The YWP Digital Classroom

"The site has helped me get to know my students better; that allows me to be more effective as a teacher." -- 7/8 science teacher

Welcome to the Young Writers Project digital classroom platform. This is free to select partner schools (just ask) and is designed to promote student interaction, commenting and revision. It is designed for teachers to keep track of work, create exercises or assignments and learn much more about each of their students, while adapting technique to assist students individually.

The site has several exciting features that add to student engagement and teacher effectiveness, including direct audio recording, private messaging and annotations between teacher and student.

This platform helps teachers focus instruction around idea formation, revision, civil discourse and integration of multimedia. The platform intuitively fosters respectful peer-to-peer conversation, critical thinking, creativity in all types of writing in all curricula. It is a  'creative management systems' with several key ways that help teachers -- and students -- organize and view work.

YWP provides schools technical support 24/7 via phone, email or Web conference. YWP's primary support contact is Doug DeMaio: ddemaio@youngwritersproject.org or 802-324-9538.

YWP also provides professional development services AND weekly tips to improve instruction of writing. For more go to digitalteachers.net.

Don't forget that each week Young Writers Project publishes work from VT and NH students in 19 newspapers, on Vermont Public Radio and in monthly live events throughout the state. We encourage teachers and students to sign up for accounts at youngwritersproject.org and submit best work for consideration. This site is also a civil, respectful place for students to share work and informally help each other outside the school.

-- Geoffrey Gevalt, YWP Director

802-324-9537

SOME INTERESTING, UNIQUE FEATURES AROUND STUDENT ENGAGEMENT:

SPROUTS -- A new concept in student interaction and reflective response, a feature where design emulates natural conversational behavior: You hear/read something of someone else's and it makes you think of your own opinion/observation/experience. Students can now "Sprout a story" in response to a classmate's post or to a teacher's exercise. The two are neatly connected. This deepens student engagement and response.

EXERCISE INTEGRATION -- The Create a Blog form has the Teacher Exercise (assignment) visible ON TOP so students can easily reference the exercise to which they are responding. And students have the ability to choose between their exercises. This deepens student clarity and focus.

CLASS DISCUSSION BOARD  - This is optional feature allows teachers and students to have an open conversation on their classroom page. This is handy for teachers to update the class with an idea or instructions but also allows everyone to discuss issues in the class. TO OPT for this feature, contact Doug DeMaio with name of site and classrooms you want activated. This feature can deepen student engagement in the learning process.

WIKIS -- We love the functionality of Google Docs -- being able to watch a collaborator edit a shared document live -- but the majority of collaborative work takes place at separate times, sometimes in separate places, on the same document. So we have a content type that allows students to work together on a project. This deepens student collaboration.

MULTI-MEDIA -- Direct record (except on iPads), simple way to upload images, podcast uploads of .mp3 or .wav files, easy embed of work created elsewhere. This will make it easier to incorporate media.

SIX-WORD STORY WIDGET -- This optional feature allows students to create six-word stories (or longer) on real time. These can then lead to found stories or poems. TO OPT for this feature, contact Doug DeMaio with name of site and classrooms you want activated. This feature encourages immediacy and idea formation.

YWP LINKS -- Students and teachers can access youngwritersproject.org -- a respectful site for young writers after school; as well as links for this year's prompts, how to submit work and the YWP Writer's Library of tips for better writing.

HELP -- A revamped help section, with some quick screencasts for visual learners. Please use it! Just click the HELP button!

CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT:

EASY CLASSROOM CREATION - Teachers can easily create a new classroom, upload a spreadsheet of new student users and add students to their classroom. Instruction and a quick video will be a click away in HELP.

NAVIGATION -- Top menu bar navigation with drop-down links.

FIND STUFF - A set of views in one place that allow students and teachers to find work easily in various forms and sorts.

NOTIFICATIONS -- Teachers can contact the class via email or message; students receive notifications if they receive comments or if the teacher posts an exercise; teachers can leave ANNOTATIONS -- private instructions and/or critique --  right on the blog for ONLY the student to see.

SURVEYS -- A new content type -- webform -- that allows teachers (and students with teachers' guidance) to create deep, extensive polls. Can also be used for quizzes. Teachers have easy access and analyses of results.

EFFECTIVE PRACTICES -- YWP is rcontinually updating its library of effective exercises AND exemplars to help provide teachers (and students) great ideas for writing ranging from quick writes to projects. This information comes into the site to a Teacher Block called YWP News and Tips and in a link under YWP in top menu bar.

HELP -- A revamped help section, with some quick screencasts for visual learners. Please use it! Just click the HELP button!

MISCELLANEOUS:

CONTENT PROTECTION: You will note a manual 'Save and continue' button at the bottom of the content creation forms; new protection for when a student tries to leave a create content form; and autosave capability (optional)

HELP -- A revamped help section, with some quick screencasts for visual learners. Please use it! Just click the HELP button!

Classroom: