While it is easy to get lost in the limitless expanse we call the internet, it is also the place where we can find the most effective tools to help students focus. There exist tons of valuable resources that can help young kids perform their assigned tasks better, especially when it comes to writing.
Many students have trouble starting an essay. Some find it hard to express or support their thoughts in writing. As educators and guides, we should inspire, motivate, and drive them on how to successfully produce insightful and well-researched write-ups. Luckily, apps and tech tools are there to help us. “There isn’t a flawless formula for perfecting a writer’s craft, but there are apps that can help,” said Verizon’s Debi Lewis. “Mobile devices and apps have become important writing tools, helping wordsmiths create, organize and develop their stories.”
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the best places on the internet that foster creative thought and provide aid in writing.
Clutter will always be an enemy of the focused mind. Regular word processors have hundreds of buttons which messup the top of the screen. This isn’t helpful for kids at all. Instead, it is more productive if students are writing on a computer with organized buttons and icons. Write Room excels inthis area by providing a scroll bar that automatically disappears after being unused for some time.
Primarily for Apple users, this tool’s main feature is to totally eliminate the worry of having to save your work every so often. Once connected to the internet, you will never have to panic if you have not saved your progress because the software automatically backs it up and saves a copy online. The New York Times even calls it “the ultimate Spartan of writing utopia.” How’s that for a simple writing machine?
This app helps you generate ideas using three different wheels filled with numerous topics. Using an age old technique of combining ideas to create a unique result, The Brainstormer is effective for students who are writing for literature classes as it gives you the option to be as wildly random or narrowed down when creating fictional stories. There is also a character generator which will help in forming an initial concept for protagonists and supporting characters for stories.
Having to memorize the proper formatting of citations on research papers is another burden which could take away from the writing. Citelighter is an online tool which will help in creating a correct bibliography in whatever style is required. This research platform can be attached to a browser for easier use. Highlight important facts on the internet using the Citelighter toolbar and it will automatically keeps a record of your chosen data. You can then retrieve these information when you write. The in-text citations will be created for you in a jiffy.
Transform your boring internet browser into a mind-mapping canvas. Making an outline is the preferred first step of many writers, and bubbl.us provides a clean and fun slate to do that. Using ‘bubble maps’, this website is great for students who wish to plan their stories before writing. Additionally, this online tool can be used simultaneously by peers, a perfect brainstorming destination for group work which requires collaborative effort. Robert P. Lipschutz from PC Mag hails the website as a soon-to-be “invaluable brainstorming and collaboration tool.”
Many would argue that the first word is the most difficult word to write in an article, essay, or story. Writer’s block happens to anyone – from experienced novelists to bloggers and evenyoung students. Imagination Prompt gives you an idea on how to start off your writing adventure by asking series of questions or statements about your content that can lead to a full concept. Sometimes, all it takes is a little spark to ignite a wildfire.
All of these five simple writing tools for students are currently free, while some can be purchased for added premium features. Technology gives us many different weapons to attack the enemies of writing. As teachers and parents, it’s our responsibility to introduce our young learners to the wonders of technology in education. What are your favorite tech tools for writing?
Kyle Albert is a parent and student from London. He has the widest collection of anti-distraction word processors and add-ons. To the surprise of no one in his office, Kyle always has free time left on his shift to read Robert Jordan and other fantasy novels.Hang out with him at his Google+
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