Exploring Classroom Microblogs to Improve Writing of Middle School Students
Many of today’s adolescents are constantly engaging with information through texting, watching videos, listening to music, and even writing papers. Learning to interact properly with information through writing presents a challenge for the students because they are employing all of these applications at once and believe that they are multitasking successfully. This study explored whether participants’ writing changed when using a microblogging tool in Edmodo. The Inside Writing Frame served as the conceptual framework and was employed in creating the microblogs and grading rubric. This qualitative case study examined six microblog work samples from six eighth grade students to determine how the students’ writing changed while using the microblog tool and how the participants viewed their experience. Eight themes were used as codes for the writing sample rubrics: explore, investigating, gathering data, brainstorm, organizing, defining, redefining, connecting, and citing. While using the microblogs, participants showed growth in each of their previously weak areas and experienced a positive change in their writing. During the focus group, participants indicated a positive outlook about using the microblog as a tool for writing and expressed that they would like to see Edmodo expanded to other subjects.