In all the classes that I have taught, reluctant writers have been among the student population. Despite their negative feelings towards written tasks, they still need to learn how to compose text. How can teachers get these students to engage in writing? Fields, Magnifico, Lammers, and Curwood (2014) suggest that the use of social networking sites can create a sense of community and allow all students to refine their ability to write (p. 19). This could be a way in which reluctant writers could become more engaged with tasks. For example, Figment is an online site that allows users to share their creative writing through forums (Fields et al., 2014). Writers are directly involved in the design process and they are able to interact with others to get feedback and suggestions. “Figment and Scratch encourage youth in the direction of creative media production by connecting them to others interested in reading, writing, programming, and designing.” (Fields et al., 2014, pp. 22-23). It may be beneficial for classroom teachers to look into such creative DIY communities to see what features could be integrated into their literacy lessons. These sites allow students to be collaboration and interacting with peers in a way that may encourage them to write (Fields et al., p. 23). For my reluctant writers, I think that making writing more social would allow them to feel less isolated and see the usefulness of what they are writing. Furthermore, if students are involved in similar online forums, they are contributing their creativity and opinions towards a project that they can relate to. This makes their compositions more meaningful and significant to them. It also allows me, as a teacher, to take a step back and empower the student to develop their creative thinking skills through a process that they control.
Fields, D. A., Magnifico, A. M., Lammers, J. C., & Curwood, J. S. (2014). DIY media creation. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 58(1), 19-24. doi:10.1002/jaal.331