Writing a story can be an exciting project for some students and a daunting experience for others. Yet even for students who struggle, the idea of seeing a published product can make the process seem worthwhile.
Tikatok.com is an online community that allows students to write, illustrate, and share their own books. It provides brainstorming help and story prompts to assist students along the way, and it allows students to co-author books or solicit editing help from their friends. Young authors can also send their illustrations to the company to be scanned and uploaded to the Web site. The registration and use of the site are free, and for about $20 students can order a hardback or paperback copy of the book they have created.
The site now also includes a new “Teacher Dashboard,” added to help teachers incorporate Tikatok into the classroom. With this feature, teachers can register their entire class on the site, set up group forums for sharing stories, send students assignments or personal messages, and monitor student actions. They can also communicate with parents via e-mail to encourage involvement in writing projects.
A version of this article appeared in the March 16, 2009 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook