You may be asking: Why are there so many different ways to post on Youth Voices?

At the top of your profile, you will see several tabs. These open different tools that you can use to write and make media. These tabs represent a spectrum of discourse options (different ways of communicating) available to you on Youth Voices.

How do you choose which tool to use?

It depends on who you are writing or making media for and how you want your audience to respond. The details are in this chart, and all of this will make more sense to you once you complete the activities in Making Your Mark playlist.

TabsTypes of Discourse (Ways of Communicating)Tools and what youth make with them Examples
ActivityFast, short writing or media making posted on your own wall or on another member’s wall to individuals, groups, all members, or everyone.Youth regularly post status updates, each of which can include a photo, slideshow, quote, GIF, file, audio, video, audio, link, or emoji. Youth can write on their own walls or on another member’s wall and can choose many levels of private to public audiences. The youths’ comments and replies on texts, videos, and images on NowComment also appear on their activity timelines. Brendaly’s Activity Timeline
DocsInformal writing for yourself, like in a writer’s notebook, with some drafts revised or developed collaborativelyYouth write daily journals where they freewrite, capture first impressions, create first drafts, express their thoughts, speculate about important questions, and more. They also invite peers and teachers to respond to their docs, and they revise and proofread their work here.Brendaly’s Journal
Comments & RepliesCorrespondence (like a letter) written to the author of a status update, a doc, or a discussion post, including replies to others’ comments about your workYouth are encouraged to follow the commenting guides which scaffold how to quote from the work they are responding to and which give ideas for how to write in open ways that invite further conversation.Brendaly’s Comments
Discussion PostsRaising your voice with writing and media about issues that are important to you and your community for the purpose of engaging peers and the general public in conversationsUsing the WordPress Block Editor, youth publish both short- and long-form posts of any genre and using all media–from poems and stories to personal narratives and literary essays and from reactions to current events to well-researched, cited arguments. The youths’ comments and replies on texts, videos, and images on NowComment also appear as posts on their timelines–capturing their lives as readers as well as writers and media makers.Brendaly’s Discussion Posts (with NowComment Annotations)
BookmarksReflection on moments of learning and thoughtfulness that students have selected from their activity updates on their profile timelinesAfter selecting significant items from their timelines, youth make comments on their own activity posts, which can include images, videos, audio files, or GIFs, to say how this work shows their strengths as learners with reference to the Habits of Mind. These become building blocks for the students’ digital portfolios.Brendaly’s Bookmarks
Multimodal PublishingPublic presentations where youth use new media to interface written-linguistic modes of meaning with oral, visual, audio, gestural, tactile and spatial patterns of meaning.Youth compose, produce, and publish multimodal work using:
  • Discussion posts with Blocks for composing and juxtaposing images, videos, audio recordings, and text together.

  • Flipbooks that integrate all genres of writing, art, photography, and media to produce online magazines and stories.

  • Web Stories designed to engage the user with layers of animated images, GIFs, graphics, videos, texts, and links composed on sequential pages.

  • Image-based projects such a collages, memes, quotes, and infographics using a variety of platforms and tools, for example, DigiWidgets.

  • Podcast Series: Audio episodes youth produce around themes that can be subscribed to and downloaded for listening to on mobile devices. For example, subscribe to our This I Believe podcast.

America Means Sluggish and Unhurried Change by Axel

Pride Month: Journals of Color

Love Is Fire, by Karla

“Why Me?” asked Kahlil, by Munie

Not In Our Town
Working PortfolioThoughtful collections of work, with reflection and self-assessment on that work, designed by youth to highlight their areas of interest, growth, and accomplishment.Youth select the most meaningful and significant work from their timelines and reflect on this work by writing and making media about how the work demonstrates their learning with specific reference to the Habits of Mind. We have begun to experiment with Google’s Web Stories and other such multimodal and visual tools so that students can communicate the highlights of their portfolios quickly and provide links to deeper dives into their work.Brendaly’s Working Portfolio
In Coming on Center (1981), James Moffett calls for students to be given “an emotional mandate to play the whole symbolic scale, to find suspects and shape them, to invent ways to act upon others, and to discover their own voice.”


Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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