The EdTech Coach Podcast

Friday, December 29, 2017

9 Apps To Help Get Your Students Writing

Sometimes you’ll find that your students need a little inspiration to get started in their writing. The following apps can give them the push they need.

Tag Journal: Ask students to journal. They can journal about a memory or about their day or week. In some cases, thinking about a memory can spark creativity and give them a topic to write about. Or, ask them to review past journal entries for ideas. The thing that makes Tag Journal unique is that it allows you to “tag” entries. A student can tag certain themes, places, and people for easy retrieval later.

Padlet: Ask students to fee associate things that come to mind and create a Padlet. Have students create topics as headers for columns and then fill out those columns. For example, columns could be titled “Home,” “Work,” and “School.” They can populate the columns with terms that come to mind in each of those categories.

Lists for Writers: A great way to break writer's block. If a student is stuck because they need the right name, place, phrase, or setting, Lists for Writers can help. It is a fantastic resource to help get the writer back into their writing.
Story Starters for iPad: It’s all in the name. Story Starters for the iPad is a fantastic way to start a writing project. A student can simply take a look at the main menu, which includes speeches, phrases, pictures, and settings, and choose which inspiration they’d like to start their story with.

Skitch: A fabulous markup tool. Skitch can be used in many ways in the classroom. For writing inspiration, ask students to take pictures of people, locations, and/or things. Then, using the markup tool, they can describe the pictures, giving them characteristics that can be used in their story.

MindNode 5: Great for organizing ideas. Asks students to write down people, places or ideas. Then, ask them to free associate about those topics. After a certain amount of time, connect those ideas. The result is a skeleton of a story.

Popplet: Another great way to mind map or organize a story. It’s kinda like MindNode in that you can connect ideas and maps. The difference is in the usability and design. Again, have students free associate and connect ideas they can use in their writing.

Prompts: Prompts is a writing prompts app where, upon starting, presents you with a prompt such as “I love it when…” then the student can build something bigger from the prompt. But that’s not where Prompts ends. If you find you’re stuck in your writing, clicking the Prompts icon will prompt you again, making a suggestion on where you should go next with your writing.

GarageBand: record sounds for inspiration. Ask students to record everyday sounds. Then, using those sounds as inspiration, base a story on the recordings. Have students give the voices, the bird chirps, and the everyday sounds characteristics they can use in their writing.

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