http://www.biteslide.com

http://www.biteslide.com
Project Based Learning

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Boom Writer: A Closer Look

Boom Writer is a site I've blogged about in the past and am very impressed with.  This is a wonderful, free, innovative site, to not only spark creativity through the creation of writing a collaborative book, but also ignite the joy of reading through assessing peers works.  Also, BW is designed for grades 4th-12th.  In simple terms Boom Writer lets students create a book one chapter a time by having them: write, read, and vote.  All of this is done in a friendly, engaging school/class competition that takes place in a safe environment and is CIPA/COPPA compliant.

To get started is very simple.  A teacher would signup their school and create an admin account.  Once an account is created they can add a school logo and invite students to join.  Students need to register w/ an email account and get their parents/guardian's approval.  Teachers are supplied w/ a Boom Writer email address to be able to find out latest news/updates from BW.  Also, a teacher has access to a wonderful quick start book (PDF) to help them integrate Boom Writer into their class, as well as a free teacher's manual.  There are also wonderful video tutorials to help w/ this process too.

Another feature that makes Boom Writer so great is how user friendly the teacher dashboard is.  The teacher dashboard consists of:

  • Students Tab - This is where teachers can manage students (approve/deny membership), view grade level, points, entries, wins, votes, etc.  FYI, each chapter in a book on Boom Writer is considered a competition that students get to vote on.
  • Books - Area to see which books are being created and their status.
  • Story Starts - This is a great place for teachers to find first chapters of books to start a competition. It almost acts like a writing prompt for students.  They would read the first chapter and then continue on writing their own and submit them to be voted on.
  • Manage School - A place to invite another teacher.
  • Moderation - The ability to approve/deny any submission by a student.  This is vital for CIPA compliance.
To engage students there are lots of nice features for them as well, such as:
  • Points - When a student creates an account they get to create their own avatar/BoomWriter.  Students achieve points by having their chapters voted on.  With these points students can use them to purchase virtual merchandise for their avatar.
  • Voting - A great way for students to read and assess the writing of other students.  They can vote on a chapter as many times as they like but not on their own submission.
  • Get Published - A finished book can be published and purchased for $9.99.
  • Writing Club - Boom Writer offers a writing club for a paid subscription that allows students to enter competitions from around the world, access celebrity authors, and more.
I've seen sites before for collaborative writing but nothing quite like this.  Boom Writer offers a safe environment for students to compete (by entering chapters they've written), vote/assess (other student's work), and get published.

I highly highly recommend checking out Boom Writer by clicking here!!!

*Boom Writer is a paid advertiser of Technology Tidbits.

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