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Sending a series of messages to the twittosphere is enough to leave more than one skeptic. How to make it a useful tool for the development of writing skills?
Working on the process appears to be a promising avenue. Jean-Yves Fréchette underlines the importance of the relationship between the draft and the finished text in order to understand its processes. With financial assistance from MELS, the Institute of Comparative Tweetature is currently working on software inspired by the popular microblogging platform, which will allow a close dialogue between a trainer and a learner. "As a teacher, can't we have, as in real life, a players' room?" Asks Mr. Fréchette. A working interface prior to the big night when everyone jumps on the ice? This is called Twittexte. "
The intention behind the Twittexte project is to minimize all the irritants encountered by teachers who use Twitter, in particular those related to the protection of personal information and respect for privacy to which school boards are subject. This open source software will be available to the community and can be used free of charge, at elementary, secondary and college level.
The software can be used by students to work on their microproductions. For teachers who wish, it can be used to give comments to each of them and to keep traces for an evaluation. Annie Côté collaborated on the design of the Twittexte software. “After all, this is no place on Twitter to make corrections publicly,” she realizes. Through the projects I have experienced in my class, some young people have rediscovered or even discovered the pleasure of writing. I didn't want to spoil their fun by adding a skill or number rating. "
By the activities she runs on Twitter, Brigitte Léonard, for her part, admits to evaluating differently and more often. Because she is able to collect traces, she can better support struggling students. “I know my students better,” she observes. They are more often in a writing situation. I send less paper home because our work is increasingly on the web. "
Teachers are in their first thoughts regarding the evaluation of texts posted on Twitter. David Martel, at Rochebelle high school made available an evaluation grid content published by students. For Jean-Yves Fréchette, the idea of writing an essay in 21 tweets (3 for the introduction, 5 for paragraphs and 3 for the conclusion) is no longer a joke, but a line of work. "We find ourselves in a dynamic of skills acquisition where know-how is developed through trial and error," he explains, describing the features of Twittexte.