Reasons for using Technology

Teaching Suggestions

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Authors & Contributors

Rationale and Benefits

We often describe to our students the idea of a "writing community." Many times it is difficult to confront and challenge students' notions of writing as an entirely individual and isolated process. Using the Web Forum to create a more concrete and easily visible community within your classroom can be an effective way to introduce students to the idea of how writing is affected by the community in which it is published. Ask students to "publish" their essays by posting them to the Web Forum. This way, every student will have an essay on the forum and can read other students' essays. In addition, online publishing of essays can affect the role a teacher plays in the writing community. Rather than "handing in" their papers to the teacher, the teacher takes on a less powerful role as an additional reader (albeit one who still has the power of grades) of the online writing community. Teacher's comments blend in more with those of classmates. In any case, online publishing and response to essays can alter to some degree the power dynamics of a classroom, thus encouraging students to take on a more active role in the revision of their own and their classmates' work.