Web 2.0 Wire

By Elizabeth Dolan

http://www.readwritethink.org/
This website has many resources for teachers of English.  It can be searched by grade level or by topic and offers templates and rubrics.  On first appearance the amount of content is overwhelming, but after searching for just a couple of minutes I found several useful tools.

http://www.bitstripsforschools.com/
This website seemed like it would be really fun for high school students.  Everyone in the class would create an avatar cartoon character and then students could create comic strips with the students as characters in the strip.  It seems like it would be a fun way to get students using graphic apps, interacting with each other and doing some creative writing.

http://iwitness.usc.edu/SFI/
IWitness is a website at the University of Southern California that collects digital testimonies of peoples’ life experiences.  These are somewhat lengthy (45 minutes or an hour+) and are organized according to subject.  For example, there are holocaust and civil rights testimonies.  The project is dedicated to social justice issues.  And although the main aim appears to be to record people who experienced significant historical events first hand before they are all gone, the site also encourages young people to record their own testimonies with “challenges” and projects idea for teacher.

http://www.inanimatealice.com/
As an English Lit instructor, the first name that grabbed my attention was “Inanimate Alice” since usually any use of the name Alice alludes to Alice in Wonderland.  This website is a digital novel.  The reader moves the story ahead at their own pace clicking to the next page.  There is a lot happening on each page with graphics and some interactive features where the reader can “participate” in what the protagonist is doing.  There is also audio.  It is meant to appeal to younger readers and would probably be more inspirational to children of the digital age, adding a new dimension to the usual creative writing assignments.  I don’t know how helpful this would be to people in other fields, but it certainly shows how technology will shape the future of the novel and storytelling in general.

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