Ready to try out student collaboration, but not quite ready to commit to Google Apps? Then you and your class should look at Titan Pad. Titan Pad is a great tool for the classroom. It allows anyone to create “pop up” collaborative writing opportunities.
The red carpet was rolled out, the camera crews were there, the TVNZ reporter held a copy of the book in her hand and interviewed some of the students. The collaborative fan fiction novel “Fuel to the Fire” was launched by the students of Waiau Pa School. Their book was inspired by their study of the Hunger Games. You can download their work and read it for yourself and give them the support and feedback they so richly deserve on their wiki. You can also download the book from Amazon, just click on the image.
I do not think that I have got more excited about an app more quickly than this week’s app of the week - Paper. It is a really simple app that has so many potential uses and can be layered with so many other apps that I am buzzing to get back into classrooms to showcase its potential to students and teachers alike. It is the kind of app that is completely addictive, well at least that is how I have found it. It has many similarities with the Moleskine app, but is more like a real note book than the Moleskine app is. You can use this app as a series of notebooks for ideas brainstorms sketches and jottings. Each notebook can be decorated, named and have as many pages as you want. This feature alone makes it a dream for collaborative work on one device.
With all the furore in the last week over National Standards, one project I have been working on can demonstrably prove an increased engagement with writing and reading by boys. Not only that the attainment of those same children has improved in reading and writing. Over the last two terms two year 8 classes at Waiau Pa school have been writing their own version of the Hunger Games. You can view all of the previous posts on the development and progression of the project here:
These two classes have been collaborating in their planning, character development, story arc and editing, to the point now where they have written and published their book. Fuel to the Fire.
The key to the success of this work has been developing a scheme of work that was seen as being authentic and engaging to the students. There is no secret to this, all we have to do as teachers is be reflective practioners. We need to look at our planning, we need to look at our classes and recognise that often there is a gulf between them. We need to adapt what we do to engage the students in something they see as authentic to them, when they do, we see the kind of results that we are seeing in reading and writing at Waiau Pa.
Tomorrow this wonderful project will be the subject of an official red carpet launch at the school and this will be covered by Breakfast TV host Brooke Dobson live at the event. The book itself is to be published as a Kindle dowload and once I have the link I will let you all know.