Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Authentic Writing Resource For Students - Opposing Views

Providing students an opportunity to write for an audience using a medium that they are familiar with, will increase not only the level of engagement of our students, but we also can expect a higher quality of work. The I offers many opportunities for students to publish their thoughts, opinions and comments. The read/write web provides a gateway for students to share their thoughts with others and receive immediate feedback. This type of collaboration and real-time interaction has proven to be quite effective with regards to the teaching of not only writing, but can has been a proven instructional strategy for all subject areas.

The website Opposing Views offers the opportunity for students to publish their writing. The site specializes in publishing viewpoints, opinions and facts on topics that include politics, sports, current events, society, health, religion, entertainment, and technology.

Here is a blurb from their facts page: (a full page of facts about the site is available here)

How does an Opposing Views debate work?

Each debate starts with Opposing Views picking a central question on people’s minds. We then invite interested experts, opinion leaders and advocates to pick a side and weigh in. Experts can present as many arguments as they choose. After that, experts are able to counter each opposing argument one time. The author of the original argument can then respond to each counter. Thus, our debates last three rounds: Argument, Objection, and Response. That’s it.
Students may post a new discussion or comment on an existing one. Many of the current articles can be used in class as conversation starters. Because opposing sites is on the web students may have the opportunity to collaborate with a global audience. It is a great place to hear and share views and opinions from around the world. For a student to be successful in the 21st century they must be comfortable writing and publishing in an online environment. They also must have the skills to communicate and collaborate with a global audience utilizing technology. A 21st century student must be information literate. They must be able to interpret and analyze a wide variety of information sources and draw their own conclusions from them. Opposing views provides this experience.


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