Friday’s Hardwired Homeschool Hints: Writing For A New Generation

fridayshardwiredhomeschoolhintspic.pngI’ve had writing on the brain lately.  I mean, of course, as a writer, I always have writing on the brain, but lately I’ve just been fascinated by trends in writing – – especially with the closing of several big-time newspapers that have either shut down completely or phased out all but their online operations. 

And I was blown away while catching a bit of CNN the other day during the Summit protests and how they kept cutting to the Twitter feed to get realtime updates on news.  Blogging and micro- blogging have begun to eat away at traditional media as we know it. 

It certainly isn’t that writing has become any less important in our current society, but just the type of writing that is changing seemingly hour by hour. So for today’s HHH edition, I’m going to focus on some interesting ways that students can be on the cusp of the latest writing innovations…

Plinky is Uber’s favorite new writing experiment.  Plinky is basically just a collaborative writing tool that provides both prompts for members to reply to or comment on, and ways for writers to work together to create poems, stories, and much more.  Difficult to describe, but worth taking for a spin.

LiveJournal is a must-have link for every middle schooler or high schooler, in my opinion.  It is the perfect combination of personal journal and social networking format that students can’t help but find addictive.  Have a reluctant writer in your household?  LiveJournal may be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Speaking of collaboration, have you ever wanted to write a novel with other people?  No?  Then you are missing out on the fun of Glypho, a great way for kids to join together to create some really awesome stories!

And I just recently discovered Magnetic Poetry, which brought back the greatest memories of this black and white magnetic word board I had as a kid where I would sit for hours at a time making funny limericks and mini-stories.  This is the high-tech version, where there are no limits to what you can create…very cool!

Although some might say this falls more under the heading of art, the truth is that some writers just need more than words to tell their stories.  Many of the right-brained among us have a yearning to do more than just put words on a screen – – they want to create!  Enter: GoAnimate – – one of the coolest online tools you will find today for building multimedia stories, slideshows, and even e-cards.  (Warning: not all of the material on the website is appropriate for kids, so you might want to supervise your kids, especially at first.  The developers are working on an educational version of the site for schools and teachers which is designed to not include anything questionable for kids)

We are living in a time where you can actually watch an entire paradigm shift in writing…how we approach it, how we acquire it, how we value it.  You and I both know that books are sadly sitting on the shelf of death row, and that almost every form of written communication will someday be in digital form.  While I’m not always a “if you can’t beat em join em” kind of gal, I think we will be doing our children a disservice if we don’t at least prepare them for writing in the digital age.  I hope you will find these resources here to be a fun introduction into a new way of thinking about writing.



7 Responses

  1. I’ll have to check out Plinky and Glypho later…they sound great!

    A website I just found out about this week that looks interesting from a writing perspective is Xtranormal, which lets you create on the fly movies just using a script and simple directions for the characters.

  2. I swear, you’ve been reading my mind. Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting this up.

  3. Oh, my reluctant-to-write 8 year-old (and, I confess, myself as well) will have so much fun with these!
    Thank you 🙂

  4. Wow. I had no idea that there were so many writing resources on the web. Silly me.

  5. Dan – thanks for the link…I love creative ideas like that!

    Obi-Mom – who needs to read minds, we’ve got the force with us!

    Karen – you, a reluctanct writer? hmph! but I do hope you will have fun…

    Sarah – you’ve been too busy blog writing to notice, eh? 😉

  6. Hi Topsy, my 8 year-old is the reluctant writer… I’m just unable to string words together sensibly sometimes – like when I commented, for example 🙂

  7. Hi (again) – your post has inspired me to poke around on the web, and since I just finished The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, I ended up checking out Alice, the computer programming teaching tool that Carnegie Mellon offers free for download. And I wondered if you or your boys have ever tried it out? Its web site is, I’d love your input as to whether or not it’s a good start to learning about computer programming.

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