Student Writing

Adobe Spark

Free tool enabling writers to link to documents, websites, and videos.  Integrate images and text, organize sections in a “glide” design.

And IAS capstone portfolio created on Spark.

Microsoft Sway

Similar to Spark, integrate visual elements into writing.

Making Water Work

A professional presentation constructed on Sway



Integrate both vertical and horizontal elements in writing.

The Future of Diversity in STEM


Create interactive, branching projects.   Examples, research, and other resources at these bookmarks.

The Twinery Cookbook an open source book with tutorials for a variety of techniques.

Twine and Empowering Student Voices  A course project at MSU.


Blogging as Writing and Blogging

At these links are two collections of essays on the “why” of writing in a public digital space, along with some practical “how to” create posts/comments/ habits of writing (one created for K-12 educators, the other more general).

Gardner Campbell’s How Blogging Can Catalyze Learning

Jane’s Blog Assignment for one course

Managing Student Blogs for yourself and for peer access:


Inoreader allows you to copy and paste the link from each student blog into a course folder where you can see (in bold) when students have added content.

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You can also create a feed of HTML clips from the folder to share with students (with a $30 annual upgrade, discounted at the end of most years to $18). Because WordPress won’t accept “iframe” code, I’ve created a workaround by embedding the code from the folder to another platform (here, Google Sites) and I’d then add a “Our Blogs” link to the menu of my course site.  I posted on our Known site a few weeks ago about Laura Gibb’s use of this tool for embedding a syndication of student blogs within her Canvas site.

 I have also sometimes done a RSS widget on WordPress (see lower right hand corner).

WordPress Plug-In

WordPress comes in two forms:

  •, in which you simply open the platform and create your site on WordPress’s servers.
  •, in which you install the WordPress software on a server of your choice (I use Reclaim Hosting).  With this option, you get much more flexibility in design via plug-ins.
    • For this course, I used the FeedWordpress plug-in.  I choose a theme that creates a grid of blog posts (rather than displaying them in a vertical arrangement).  I enter each student’s blog URL in this plug-in, and it creates a blog post on my site from each student’s blog post.  I also use Auto Post Thumbnail Pro to insert any image that a student has included in their post, and a default image for any student post that doesn’t include an image (just for the visual interest).
    • I love this centering of student work on the home page of our course website.


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