Friday, 25 November 2011

Making the AT match in the Writing Process

The start of the writing process involves attending to task and having an idea. Students who need assistance for ideas can use idea generation software such as:

MyStudyBar:  (free) contains a planning tool called Xmind which mind maps an idea

Inspiration/Kidspiration: also a mind mapping tool; the class used this software to create a map of the reading process. I really enjoyed using this program - too bad it's not free.

Draftbuilder Solo: teacher will preplan the lesson and guide students through organizing and draft-writing strategies

Assistive Technology for the writing process:

The fushion keyboard: offers text to speech and word prediction as well as a full word processor with adjustable font size, thesauras and writing prompts.

TYP-O: an app for the iPad - word prediction software. The write-up for this app states "Dyslexic, or just not that good at spelling (yet)? Typ-O is for you!" It was noted in class that word prediction is good for students who can predict phonemic awareness and who are still fairly able to spell and thus will write more with prediction(by reducing key strokes).

Clicker 5: a reading and writing tool that is good for children with cognitive delays.
The top of the screen is a word processor called 'Clicker Writer'. At the bottom of the screen is a 'Clicker Grid'. This 'grid' has ‘cells’ containing letters, words or phrases that you can click on, to send them into Clicker Writer – so children can write sentences without actually writing or using the keyboard! Clicker Grids can also contain recorded sounds that record  voice so that a teacher or student can create a talking book.


Includes speech support and customizable prompts. The use of symbols can be adapted for students of all abilities while students who need symbol support can be  included and involved.

WriteOutLoud: a test to speech real time word processor which includes a talking spell checker. Good for students who are reluctant to write and have moderate spelling and grammar challenges.

Co:Writer Solo: a word prediction program based on the creation of custom dictionaries (usually set up prior to the assignment by a teacher); can be individualized for each student. Students who use this program would have beginning literacy skills but difficulty with written output. An ability to read through or listen to a word list and select the intended word is necessary.

Dragon Naturally Speaking: voice recognition software (voice to text software). The user speaks into a microphone in order to set the voice recognition to a user's voice. The words appear in print in real time as it is spoken - a personal favourite of mine as I have used it since 2008: I use it when I have long research papers to write and I find it saves so much typing on my part. Expensive though although it is gradually getting less so. One drawback is that I cannot put it on more than one computer that I own.

MyStudyBar: a free text to speech program much like Dragon naturally speaking. The user needs to set up sound speech recogition files much like Dragon. A really good accomodation for its price.

Dragon Dictation: a free app from iTunes for the ipod, iphone or iPad (iOS 4.0 or later). Again similiar to the previous two for voice recognition. Allows the user to speak and instantly see text or email messages. Can be five times faster than typing on the keyboard.