WriteOnline Success Story
Montgomery County Public Schools
Craig C. Crowley
Teacher, Rosa M. Parks MS, Montgomery County.
I was introduced to WriteOnline at the beginning of this school year, and I have been very impressed with the excellent results my students have achieved. I have been participating in a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) project where I have been exploring the viability of various types of assistive technology in a regular classroom. WriteOnline provides any student who has trouble writing well developed paragraphs an assortment of valuable tools in an easy to use, student oriented word processor. The text to speech is excellent, and I have no trouble getting students to review their work.
I have been particularly pleased with the results obtained using writing frames for sentence starters and the work space to design graphic organizers. These built in aids help sixth and seventh grade students plan and write paragraphs that incorporate different text structures. The work space lets the student see his/her graphic organizer and document side by side while working on the draft. The fact that these documents are available online and can be accessed from home or another lab is just another plus. Many of my students have started using the program at home to complete work required in other classes
The program is also quite convenient for me. I can access the work of all five of my classes at school or at home. It is very simple to make comments and analyze students' work. When complete, the student's paper and my comments are immediately available to the student on line yet remain on file until deleted. No paper copies need be involved. This has been very helpful when asked to provide comments and examples of student work on Individual Education Plans (IEPs).
This is my first school year with the program so I have not had the opportunity to take full advantage of all it has to offer. I can foresee developing lessons that incorporate documents containing both Wordbars and Workspaces customized for specific objectives within many lessons. These documents will be shared digitally with other teachers saving planning time, paper, and other resources.
My biggest concern in providing the additional tools has proven groundless. I was worried that it would be difficult to get the same excellent results from students when the additional aids provided by the program were not available. It is obvious to me now that student's overall ability grew with the use of the aids. They enhanced what students were experiencing. When removed, the students were able to provide the assistance for themselves.
Click here to watch a video that Craig has created about his experience of using WriteOnline.