I sat next to a teenage boy on my Seattle ferry ride yesterday who composed rap lyrics on his cell phone. Looking over his shoulder out of the corner of my eye I could almost hear the beat as I marveled at his need to create and share instantly with his friends. For the remainder of the ride he received multiple text messages from those friends--affirmations for the most part. Friends are like that.
It got me thinking about a truly fascinating new website launched earlier this month that I encourage teachers to share with their aspiring writers. Figment.com is a site where teen writers can post their work with a community of teen writers.
It is more than a Facebook for the teenage literati. Conceived by the former managing editor of the New Yorker, it is also a place where maybe, just maybe a publisher is lurking.
If I were an English teacher, I think I'd find a way to incorporate this website into my bag of tricks. Imagine using a site like Figment.com with an interactive projector annotating,underlining emphasizing and truly playing a role in shaping a new generation of writers. Sharing is a 21st Century Skill.