“[I] enjoyed being able to provide students an assignment that was less worried about word limits and grammar, and more concerned with sharing and presenting ideas.”
Fostering Future Authors was an excellent experience for the students. As their books remain continually accessible to others online, the students’ satisfaction and sense of accomplishment lasts much longer. It was an opportunity for them to showcase their work, not just to other students in their school, but to those from other ones as well. In fact, it could potentially even reach an overseas audience. The exposure is great.
The project provided students a number of things which were beyond their usual school experience. For example, in the school setting, an exceptional piece by a student might be presented to others as a model essay. But there wasn’t a convenient way for others to provide their feedback. The approach taken by the Fostering Future Authors project allowed work to be liked and commented in an easy fashion, familiar to today’s kids. Even “sharing” the work is convenient; students only need to forward a link to their friends and family.
Then there’s the matter of question creation. In schools, students are taught how to answer questions, not so much on how to create them. In fact, some teachers might not know where to begin if you have task them with teaching question creation. But the fact is, asking questions is just as important as answering them.
When talking about the project, it’s also important to mention the meaning in the work. As students participate in the project, they are given a chance to be part of an effort to provide effective alternatives to the traditional classroom. This is also something that goes beyond their school experience.
The project also helped teach students about the process of publishing, and fellow schoolmates were excited for the project attendees. The possibility of buying their schoolmate’s work in bookstores was exhilarating for them. It was great to hear the children talk about it. It also got them to delve into the concept of life planning, which usually isn’t introduced to Hong Kong students until secondary school.
As a teacher-librarian, following my students’ participation in the project helped me better understand their development. When students are allowed to supplement their written work with audio and visual input, it provides a more complete picture of the world they see, the world they wish to share with us.
I also enjoyed being able to provide students an assignment that was less worried about word limits and grammar, and more concerned with sharing and presenting ideas.
Overall, Fostering Small Authors was a great project.
Ms. Helen Chan – teacher-librarian at Lam Tin Methodist Primary School