About Write4Change

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much more.

HOW WRITE4CHANGE WORKS

JOIN

Interested educators enroll a group of their adolescent students in the Write4Change community. Educators can be formal classroom teachers or informal educators (e.g., enrolling students in an after school or summer club), and they have great flexibility to shape their students’ participation in Write4Change to suit their curricular and pedagogical needs. The educator is the connective partner, working with their students and other educators to guide students’ writing and collaboration online with students in other places.

Write4Change uses Google+ to stay connected, collaborate, and share student work. Interested educators can contact the Write4Change team for access to the Google+ community by emailing w4cproject@gmail.com.

PARTICIPATE

Educators incorporate Write4Change into their classrooms in a variety of ways.

  • Some teachers use Write4Change as a platform for their students to share assigned writing and multimodal projects with a global audience.
  • Some teachers simply give students access to the community and encourage them to share their own personal writing, photography, or multimedia projects with other students around the world.
  • Some teachers work together to create cross-cultural collaborative experiences with their students in the Write4Change community.

We encourage teachers to customize their experience as they’d like. We have lots of ideas for educators to jump into the community in different ways on our educator resources page.

DEFINING WRITING & CHANGE

We see writing for change as any act of composing that contributes, even in unexpected or small ways, to some kind of active change – in  communities, places, groups, or individual people.

The project is dedicated to helping youth think about how WRITING can bring about CHANGE. That is, how can their work have impact for themselves and on others?

Writing

We define writing very broadly—this can include traditional textual forms (essays, narratives, poems) and more arts and media oriented textual forms (digital stories, movies, films, image, music, etc.). Writing is a form of composing, as people use and intermix modes like written text, video, audio, and image (e.g., writing a report, creating a documentary, making a digital story, composing a poem, setting poetry to music, podcasting, interviewing, etc.) to create something new and impactful. We have a number of visualization tools that we will introduce to help young people learn to write for broader, global audiences and measure the impact of their writing on those audiences.

Change

We leave it to individual teachers to decide what constitutes ‘change’ or ‘social action’ in their contexts (and indeed, we are interested in learning more about how these ideas get defined over time in the community). For some of our partners, change is oriented to the individual, and the writing that young people engage in is designed to help them focus on their inner selves, their goals and aspirations, and their emotional, psychological, or artistic journeys. For other partners, change is about creating societal movement, whether in bringing about more just outcomes for marginalized populations (e.g., improving girls’ education) or undoing injustices witnessed in local, national, or global communities (e.g., fighting against child marriage or helping refugees). We imagine there will be great variation in how people think of writing as/for change.

Here are some examples of how we see writing and change happening around us:

 

How Wolves Change Rivers

 

Goodnet.org

Food Empowerment Project

#StarringJohnCho

 

STUDENT OUTCOMES FOR WRITE4CHANGE

Write4Change positions young people to think about themselves as change agents across local and global contexts. It will help them see connections between SELF-COMMUNITY-WORLD in two central areas:

  • Writing
    • How can they impact others through their writing? How can they become thoughtful, sensitive, and effective writers online? How can they use digital tools to create powerful writing and measure the impact of their work on others?
  • Cross-cultural Communication 
    • How can they communicate with people from different backgrounds and with different beliefs, languages, and cultures? How will they find common ground to learn from and with others? What strategies are most effective in promoting and sustaining dialogue? How do they see themselves in relationship with others, and how can they be ethical and caring in their interactions?

 

FAQs

What do educators in Write4Change do?

Educators in Write4Change interact with the community and support students in participating.

  • Engage in the community yourself and act as a guide for your students to help connect them with the possibilities the community offers.
  • Encourage your students to interact and learn from other students in the Write4Change community. In whatever way you choose to incorporate Write4Change into you class, we hope that you encourage and remind your students to engage with the community on a regular basis.
  • Optional:
    • Guide your students in producing projects to share with the Write4Change community. These projects can be quite small (a poem or story to share) or more elaborate (a media artifact investigating an issue in the local community). In addition to sharing the projects, we hope teachers can have students post updates as they work on it (ideally getting feedback and insights along the way).
    • Collaborate with other groups online. We have lots of ideas about how you can set up an exchange with others; just reach out!
    • Get Involved: You might want to get more involved in Write4Change: sign up to be in the research study and sign students up as well or work as a ‘core teacher’ as we expand Write4Change. Contact us more details!
What do students in W4C do?

Students in the Write4Change community are asked to participate in a few different activities that can begin as teacher facilitated work but become self-directed over time.

  • Share writing and other media within the Write4Change community. We hope that students will share both in-process and finished work.
  • Interact with other members of the Write4Change community by giving feedback and asking questions on other student’s posts.
  • Optional activities:
    • Collaborate with others, either individually or in group collaborations.
    • Connect outside of Write4Change and document/report on those efforts. We will post invitations to contests or publishing opportunities that youth may enjoy.
    • Join the research study.
Do my students have to post in English?

Most interactions have been in English as the shared language to date, but we are actively encouraging participation in multiple languages. We hope teachers will encourage students to write using multiple languages to make this a rich multilingual community of writers.

I am interested. How do I sign up to learn more?
  • Send us an email. Fill in the contact sheet on this website or send us an email to get started and we will be in touch with next steps.
  • Go to our educator resources page, where you will find more examples of how you and your students can use Write4Change.

 

Contact us at w4cproject@gmail.com for more information.