ISTE Standard 1: Enhancing Writing through Technology

My triggering question is: What online tools are available for elementary classrooms to support students in developing their writing skills? It connects to Standard 1: Teachers use their knowledge of subject matter, teaching and learning, and technology to facilitate experiences that facilitate experiences that advance student learning, creativity, and innovation in both face-to-face and virtual environments.  My question focuses on finding technology tools that will promote student reflection to improve students’ writing.  It allows teachers to model collaborative knowledge construction in order to advance students learning in the area of writing. Students have opportunities to collaborate with other students in virtual environments to provide other students’ with feedback on their writing.

One resource I found that addressed my question is the online journal tool Penzu: Penzu is a free web-based journal tool that allows students to create online journals to publish writing assignments. Each student has his/her own account and each account is linked to the classroom journal. This allows the teacher to access students’ work in one place. The teacher is able to edit and leave comments for students. The student then has quick access to the comments and can continue to revise their work prior to publishing. It also serves as a portfolio of students’ writing because the student has their work compiled all in one place. Penzu allows the teacher to share individual student writing samples with the class. This creates an opportunity for students to see model work samples and peer review or assess other students’ writing. This connects to Standard 1 because this tool allows the teacher to model collaborative knowledge construction by providing feedback. Students can then develop their knowledge by viewing student work samples and giving and receiving feedback from their peers. Hopefully this interaction will help students reflect and make changes that will enhance their own writing.

Digital storytelling is a technology tool that will support student learning in the area of writing.  Sadik (2008) states, “Storytelling is a simple but powerful method to help students to make sense of the complex and unordered world of experience by crafting storylines” (p. 489). There are two resources that utilize digital storytelling that are appropriate for my third grade students. Students work samples would serve as artifacts for student competency in Standard 1. Ashley Dugovich shared the resource, Tikatok: , on the  ISTE Standard 1 dicussion board.  This program supports Standard 1 because it promotes creative thinking in a virtual environment.  It also connects with Common Core Standards, which addresses the concern of having limited time to integrate technology due to the amount of grade level standards that must be met.  Teachers can use student created stories as an assessment of students’ understanding of the standard. Tikatok would motivate students to write because they are creating and publishing their own storybook. It makes the writing activities much more authentic and provides a great format for students to present their work. Sadik (2008) explains that digital storytelling offers a way for students to not only be the listeners but also learners who can interact and shape the story (p.490). This connects to Standard 1 because students are a part of the planning and creative process.  Katie Young shared Toontastic:, which is a resource that would motivate my students who struggle coming up with an idea to begin the writing process. This app would provide my students with choices to get them started while following a story structure. For students who have difficulty completing a writing task, this app would allow them to feel a sense of accomplishment when completing a story. Hopefully this would motivate them to create stories in different disciplines.


Russell, A., Amarasiriwardena, T., Clarke, A., Kim, W., Thomason, C., Rotondo, M., Clemmons, H., & McLawhorn, M. Launchpad Toys. Toontastic. Retrieved January 17, 2014, from

Sadik, A.(2008). Digital storytelling: A meaningful technology integrated approach for engaged student learning. Educational Technology Research and Development, 56, 487–506

(2013). Tikatok. Tikatok – Everyone has a story. What’s yours?. Retrieved January 17, 2014, from

(2014). Write In Private: Free Online Diary And Personal Journal | Penzu. Penzu | Classroom. Retrieved January 17, 2014, from

This entry was posted in Standard 03. Curriculum, Standard 05. Assessment, Standard 10. Technology, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to ISTE Standard 1: Enhancing Writing through Technology

  1. Darryl Sumida says:

    Prior to you introducing Penzu, I had never heard about it. Upon further investigation into the website, it was interesting to discover how private the communication between the teacher and student may be during the writing and drafting stages. In my current school, I have a number of students who will hand in drafts outside of class, when no other student is around. I feel that Penzu’s ability for students to start on a written project and receive feedback discreetly could impact the students’ growth.
    Perhaps this is just my personal opinion, but as you mentioned student “opportunities to collaborate with other students in virtual environments”, I was wondering if you are considering or would consider using more than one website or resource to accomplish this. For student collaboration, websites such as PrimaryPad ( shows teachers how much and when each student contributed to the project.

  2. The suggested sites Tikatok and Toontastic seemed to be viable tools to apply creativity and meet Common Core State Standards (CCSS). With limited time for technology opportunities at my school dovetailing two instructional standard frameworks, ISTE and CCSS will be included in future planning of lessons and instruction. Due to lack of technology knowledge, I am hesitate to pursue new tools to enhance my students’ learning, but as I am discovering there are many opportunities to easily include technology in daily learning.

  3. Andrea Rose says:

    I love that your process goes from “how to support students in developing their writing skills” to many examples of how to get them engaged in writing. With more practice, students will become more confident and be able to improve upon the work they produce. Improvement through practice and practice through engagement.
    I can see students getting very excited about these tools! Wonderful resources to share!

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