Saturday, 20 April 2013

Research summary

I have spent a the whole of Term One searching blogs, research papers and twitter links regarding improving student writing by using an authentic blog audience.  I am still gathering information and will continue to add my findings as the year progresses.

There were some over-riding key points that emerge:

Teachers have to get connected:
Blogs are not an authentic audience if writing is only getting comments from the class teacher.  It was found that students put more effort into writing and commenting if they know there is an authentic audience from which they receive comments/replies to comments.  As a result, the teacher must get connected by building their own PLN so they can promote student writing to a wider audience for relevant and authentic responses.

  • Teacher must connect student writing to a wider audience using tools like twitter, facebook...
  • Join #comments4kids to access a wider audience
  • Teacher and students constructively comment on other blogs, leaving our URL for return visits
  • Join Quadblogging to make connections with three other classes from around the world
  • Join activities like the 100 Word Challenge that posts student writing for an enormous audience and comparisons to other student writing can be made
  • Training workshops for parents and wider whanau on constructive commenting and the value of family engagement
  • Tracking the number of comments and audience source over each month to assess audience

Langwitches Blog - Quadblogging reflection
EDUTOPIA - 10 Tips of becoming connected
Inquire Within - effect of Quadblogging on writing
Declairingit Blog - effect of Quadblogging on writing
Teaching with Tech - Authentic Audience Research Paper

Comments must be constructive rather than social:
Many of the comments received on writing posts are social rather than constructive and have no value to the editing of writing, only to the motivation of having an audience.  Constructive commenting must be modelled and scaffolded.


  • Include a link to the success criteria of that writing type so that comments can be precisie, directed and constructive.  This will be a learning point for some readers, a referral point for our writers and help improve the value of comments received
  • Run training sessions for students, parents and wider family on constructive comments
  • Provide a 'page' on the blog with instructions on effective commenting
  • Samples of student comments compared over the year 
  • Tracking the type of comment to assess how many are constructive
Medbury School - Success criteria posted with writing
Langwitches Blog - Blog comment rubric
Teaching with Tech - Authentic audience research paper

Donald Graves says that writing is a public act, meant to be shared with multiple audiences.
Howard Brown shows that the mechanics of writing improve when it is for publication.
(Cited in Teaching with Tech - Authentic audience research paper)

We are aiming for children who are:  
1.  Aware of their audience
2.  Taking an active role in the blogging community
3.  Show personal responsibility in the writing process


Blogging rubric

Blogging with students
Authentic audience
Engaging parents



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