The EdTech Coach Podcast

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Rough Draft: A Mac and iOS Writing Tool for the Classroom

Rough Draft is a writers tool that educators using iPads may want to consider.  Rough Draft is a text editor that's been available for the Mac and has recently become available on iOS.  It's the app that constantly reminds you that you are working on, as the name implies, a rough draft. How does it do this? Well, when working in Rough Draft, there is no delete option, only the ability to strikethrough. By doing so, you are constantly reminded that what you're working on is only a draft.
How does this help someone write? By having the ability to see the strikethroughs on the page, you are more likely to continue your work without pausing to figure out just the right line, phrase, or word to include in your document. You can do that later. Right now, the important thing is to your get your thoughts out of your head into the computer. This, in essence, sets the writer free and enables them to be less careful and more carefree when writing their document. All too often we edit while writing, ultimately taking way too long to get our ideas out. The point is, you want to stay in the flow and not pause. The makers of Rough Draft, 96 Problems, say that when you type a document on a computer, you are given the impression that its permanent, so you spend time perfecting your document while you write. Before you know it, that 500 word document you sat down to write has taken you hours. Rough Draft eliminates that.
Rough Draft also provides you with the ability to insert a placeholder in your text. Let's say you want to insert a picture or quote into your document but aren't quite sure which picture you want or what the perfect quote will be, you just know you want one in there. Rough Draft inserts a placeholder where you want to place the item so that you can come back to it later, when you're in the editing process. This is most certainly a timesaver. No longer are you pausing your writing to search for that quote or picture, you continue to write. And that's the purpose of Rough Draft, to keep you writing.
When you're ready to edit, you simply click "revise" and the strikethroughs are removed while the placeholders are kept in place. Your document appears as clean as can be. If you prefer to use yourfavorite text editor to do the editing and publishing, Rough Draft allows you to export your work.
When all you want to do is wrtie, Rough Draft is a good tool to not only have in your writers tool box, but in the classroom as well.

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