New Publication, Feedback in Online Writing Forums: Effects on Adolescent Writers


Adolescents are writing online. A cursory look at the web reveals that teenagers are well-represented; in blog posts, social media updates, profile pages, comments on YouTube videos, responses to news articles, and websites about their interests, teenagers are writing (Williams 2009). In the current research study, the specific kind of adolescent writing under consideration is writing posted in a social media context designed specifically for writers. This case study focuses on six young writers who are active members of an online writing community, and who post their writing in order to receive feedback. Descriptive data collected through interviews, as well as from samples of writing in the online community provide answers to the research questions: a) Who participates in online writing communities? b) Why do people participate in online writing communities? c) What kind of feedback do members of online writing communities receive on their writing? Educational implications for an informal writing pedagogy, for expanding the notion of “peer” in peer feedback, and for valuing students’ “out-of-school” writing are discussed.

Recommended Citation

OMEA 2016

I presented my preliminary research about what O Canada sounds like in Ontario schools. I investigated whether one specific recording is played each day, or whether different recordings are used, who chooses those recordings, how they are introduced, and how the features of each recording affect students’ ability to have a meaningful and developmentally appropriate experience of the national anthem.


Staff Jumping


screenshot-2016-11-28-at-10-44-24-amHere are my teacher ed students jumping on the floor staff. This activity helps students embody the movement of notes on the staff. In my experience, not all students automatically transfer the knowledge they learn through jumping, to the location of notes on a page. But if you explicitly help them make the connection, then they realize how to transfer the knowledge.



In the current course I’m teaching, we’re using an online tool called Recap. It’s a platform for students to create video reflections and share them with the teacher. It is not specifically designed for collaborative learning or knowledge building, but rather, individual student reflections. It can be set up so that students see one another’s videos, but it’s not easy for them to see or access others’ responses. The benefits of the platform are expediency of sharing, security, and ability for the teacher to set a time limit on the length of student videos. I look forward to hearing my students’ opinions and perspectives on Recap.


Knowledge Media Design Collaborative Program Seminar

PracticeCactus is a mobile app created through the Participatory Design (PD) process for use by private piano teachers and their students to enhance and augment independent piano practice between weekly lessons. Stakeholders in the design process included one researcher, 22 piano students ages 7 through 17, three piano teachers, and three programmers. In response to students’ feelings of isolation and boredom during independent piano practice, a virtual pet cactus was designed which “listens” and responds to student practice. Self-determination theory is used to frame the motivational structure for the app (Ryan & Deci, 2000; Ryan, Rigby, Przybylski, 2006). PracticeCactus also includes a web portal for teachers to access detailed information about students’ practice history. These data can be used by teachers to inform student-centred approaches to piano teaching such as “listening as pedagogy,” (Gouzouasis & Ryu, 2015) and teaching for critical and creative agency (Allsup, 2010).

Let’s Talk About Race

Singleton and Hays (1994) suggest a framework called “Agreements of Courageous Conversation,” which can be used to help guide discussions about race. The four pillars of the framework  include staying engaged, expecting discomfort, speaking your truth, and accepting a lack of closure. These agreements were developed based on research in K-12 settings, and provide strategies for effectively leading students through difficult moments which can arise during conversations about race.

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