This post has been long overdue, since last weekend to be exact. I had the honour to hold two workshops at T4T 2015 MiniCon. The first one was about introducing The Writing Project, an essay writing app that we have been working on it for quite some time now. The second workshop was about blogging for English Language Learners. The first workshop really made The Writing Project that much more real.
The reason why I feel so passionate about this EdTech is not only because I co-created it with my partner Mustefa Jo’shen, but also that it will help students be in control of their own writing. When writing, students often struggle to try to fit their ideas in the 5 paragraph essay boxes that traditional writing instruction created for them. It often becomes a challenge for students to critically think and analyze text, when their ideas are limited in these 5 paragraphs, with a 3 point thesis.
It has been amazing to see the response of the teachers who tried it. What’s even more amazing is their enthusiasm when talking about other features that they’d like to see in The Writing Project.
I have learned so much while building The Writing Project that I feel like it won’t do my learning justice if I put it all into one post. But regardless there are a few highlights that I’d like to share here.
Here are just a few things I learned while building my own #EdTech:
- Surround yourself with positive people who will support you with your dreams.
- EdTech needs to support and even transform the teacher’s pedagogy.
- Get student feedback: if your EdTech is to be used by students, you need to get their feedback and see what they think of it.
- It’s a lot of work and it’s not easy work.
- It will go through so many iterations, the final product would probably be not recognizable to its first version (we started TWP off as a workbook).
In case you’re wondering about The Writing Project I attached the slides below, and you can connect with me about the Beta version. Beta means a rough copy and will go through many edits before it’s the final product. Here are my slides for the T4T2015 mini con workshop, where I discuss what TWP is and our principles behind it: