Although text-based digital communication (e.g. email, text messaging) is the new norm, American teens continue to fall short of writing standards, claiming school writing is too challenging and that they have nothing interesting to share. However, teens constantly and enthusiastically immerse themselves in social media, through which they regularly document their life stories and voluntarily share them with peers who deliver feedback (comments, “likes,” etc.) which has been demonstrated to impact self-esteem. While such activities are, in fact, writing, research indicates that teens instead view them as simply “communication” or “being social.” Accordingly, through a review of relevant literature, interviews with teachers, and focus groups with students, this research offers recommendations for designing technology that infuses school writing with the aspects of social media that teens find so engaging—including multi-platform access to personal informatics, guided prewriting tools, and structured peer feedback—with the ultimate goal of improving student writing.


storytelling usability methods and tools social media writing education educational technology instruction design 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Sadauskas
    • 1
  • Daragh Byrne
    • 1
  • Robert K. Atkinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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