What is Wattpad?
Wattpad is a crowd sourced site for self published writing. The writing is voted on, it is changed and updated as the author feels the need, it is free to access as a writer and a reader, and, the middle school students at our school love it. This blog post from David Gaughran explains it in more detail with some statistics (one of which is that Wattpad users spend about an hour a day on the site). Read the Wattpad story.
The official blurb goes like this ...
"Wattpad is the world's largest community of readers and writers. It's the free and fun way to read on the web and across all mobile devices. Everyday millions of people use Wattpad to read unique new fiction or share their own creative writing. For both avid readers and aspiring writers, Wattpad is the best place to discover and share unlimited stories. It's the only community that offers a mobile, social, eReading experience.
- We could promote it as another access point for reading (and writing).
- Could some of the popular books be catalogued in our OPACs?
- Could we highlight our own students who are publishing on Wattpad?
- If you use Goodreads, we could all become Goodreads librarians and add our students Wattpad reading to the Goodreads database to give this reading validation as being 'real' reading.
- There is writing in every language - this platform could easily be promoted and used for mother tongue support.
- Throughout the site, there are comments about copyright, creative commons, public domain.
General School life:
- Could Wattpad be used as a platform for publishing in class creative writing?
- Could the teachers use examples from Wattpad to look at different writing styles and devices?
- A class could follow a story as it is published chapter by chapter and comment to the author.
- A language class could use the writing in the language of instruction to enhance the reading and language skills of their students.
- The art and design curriculum could be harnessed to connect with authors to create covers and promotion for their books.
- The platform can be used as a place to start or read about campaigns against undesirable behaviours
- Students undertaking Personal Projects and Extended essays could use this platform as research or as a publishing platform.
- Wattpad is outstanding for those students who have access, learning and reading difficulties - text size and font can be changed, audio can be used to read the books and the writing comes in lengths from 1 page to 1000's of pages - and you can search the database based on length of the work.
- The short Wattpad writing tips videos (recorded by established Wattpad authors) could be used as a self checker against their own work, or even as a tutorial on how to write, or if you like - flipped classroom pedagogy.
- Staff could be encouraged to write and publish on Wattpad on their area of expertise whether it be fiction based on their subject, or commentary of their own interest. There is a story in all of us.
The statistics for Wattpad in 2014 are astounding, Wattpad is here to stay. I encourage you to check it out, learn how to access it and promote it as an authentic reading and writing platform across your school.
Can you think of some other ideas of how Wattpad could be used?
Do you harness the power of Wattpad in your library and school? Please share.