Behind the Wall - A Collaborative Writing Effort by HS English Class


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Check out this collaboratively authored mystery story! It was written by a High School English class. According to one source, Students worked in groups to develop a beginning, middle and end to the story.  The groups had to communicate very carefully to create their transitions; it was a tough assignment but I think they did a tremendous job.  The story was embedded in a site and they are using a form to receive comments.


Pretty nifty! The question that pops into my head is, Why aren't more High School English classes engaging in collaborative writing? Of course, I'm thinking of my daughter's school, the NorthEast School of the Arts! Hmm...perhaps because GoogleDocs is blocked there?

In reading the story, I have to admit that I love the dialogue that kicks off the story:


Screech!
    Will pulled up to his new home, hearing his old breaks complain under the pressure of a sudden stop. He stared up at the house, admiring the renovations and glowing with pride as he thought about the start of his growing family. As he stepped into the foyer, Will greeted the head construction worker, Steve. 
    "Hello Steve, what have you gotten done today?" Will asked.
    "Check it out for yourself, we finished up in the back room. We were having some trouble because the foundation in the basement is pretty shaky. But you guys can start making the nursery more homey, building that crib and such."
    "Alright, thank you so much for your help, Steve. We really appreciate it."
     "Ya know, I should be thanking you. I've wanted to do work on this house for years; the old owners were really standoffish, didn't want anyone coming into the house." 

We need more collaborative word processing options that are 1) Allowed in K-12 schools and are not blocked; and 2) More opportunities for students to routinely employ these tools as part of student writing.

Some of my favorite collaborative word processing tools include the following:


What others? By the way, check out other Digitizing the Writing Workshop tools online!


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Comments

Angela said…
I often wonder the same thing. Many opportunities for collaborative writing are lost inside of schools, and my question is always this: even if the tool is blocked on the inside, can we still encourage writers to use them beyond school walls? I am eager to share this link with a collaborative writing group I'm working with right now. They are using Google Docs on their own time, outside of school, and across different districts to write together. I'm thinking they'd love to tackle a mystery story next. Thanks for sharing!

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