World Bank Photo Collection via Compfight
This post was originally one lamenting the lack of good online student essay-writing tools, but I’ve turned it into a “Best” list – even though I don’t think there are any that fit the bill for me.
I’ve got a ton of tools on The Best Places Where Students Can Write Online. Many let you create picture books, create multimedia projects, and write a blog.
But hardly any provide any scaffolded support for a student to actually write a “standard” essay.
John Spencer’s Write About site, which I’ve previously written about in “Write About” May Be The Education Site Of The Year offers some of that.
A site I learned about today called Write Well has some potential, though its scaffolded instructions are pretty meager and there are no models (they have, however, since made some improvements).
What are tools that you use that I don’t know about?
Here’s a Twitter exchange with a good caution and that also shares what I think would be helpful:
@greg_ashman 1 that used graphic organizers,like ones many of us use in class,that could be moved around, w/accessible models could b useful
— Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo) June 29, 2015
“Zoom In!” Looks Like A Good Site For History Teachers
Richard Byrne writes about the Hemingway App might have turned itself into a useful writing tool and not just a gimmick.
“Write The World” Provides An Authentic Audience & A Space For Peer Review
“Young Writers Program” Looks Like An Excellent Online Site To Assist Student Writing
I Can’t Decide If “Write & Improve” Is The Best Or Worst Site To Help ELLs Improve Their Writing
TEN APPS TO HELP STUDENTS DEVELOP WRITING SKILLS is from The Edvocate.
“Writing Sparks” Could Be A Useful Online Writing Tool
Three free essay-writing tools from ClassTools.net is from Russel Tarr.
Virtual Writing Tutor is an online “checker” of essays that could come in handy to ELLs.
“TEXTLY” LOOKS LIKE IT COULD BE A HELPFUL TOOL FOR STUDENT WRITERS
Word’s new AI editor will improve your writing is from TechCrunch.
Smart Compose is coming to Google Docs is from TechCrunch, and is big news for ELLs. I think it could be a big help for teaching writing.
Writing Pal looks like it might have potential to assist students develop writing skills, though I found the registration process a bit too cumbersome and gave up. Let me know what you think if you try it out. I’m tentatively adding it here.
Gramara Grammar Checker looks interesting.
Google has announced that they are finally going to add their Smart Compose feature to Google Docs being used in G Suite For Education. I’ve written about this tool before (see Expansion Of “Smart Compose” To Google Docs Is Great Learning Tool For ELLs, But Not Available To School Users), and I think it’s great news for ELLs and other students. My support for it has been criticized by some because they think it will mask student writing “deficiencies.” However, I still believe that it will be more helpful than harmful. It seems to me that many of our students “know” what they want to say, but don’t necessarily have the words to communicate it accurately. Smart Compose can give them those tools, and provide models for them to remember for future use. Let me know if you think I’m wrong on this – I’m still open to changing my mind.
I THINK “WORDTUNE” COULD BE A BIG HELP TO ELL WRITERS
Google Docs will start nudging some users to write less dumbly – The Verge #teachwriting #engchat #aplitchat @KellyGToGo @RebekahODell1 @Larryferlazzo @Jessifer @Lyricalswordz @jcolley8 https://t.co/Wr9lvPJKVd
— Andy Arcand (@AndyArcand) April 1, 2022
Compose AI is a Chrome Extension designed to help you become a better writer.
Trinka is a new online tool to assist in writing. I think these kinds of online tool can be helpful to ELLs. However, I’m also feeling that students might be getting tired of too much screen time at school. This year, since I have a lot of peer tutors, I’m trying out having students in my Newcomers class go back to writing on paper with support from the tutors. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Pressto uses AI to help students write essays.
gotFeedback – An AI Tool for Providing Feedback on Writing is from Richard Byrne.
Ruth Rumack’s Learning Space has developed a scaffolded, online, essay coaching program that teaches students all the skills they need to write a well develop essay. Check it out!
My favorite writing tool to recommend for teachers is the Writing Navigator by SAS Curriculum Pathways. SASCP is a free program that has tons of great content, but their writing tools top the list. There are four parts – the Planner, Drafter, Revisor and Publisher. They are great all together, but I particularly like the Revisor if you wanted to use other tools to do the other aspects. Go check it out! I think you’ll love it. https://www.sascurriculumpathways.com/portal/#/writingnavigator
That Hemmingway style checking app is very interesting. The interface is really nice, though I wish it gave a bit more in the way of suggestions or potential fixes …
For anyone looking for a solid English style proofreading tool, check out https://docgrader.com. Full disclosure: I created it.