ISTE 2019Creative
Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
No Fear
Coding Lab
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Cultivating Collaborative Student Writing Communities With Technology

Location: W190b

Explore and create
Pre-registration required

Explore and create : BYOD

Monday, June 25, 1:30–2:30 pm
Location: W190b

Kate Baker   Shari Krapels   Jeffrey Krapels  
Trying to shift your students’ writing focus from points to process? From teacher-directed to voice/choice and authentic audience? Via strategic use of social learning platforms, collaborative tools and flipped-blended learning, create a community of writers either remotely or in the same classroom through mentorship, feedback and collaborative publishing spaces.

Skill level: Intermediate
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Google Drive and GSuite
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Communication and collaboration
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: Language arts, World languages
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
For Administrators:
Digital Age Learning Culture
  • Promote and participate in local, national and global learning communities that stimulate innovation, creativity and digital age collaboration.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The purpose and objective of this session is to provide attendees with a replicable process for creating digital, student-collaborative community writing spaces and a framework for implementing collaborative student editing and publishing options. Rather than evaluating student work in the traditional teacher-centered manner, the process is flipped to include students in an authentic, collaborative, efficient, and student-centered experience. Student exemplars will be provided to show how two separate schools with a mixed level of tech and varying ability levels and grades were able to connect and collaborate with interactive technology. Attendees will visit “Authors’ Alley,” an Edmodo group created by two high school ELA teachers, which provides students with a community for engaging in the creation process, and a space for giving and receiving feedback on drafts. “Authors’ Alley” will act as a model that can be replicated or modified to suit the needs of any ELA teacher. Additionally, attendees will learn how to leverage common tools: Padlet for quick publishing and collaboration, Google Docs to create digital portfolios of student writing, and Weebly to create online publications.

Session attendees will participate as students, both producing their own writing and responding to one another, and will walk away with a list of and methodology for teaching core digital literacy skills that can be adapted to any classroom even when not in a 1:1 learning environment. Additionally, session attendees will walk away with a professional network of educators interested in implementing a similar structure in their own classrooms. Educators will benefit with turnkey training both from the two teachers who created the model, as well as an English teacher who is also a technology integration specialist. Instruction will be given in using social learning platforms and learning management systems to promote student learning and engagement, as well as teach and constantly encourage digital citizenship skills via flipped and blended learning models. Following the model of Authors Alley, digital portfolios with Google Docs, and publishing sites with Weebly, session participants can replicate our design to build their own collaborative groups and publishing spaces in online social learning environments.


Session Outline: Can be adjusted for 60 or 90 minute or 3 hour session
3 minutes: Introductions (3 minutes)
5-7 minutes: Writing task on paper and trade with neighbor for feedback--journal entry
5 minutes: Discussion of paper and digital writing process and publication
Timeliness of feedback
5-7 minutes: Showcase of Authors Alley in Edmodo and discussion of feedback (Process)
Video clips of students’ reflection on experience
7-10 minutes: Showcase of Individual Student portfolios on Google Docs (Individual Personal Curation)
Screencasts of student process & reflection
( )
7-10 minutes: Showcase of Weebly and discuss importance of publishing/audience (Public Publishing)
Screencast / video kids discussing project - process, how the public nature of it influence their decisions (topic, the way you talk/write/think about a “thing”)
10-15 minutes: Attendees write on their own Google Doc and share link to group’s digital portfolio page or write directly on group Padlet (Modeling process and building “class” community connection)
Ideas to use in class (blog post w/comments)
10 minutes: Discussion of rolling out digital portfolios and student publishing sites as school-wide initiatives (Possible roll-out process explained here
Templates for reflection documents
Video of students working w/the documents
5 minutes: Post to the Collaboration Corner padlet where teachers can find other teachers in session who are interested in collaborating.

Supporting research

Chuy, M., Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2012). Development of ideational writing through knowledge building. In E. M. E. L. Grigorenko, Writing: A mosaic of new perspectives (pp. 175-190). New York, New York: Psychology Press, Taylor & Francis Group.
Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Hattie, J. (2016). Visible learning for literacy, grades K-12: implementing the practices that work best to accelerate student learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin/A SAGE Company.
Johnson, D., & Johnson, R. (2008). Cooperation and the use of technology. In J. M. Spector, M. D. Merrill, J. van Merrienboer, & M. Driscoll (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (3rd ed., pp. 1017–1044).
Lemov, D. (2010). Teach like a champion. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Brand.
Lemov, D., Driggs, C., & Woolway, E. (2016). Reading reconsidered: a practical guide to rigorous literacy instruction. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Brand.
Snow, C. (2002). Reading for understanding: toward a R & D program in reading comprehension. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corp.

More [+]


Kate Baker, Southern Regional High School
Shari Krapels, Cresskill High School
Jeffrey Krapels, Northern Valley Regional High School

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