When I think of “voice” in writing, I think of actually “hearing” the author speaking as I read their work. Student voice often comes through to me because I envision a conversation. I wish I had more time with my students to work on writing, but I am only “officially” a reading teacher for 3rd and 4th grade gifted students. With only one hour a day to spend with my precocious 8-10 year olds, I pack in everything I can. So how do I integrate digital voice?
I take teaching discussion techniques very seriously. Children need to be taught how to have discourse: face-to-face and digitally. While I could write another post on ways I model face-to-face communication skills, I’m going to focus on digital discussion, and therefore how I promote students having a digital voice in my classroom. (On a side note, I explicitly teach 9 elements of digital citizenship)
As a Level 1 Certified Google teacher, I love the commenting features of #GAfE. However, when it comes to discussing text, my “go-to” tool is NowComment! NowComment is a free web-based application that allows teachers to turn documents into conversations! Let some former students show you how it works! Here’s an infomercial they did:
It is pretty easy to use! I love that I can not only work on response to reading skills but also teach digital citizenship. Here’s a collection of helpful set up videos to help ‘convince’ you and get you started!
(The collection includes a lesson plan as well from ISTE’s Project ReImagined Library!)
Stay tuned… I’ll add more as NowComment is about to release some exciting new features very soon!