American teens continue to fall short of national writing standards, often claiming school writing is too challenging and that they have nothing interesting to say. However, teens constantly and enthusiastically immerse themselves in text-based digital communication via text messaging, email, and social media. While such activities are, in fact, writing, research indicates that teens instead view them as simply “communication” or “being social.”
With this in mind, my Social Media Based Writing project was an effort to create and implement technology that infuses school writing with the aspects of social media that teens find so appealing and engaging. The intent was to demystify writing by illuminating students’ natural storytelling abilities, ultimately improving the quality of their writing.
The work included the development and implementation of Social Media Based Writing technology to aid middle/high school students in generating personally relevant writing topic ideas and allow them to share their writing with a peer audience for feedback and discussion. Through iterative design and writing-performance-based evaluation, the objective was to develop a tool deployable in K-12 classrooms and embeddable in existing writing curricula.
You can read more about this project in the following papers:
Sadauskas, J., Byrne, D., & Atkinson, R. K. (2015). Mining Memories: Designing a Platform to Support Social Media Based Writing. Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’15) (pp. 3691–3700). Seoul, South Korea: ACM. doi:10.1145/2702123.2702383
Sadauskas, J. (2014). Improving Adolescent Writing Quality and Motivation with Sparkfolio, a Social Media Based Writing Tool (Doctoral dissertation). Arizona State University. Retrieved from https://repository.asu.edu/items/26893
Sadauskas, J., Byrne, D., & Atkinson, R. K. (2013). Toward Social Media Based Writing. In A. Marcus (Ed.), Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction – DUXU/HCII 2013, Part II, LNCS 8013 (pp. 276–285). Las Vegas, NV, USA: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-39241-2_31