Writing is a major part of ESL learning. As teachers, we want our students to write as much as possible as it is a good way to evaluate their progress. However, it is not always an easy task to motivate students to write on a sheet of paper with an old pencil. This is where Penzu plays a big role, especially with its classroom section.
Penzu is an online application on which you can create your own personal journal. Why have your personal journal online? Penzu can definitely answer this question! As written on the website, with Penzu, your journal will never be lost or stolen, you can access it anywhere (It is much easier to write on your cellphone than on a piece of paper when sitting in a car for example), it is private as passwords are required to access journals and very easy to use as you can add pictures, links, etc. Moreover, there is the possibility to share journals and entries as well as to comment on other entries that were shared.
Here’s a short video by explaining the idea behind Penzu
In the classroom, Penzu can be very useful for teachers. Students can submit their assignments on it and everything can be graded, sending a notification to students to tell them they received a new grade. Directly in the classroom, Elinda Gjondedaj mentions, Penzu can be used by students to keep their own diaries in English, in which they can write how they think they are progressing in their learning of a new language, to keep their e-portfolios, to send each other letters and much more activities can be invented by the teachers.
I think Penzu can be a great tool for in an educational environment as it can easily be used and quickly mastered by student even if they have a low level of ability on the computer. Having students create their own journal to write their feeling about their progress in the class can be a very good idea as teachers could easily follow the progress and get instant reactions from students about the class.