How I Use It
Students at first really enjoyed writing book reviews. They had the incentive of earning free books to keep. We practiced our persuasive writing skills and then I allowed students to send their reviews and suggestions to other students in the class. Students were most engaged by the ability to change their avatar (which turned into a time-suck) and ability to send recommendations.
I like that students were able to practice their social networking skills in a safe environment. Not all of our students are readers or typists and these skills are important as they get older. However, unless I had the incentive of the book raffle, I'm afraid not all students would be engaged.