Centuries ago (or at least, this is how I feel!), I used to give feedback on students’ writing by sending a recorded message to my students to personalize learning and encourage them to take process writing seriously. It worked. Students loved to get a personal, customized note from their teacher.
Nowadays, this writing feedback experience has taken many forms and shapes with so many digital tools around that do the trick.
One nice example of super simple activity that has worked wonders is from my friend Claudio Fleury. He was having a hard time to get his teen students to hand in their paragraphs. First, he worked a bit on paragraph structure with the students. Then, he took the iPads to class and asked students to write their paragraphs using the Notes app. They were on task, focused. The job of receiving every student’s paragraph was easily accomplished. Students also realized that they could read each other’s paragraphs as the notes were all synchronized (we use the same iTunes account in all iPads) real time. Then, the teacher asked students to email him their paragraphs. The teacher could easily print them and write his feedback on the paragraphs. In the following class, the teacher handed in the notes, students checked the teacher feedback, got the iPads and reviewed their paragraphs based on what the teacher had written. Writing has never been so effective. Getting students to write and review their work, never been so easy!
My second example comes from teacher Deon Scalon. I was reading a blog post on using iPads for kids’ writing feedback http://allanahk.edublogs.org/2012/02/15/transforming-proof-reading-with-an-ipad/, and just came across this brilliant Youtube video in which teacher
Deon integrated the app Goodreader to write on a document and then used PUPPET PALL app characters to spice up his feedback to students. Very effective and fun!