Beth Goodwin, special education consultant at Wells Junior High School, Maine, and I presented at the ATIA conference in Orlando, Florida on Jan. 29, 2010. It was our first time at a conference about Assistive Technology. We shared a presentation about Writingtools4all and how we blend the resources of Web 2.0 and the needs of our students.
The whole workshop is a spinoff from the work that Karen Janowski and Joyce Valenza did a few years back when they created UDL TechToolkit about a toolkit that all educators and their students should build and use. Thanks to Karen and Joyce, Beth and I created Writingtools4all, where we took a beginner's look at how the read-write web could actually help students to be more independent writers. This toolkit for students is a low-cost, can you say FREE, way for your students to learn about several Web 2.0 tools, and through various online storage options, create their own toolkit which will travel with them through the grades in your school system. This toolkit allows the students to try out different ways of spell checking, different graphic organizers, ways to create checklists while working on their projects, ways to listen to their work, and ways to publish their work in engaging and motivating venues. Since these tools are available online, your students can use their toolkit at home and at school. No software to purchase, no saving their work in different ways to accommodate a program at home.
There are several choices for your students to build their own toolkits. This will allow your students to differentiate their process and product. One nice feature about most of these tools is the ability to collaborate with others while working on projects. A great by-product of giving access to these online tools is that your students will extend their learning far beyond the hours they spend in school. Check out the links and try some of these resources!
Ready to Make Your Student Toolkit? Here is a working toolkit.
Photopeach A great place for students to use images in a presentation about a book, a project, a concept
Wordle A great place for students to capture vocabulary in a book, project, pre-teaching, comprehension
What Kind of Learner are You? Let your students check out their learning style
Find a book at your Lexile Let your students check out their lexile reading level choices
Mad Libs Let your students create their own mad libs
Library of Congress The Library of Congress has great primary source information, students love it.
Ask.com A user friendly place to being a research project.
Citation Machine Learners can cite their sources.
Graphic Organizers A source for graphic organizers.
Visual Thesaurus Just what it says! Students love using this.
Awesome Adjectives and Sensory Words Stupendous!
Spell Checker Great spell checker.
Create your own checklist! You and your student can create a personalized editing checklist.
Listen to your work! Use this site to hear your text read to you.
Share what you would put in a student toolkit!