I just discovered Penzu and thought I could share it with you. Penzu is like a web journal where you can write anything you want without having anybody finding out about it. You just need to create your own account and you are good to go. What I like about the tool is that you still have the possibility to personalize your journal by adding pictures, choosing your lock, and your font. Consequently, the writer has a lot of freedom to choose from what he (yes boys can also write their own personal journal) or she wants. When you start writing, the web page has the same appearance as a real journal page. Consequently, you really feel like you are writing your own journal. What is even nicer is that you don’t have to hide your journal from anybody anymore since Penzu offers privacy of content. Unless you want to share the content of your Penzu journal, nobody can find out about it.
You might ask yourself, yes this tool seems nice but how can I use it with my students. Well, let me tell you there are thousands of possibilities for you to use Penzu in your classroom. Personally, I would mostly use a journal like this with elementary students since they will be more appealed to it. However, I believe that Penzu can also be used for high school students if you would like to. The beauty of Penzu is that when you create your account, you have the possibility to create a “classroom journal”. Then, Penzu will give you a unique class code that you can share with your students. In their own Penzu accounts, students will simply have to add the code to join the classroom. After this, you can do anything you want with them. You can have students write essays on the tool or only use it to really write small journal entries about their day but all in English. Both possibilities allow your students to practice their writing skills in English. In addition, as the teacher you can go and check the students’ work, comment and grade them. Here is the website that helped me gather all the information about Penzu classrooms.
I can already picture some of you saying, but it is quite similar to Google Docs, why use it? I would prefer using Penzu with younger students since they will find it more engaging to work on than on Google Docs. Students will have the possibility to personalize their journals which a lot of students love to do. Consequently, students will be more motivated to write since they find the tool they are using more engaging. I hope I have convinced you to at least try out one time this amazing tool.
Here is a short video that can help you get started with Penzu that helped me understand the tool easily. Also, here is another blog talking about Penzu and education and why you should use it in your class.