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Langston Hughes's "Cora Unashamed," using Edistorm

Web2.0 tool is a great place to find many resources that you can use.  What is very beneficial about it is that we as future English teachers can use any number of these ‘tools’ or resources in the classroom, customizing it for the academic needs of the students. 

I would like to highlight a tool called, Edistorm.  Edistorm works with the concept of sticky notes.  It is an interactive, digital way of getting people to brainstorm ideas.  Much like posting comments and statuses on a facebook page, members of a group can do the same in Edistorm.  Ideas can be put on a wall by any member(s) who are invited.  When other members sign in, they can see what is happening and add their ideas.  If members are working to decide on which idea to use for a project, there is a vote feature on Edistorm that they can use.  This vote feature allows members to vote on which ideas they like best or think is most important.  There are other features on Edistorm where members can group ideas that are similar, or delete ideas that seem to digress from the main point.  Edistorm would realize all this and make suggestions of ideas as well.

In the classroom, I would use Edistorm to go over main themes in the short story, “Cora Unashamed,” by Langston Hughes.  After breaking up the class, I would assign each group a certain theme that they can go over and discuss with the class.  The students would use Edistorm to brainstorm ideas about the theme, outside of class as a homework project.

I have created an example theme on Edistorm, which is the issue of teen pregnancy. 

What’s also effective of this tool is that it can also be used to help students brainstorm ideas for writing papers.  It does not always have to include other members, though, if a student would like to ask for the help and advice from fellow classmates or even the teacher, he or she may ‘invite’ them to the ‘storm’ to help come up with ideas or questions that spark ideas for the paper.