How I Use It
Write About gives teachers a tool to choose or create writing prompts or have students choose a writing prompt they are interested in. The paid version also allows teachers to collaborate with other teachers and find other classrooms to connect with. Students can receive line-by-line feedback from teachers. Teachers have the option of annotation or direct messaging their students. There is good support for using Write About through webinars and written directions on the website. It would be an easy tool to use cross-curricular and have students write about topics learned in other subjects as well as a creative device for journaling. Having a picture with the prompt motivates the visual learner and helps the reluctant writer with ideas. Another nice feature is the post section. A topic could be projected on the whiteboard and students could write a post in response so others can read it as well. Students can also post any of their writing and parents can connect to read what their student has written. This could be a handy tool to share with parents at conferences. Groups can also be created to organize your classes such as a science class group and a reading group. Students can easily find their writing assignment by class. When a teacher creates an idea (writing prompt) and shares it with a student, it shows up on the student's homepage. The audio response feature is a great tool for kids with special needs who struggle with physically writing but have those great ideas to get out.
I think this is a great tool to spark creative writing. The picture with the prompt is key to helping students with ideas of what to write. Being able to customize a prompt makes it easy for a teacher to use content from lessons to encourage deeper thinking through writing. The teacher can choose a picture that fits the lesson and then write the prompt or question for the student reflection. It is also nice to just have a resource to help choose writing prompts for journal writing. Students could even choose the prompt they are interested in. I like that it is a free resource with a small yearly fee to upgrade which allows for unlimited posts. The free version allows five posts and if this is a feature you would use for sharing work it would be worth the small fee. ($24.95 a year). Write About is not a tool that teaches the writing process but it is a wonderful tool to get kids writing freely on topics they enjoy.