-friendly tools for writing, journaling, and blogging. These websites will help students get practice writing informally in settings that aren't too daunting. Since reading is key to writing, many of these websites also connect students with writing from other young people or articles aimed at classrooms. Look out for a few tools on this list that also help students collaborate with peers and share their work privately or publicly.

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Top Picks


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Common Sense Selection

Night Zookeeper

Impressive, subscription-based writing resource with individual feedback

Bottom line: This platform will inspire young writers but does require a generous budget.


Safe social network for classroom communication somewhat limited

Bottom line: Twiducate has a few limitations, but the site provides a secure system for teachers and students to share work and communicate.


Collaborative writing platform has the potential to motivate

Bottom line: There's creativity possibility in this tool's unique brand of collaborative and competitive writing, but teachers should take care to keep things positive.


Encourage student expression and maintain digital portfolios with easy-to-use blog creator

Bottom line: Edublogs is a fantastic platform for any teacher committed to providing consistent opportunities for creation and reflection.

NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program

Wildly engaging contest turns students into novelists in 30 days

Bottom line: A thoughtful adaptation of the famous and fun grown-up novel writing contest, NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program is brimming with advice and encouragement as well as classroom support.


Easy-to-use website design tool lets teachers monitor kids' creations

Bottom line: Teacher-monitored sites and drag-and-drop elements make attractive website design safe and accessible for students.

KQED Learn

Civic discussion site encourages media literacy and deep thinking

Bottom line: This platform features excellent videos students will enjoy discussing, but teachers will need to prep students to make quality contributions.


Journaling site motivates student writers, has strong teacher tools

Bottom line: Penzu provides awesome teacher tools for managing writing assignments, while making it easy for kids to create and submit their work.

Seamlessly turn Evernote notes into blog posts with paid service

Bottom line: A solid, simple tool for turning notes in Evernote into polished-looking blog posts.


Slick portfolio tool has cool features, limited feedback options

Bottom line: A neat tool for publishing online, possibly better suited to teacher content creation than student publishing.


Major publisher's writing platform has some potential

Bottom line: If the community ever takes shape, this could be a good publishing platform, but there are better, less commercial options.

Youth Voices

Aging online community hosts authentic student writing

Bottom line: With some patience and understanding, this could be a good space for supporting healthy student expression.

Teen Ink

Get kids writing, publishing, critiquing in this valuable network

Bottom line: Teens will find a wealth of information and many opportunities to further interest in writing and the creative arts.

Write the World

Global community helps young writers write, revise, think, and grow

Bottom line: With interest-based writing prompts and thoughtful feedback from peers and pros, this is a great tool for writing for authentic audiences.


Smart classroom tool if used with care; priceless for PLNs

Bottom line: Twitter offers something for everyone: information, resources, and an easy way to connect with just about anyone.

Solid blogging tool and content management system offers DIY blogs

Bottom line: This is a great tool to get kids blogging and creating online content.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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