PA Distance Learning teachers will present at the Drexel University School of Education Virtual Conference for K-12 Online Learning on October 5, 2018.
Megan Miller and Hannah Lewis will present on their topic, “Bringing a Writing Center to a Cyber Charter School.”
They will discuss the benefits and significance of a Writing Center in an Online K-12 School, as well as the process of starting one.
“Megan and I are presenting on the relevance of writing centers in secondary schools, and in particular online schools,” shared Lewis. "They're uncommon in K-12 cyber charter schools, so we discuss the impact they have in our setting and how we were able to establish one here at PA Distance.”
Piloted last year through a PADIE Grant, the Writing Center was a great success. It's now an elective course for 10th-12th grade. To enroll, students must apply and have teacher recommendations.
Using the Bedford Guide for Writing Tutors and teacher-created content, they arm their students to become tutors. After this, tutors work with students in 7th-12th grade who stop by the Writing Center during the week. This Writing Center is, of course, in a virtual classroom.
The tutors will also push into classrooms when a big writing project is on the horizon. For example, they worked with 8th Grade English for a Narrative Writing project last year. Tutors spent time with students working on organization, content, and style.
The second half of the course adds a research project for the students, in addition to their tutoring. They research and create presentations for their final project. If they choose, they can enter their presentation to speak at a conference. Ultimately, Lewis and Miller hope to connect them to a larger community of writers.
The Writing Center provides student-led learning, as well as a place for conversation and dialogue among students. This is important in any educational setting, and Lewis and Miller have made it available in a whole new way for PA Distance students.
With questions about starting and piloting a Writing Center in a cyber school, feel free to reach out to Megan Miller or Hannah Lewis.