WriteOnline Success Stories
Phil Brennan is using WriteOnline to provide students with low literacy levels with a consistent level of writing support.
“The flexibility for students to be able to use the program at home and at school is a really important aspect of WriteOnline for us. Homework is a real problem for some of our children, particularly those with dyslexia. We are able to help them during the school day but at home their parents may be working or experiencing literacy difficulties themselves…WriteOnline gives these students the support they need wherever they are and we are seeing a significant improvement in the quantity and quality of homework they are handing in.”
Ros Henshaw talks about the success the school has been having with WriteOnline in second through sixth grade, particularly during the planning of their weekly Big Write!
“We are really trying to make the most of all the different support tools that WriteOnline offers. We have been using the speech feedback to great effect with some of our 2nd and 3rd graders to improve their grammar and punctuation skills. We paste a piece of text into WriteOnline without any punctuation and then ask the students to listen to the speech feedback and punctuate the document. They really begin to get the idea about where the commas and fperiods go; this is where the speech really comes into its own for us.”
Tammy is using Writeonline with five students throughout the district to help them work independently.
“After completing a full page report using WriteOnline, one of the 16 year old students commented that “This is the first paper I have ever written completely on my own without help." Her face was so full of pride, it brought tears to my eyes!”
Chris shares how WriteOnline has changed the life of 12 year old Sarah, whose dyslexia was really getting in the way of her ability to communicate ideas effectively.
“WriteOnline has made an amazing difference to Sarah's life. The excellent piece of creative writing she has just produced in her English examination represents an incredible turnaround for her; a testament to the power of WriteOnline to really enable children to get around many of the handicapping effects of their dyslexia… I cannot recommend it enough”
Thoughts from college staff and student teachers on how WriteOnline is helping students who find the writing process difficult, or who are learning English as an additional language.
“We have been trialing WriteOnline in the college for the last few months and I have been able to introduce it to some of the students I support. I presented it to one of my students who has poor writing skills but quickly picks up anything on the computer. This has been incredibly useful for her as it has allowed her writing skills to match her verbal skills. She is using it for most of her assignment work now and it has made a significant difference to the quality of her writing.”
Linda Peirano is a special education teacher who specializes in learning disabilities. She uses WriteOnline on a one-to-one basis with her struggling writers.
“I would like to highlight the progress made by one particular student, whom I shall refer to as Bart. Bart has been diagnosed with ASD (autistic spectrum disorder), and has always struggled with writing…As he used the program to work on his assignment, I observed that Bart became a confident writer and truly enjoyed composing…I did not hear the usual apologies for writing slowly, nor did I witness any frustration. With WriteOnline’s support, the ideas seem to flow easily!”
Last year, Sheryl Bunyard introduced WriteOnline to a 4th grade student with muscular dystrophy. She is able to access the software using a Glidepoint Touchpad.
“I have been incredibly pleased with the progress that she has made using the program. She has found WriteOnline really easy to use and has picked up the functionality of it very quickly. My student has found having a range of supportive tools in one place very helpful. She has found the word prediction and access to word banks, which you can create in no time at all, very useful! Her writing speed is improving all the time.”
Jennie Clench’s school has been using WriteOnline with students in6th to 10th grade. She has been really impressed by the improvement in the quality and depth of the written work produced.
“A great example of this is the progress made by our sixth grade 'top group'; having WriteOnline's support during their writing tasks has enabled them to develop a much wider vocabulary and create stronger pieces of work. When working with these students on particular subjects, we have been able to create Wordbars for them containing key words and phrases for each subject area, and as a result they are producing more focused, relevant presentations and written work.”
Craig Crowley talks about using WriteOnline as part of his Universal Design for Learning project, which explores the viability of various types of assistive technology in the mainstream classroom.
“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.”