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Collaborative Writing with BoomWriter, a Free Award-Winning App for Teaching and Learning

by Ashleigh West on December 31, 2013

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Students and Teachers in all Grades can Enhance Their Writing Skills as They Collaborate and Publish Stories with Boomwriter.com

Serving as an effective and personalized learning tool, award-winning literacy website BoomWriter (www.boomwriter.com) is easy to use and free for teachers, allowing their students to collaborate with classmates to create and publish stories and other original content.  BoomWriter blends writing and technology use—two skills of increasing importance for success beyond the classroom—to provide an interactive writing platform that can be integrated into a variety of curricula.  Having originated in a middle school classroom, BoomWriter is now used in over 5,000 elementary, middle and high schools spread throughout more than 60 countries.

Boomwriter Survey and Testimonial Quote

BoomWriter can be used by teachers in a variety roles and educational settings: whole class, small group, during and after school.  BoomWriter is kidSAFE certified and CIPA compliant, so students’ creativity can truly flourish in the closed digital environment.  Teachers access BoomWriter free of charge and can easily create student accounts, which is ideal to ensure student safety.

BoomWriter aligns with the Common Core State Standards, while delivering a challenging and engaging learning experience that enables students to create and assess written content in ways they’ve never done before.  In a survey of teachers who have recently used BoomWriter, 95% found BoomWriter to be an “effective instructional tool” and 97% of teachers would use it again in their classrooms.  One teacher raved, “My students really gained a lot of writer confidence and their in-class work showed the carry over in their grades.  Students who never wrote full stories began to write and complete their writing.  I am delighted with BoomWriter. It is a valuable asset to my classroom”.

How It Works

On the BoomWriter website, students are provided with the first part of a story selected by their teacher and written by a professional author (teachers can insert their own story start and/or prompt if they’d like).  After reading this first chapter, each student writes what he or she thinks should happen next in the piece.  Once students submit their work, BoomWriter allows teachers to assess and provide individualized feedback, and approve or request revisions, before initiating the voting portion of the process.

Students will then review four random, anonymous submissions of their peers at a time and cast a vote for their favorite.  The BoomWriter aggregate voting algorithm will fairly and accurately determine a winner without students having to read the entirety of class submissions.  Students may also have the opportunity to cast more than one vote.  The winning submission becomes the next part of the piece, and the process continues until the predetermined number of chapters has been completed and the project is finished.  BoomWriter then converts the piece into a published book that can be purchased from the BoomWriter bookstore.

Throughout the entire process of writing, submitting, reviewing, voting, and completing the projects, students will accrue “Boomer Bucks” allowing them to customize and/or purchase virtual goods for their personal avatar.  This gamification of the program is sure increase student participation and interest levels, while instilling a love of writing and understanding of important lesson goals.

With over 60 story starts in various genres to choose from, and the option for teachers to create their own, there are endless possibilities for BoomWriter in classroom instruction.  For more information and the free teacher registration, head to http://www.boomwriter.com/home/Schools to get your students writing collaboratively with BoomWriter!

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Teaching Writing and Learning With Graphic Organizers
Free Creative Writing Resources
Student Created Content is an Exciting and Inspiring Learning Tool that Teaches Many Skills

About 

Ashleigh West is a creative writing consultant and the executive assistant for BoomWriter Media. Ashleigh manages all of the BoomWriter Writing Club's story writing events, as well as, the writing events during last summer's Storytellers Camp, BoomWriter’s virtual writing camp that featured Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. Ashleigh is a graduate of University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in English and a specialization in creative writing.

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