Resources. Rather than using crowd-sourced resources like Wikipedia, provide students with quality resources that provide background information for writing. Encourage students to look for the authority of the resource. An important part of 21st century writing is accessing, evaluating, using, and citing quality resources.

  • Early Jamestown is an interactive textbook that provides rich interactive graphics and stories to engage young people in reading.
  • NASA App is the official app that provides information including images, audio, and video.

Inspire. Use apps as inspirations for writing.

  • The Louvre also has a free app.
  • Pocket Zoo ($1.99) provides acccess to live animal cams as well as recorded videos.
  • Faces iMake ($1.99) allows students to make collage faces fom every day objects. It would be a wonderful way to jumpstart the creation of story characters.


  • Project Noah is an example of citizen scientists at work.
  • Combine the Maps apps on the iPad with writing real-world directions.

Model. Look for models of new kinds of writing experience. Use these for inspiration.

Create. An elementary teacher from the iRead project used the free Puppet Pals apps with her students. One student created a project called Eureka about the gold rush using a storyboard.

We've been using Microsoft Word for decades. It's time to think of the many other tools students can use to communicate ideas.

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