The Teacher Tip

Find Out What Kids are Doing Online

September 8, 2017

Adapted from Crafting Digital Writing by Troy Hicks

A recent extensive ethnographic study shows that young people participate in online activities in varying degrees (Ito et al., 2009). Each type of participation includes different levels of engagement

  • Hanging out-participating in social media, watching videos, and casual web surfing
  • Messing around—playing games informally and designing websites or other online materials
  • Geeking out—creating high-quality remixes, fully participating in online gaming

Ask: What are your students doing online? How might your work with them in the classroom relate to their online interests? How can the writing they do in your class will help them as they create their digital footprint?

To learn more about Crafting Digital Writing, and to download a sample chapter, visit

The Heinemann Teacher Tip app is a free download.