Write About - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What devices does Write About work on?
Write About is a web-based platform that is accessed through a browser. It works on desktops, laptops and tablets running iOS or Android. The system can be accessed through a mobile device, but generally is made for screens bigger than 7 inches. The ability to record audio is available in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox only. View all technical troubleshooting

What browsers does Write About work in?
The system works in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari. There are a few known issues in Internet Explorer. View all technical troubleshooting

What ages and grade levels is Write About for?
Elementary, middle school, and high school students have all had great success using Write About! Content can be filtered by grade level and there are a range of Ideas and Posts being created each day. Teachers with students under the age of 13 are required to obtain proper parental permission for joining and publishing to an online educational network.

Related: Community Guidelines; Kids & Online Safety

How much does Write About cost?
Teachers can sign up and participate in the Write About community for free. Up to 40 free student accounts can be created with up to 5 posts each. Unlimited posts can be added with a Classroom account for $24.95 per year. Teachers with multiple classes can add up to 250 students with unlimited posts for $39.95 per year. See details on the Memberships page.

How do I set up students?
Teachers can set up accounts for their students 1 at-a-time or in bulk. Students can also register themselves using their teacher’s Teacher Code. View help content for getting started with student accounts.

Where can I find my Teacher Code?
When logged in, teachers see their Teacher Code from the My Page tab as well as the Student areas of My Students and Manage Students.

Why do students need to enter the Teacher Code to log in?
Student accounts are managed by their teacher and associated with their account. Student usernames are tied to the teacher’s code so that they do not need to be unique across the entire system.

Can students register themselves?
Yes! Teachers just need to give students their Teacher Code and guide them through creating a safe username and password or have them use their Google account to register.

Can students be shared by multiple teachers?
Currently, students are registered under a single teacher account who is the only person who can access their work and manage the account. For co-teaching situations, teachers can co-administer a group for a shared space to post Ideas and for students to share their Posts to.

Students being able to be shared by teachers is something we are working on for a new membership level at the building/district level. Let us know if you’d be interested in that.

How can my school or district use Write About with multiple classrooms?
The Write About School/District platform offers many added features for those looking to bring writing and publishing opportunities to students and teachers across wider rollouts. Check out the School/District page! A snapshot:

  • Manager access to create and administer students, groups, and teachers
  • District level writing engagement metrics
  • District privacy level for “walled garden” collaboration and publishing
  • Shared student accounts for co-teaching
  • Transfer student feature for multi-year writing portfolios
  • Group Filtering controls

How much does the School/District platform cost?
Schools and Districts can offer Write About to all their teachers and students by subscribing to a $2 annual per-student fee. This price is valid for the 2016-17 school year. Pay by PO, check or credit card by filling out this brief form.

Are there funding sources available to bring Write About to my School or District?
Write About is a curricular tool that helps students become better writers. Many Schools and Districts purchase it within their Language Arts, Writing, and/or Reading budgets. Others leverage Title funds related to Literacy or use Grant funding. Because Write About provides educators with access to data centered on student writing engagement along with writing samples for each student, the platform is easily aligns with these purposes. Writing, Reading and Speaking/Listening standards are also covered with the content and learning outcomes for students using Write About. Contact us for any funding questions.

We are a Google Apps school. Teachers use Docs and Classroom. How does Write About compare? Do we need both?
Write About is commonly integrated into student/teacher workflows where Google Docs and Google Classroom is being used. They are complimentary and also used for different purposes. Learn more here: https://www.writeabout.com/write-about-and-google-docs/

Can parents and other family members participate?
As viewers, yes. Currently, the Write About community is open for educators and students to create content and interact. Ideas, Posts and Groups that are marked as Public are open online and can be shared using the Public Class Feed link. Only registered users can leave comments. We are actively working on how parents and other trusted adults could become a more active part of the audience for student writing.

Do students have to use writing prompts?
Nope. We believe that great visual Ideas can spark curiosity and engage student writers but also know that students often have their own ideas to write about. We fully embrace the option for authors to create a post from scratch. Teachers on Write About are using Ideas in lots of ways to get kids writing but not merely as a “prompt”. Learn more about creating Visual Writing Ideas.

Is student writing public?
Only when the author and the teacher want it to be. Private Posts are only visible to the student’s teacher. Classmates Only posts are only visible to other students with the same teacher. See the full details about Publishing Permissions and and Creating Posts.

What privacy and safety measures are in place?
A lot! Student privacy and safety are always a priority as we strive to build a positive writing community. Student accounts are associated with a teacher who is in control of all student activity. Only student first names are displayed throughout the site. Content can quickly be marked as abusive. Take a look at our Community Guidelines and Privacy Policy to learn more.

How do I record audio for an Idea or Post?
Access Write About in the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browser to use the audio recording tool. Currently, audio recording is unavailable on iOS devices like iPads. See full audio help details.

Can my students publish a post that only the class can read?
Yes! Students can designate the post privacy as “Classmates” and teachers can limit student sharing to this level if desired. Classmates only posts can be shared to a private or closed group to be read by classmates. If a post is marked as Private, only the student’s teacher can view the post.

Can we change the font type, size or color in the Posts?
To view the text size options when composing a post, use the ‘toolbar toggle’ button furthest to the right on your toolbar. A new sub-menu will display, include a ‘Paragraph’ drop down with the options. We have purposely left off distracting font types and color options so that students will focus on their writing.