Give Students an Audience with "Write About"

I've always advocated that students write across all subjects. I've loved developing integrated writing tasks across the science over my years as a teacher and I've seen my student's ability to write across a variety of genres and topics skyrocket.

Sometimes though, I want to give my students an authentic prompt to write and explore at the beginning of class that has curricular ties, has controversy, or allows them to think critically. Also, being able to assess and monitor such minor "warm ups" has been a problem as there was nothing more than a quick check for assessment or small group shares.

Write About
Recently, I learned about "Write About" and have used it for a number of writing topics in science and my MS Sustainability course. The dashboard allows you to create or search for writing prompts. Once created, these can be shared to sites via links, to Google Classroom, or via a link.

The Write About Dashboard. 

Once in the dashboard, you can search for existing writing prompts and create your own. My first prompt was to address the problem of being able to grow food to feed a growing population. Although scientists seem to downplay the dangers of genetically modified crops, there is a huge camp of citizens that are vehemently opposed to "frankenfoods", many of them with large families ironically.

The Write About Prompt which can be searched for or shared to a group via sharing links above. 
Some of my students accidentally signed in before "registering" and got signed into a teacher account, but Brad from Write About helped my students get sorted.

Once choosing a topic and sending student the link, they can choose that their post is public or private. Users can comment on public posts and create a community of readers and writers.

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