Using Edtech to Improve K-12 Writing Standards
While global communication has grown and improved by leaps and bounds in the past two decades, the same cannot be said for K-12 writing skills. A 2015 study by Gary Troia at Michigan State University finds that K-12 writing standards are stagnant from a decade ago, along with student writing achievement. What’s more, Troia says that nearly 25 percent of K-12 students in the U.S. are not performing at a proficient writing level. He takes aim at the Common Core standards for writing and says that though some ideas are strong, others are still not asking enough of student writing.
Any U.S. K-12 educator, in any topic area, can certainly relate to Troia’s findings and surveys have found that employers also bemoan the writing deficiencies of their workforce. So if Common Core suggestions are not enough, what is needed to truly transform the writing landscape of K-12 classrooms and learners? The truth is, we already have plenty of edtech apps and tools that can help improve K-12 writing standards, but we aren’t leveraging them properly.
In this article, I will discuss edtech tools that can help to improve K-12 writing standards. Here we go.
- Writing Challenge App– The app provides a prompt to get student writing started…then, every minute, the app supplies another prompt to add new ideas, words, characters, sentences, places or actions to the plot.
- Writing Prompts– This app generates fiction, and nonfiction writing prompts, helping students master the skill of the short write.
- Story Builder– Story Builder is an app from the same company that produces Sentence Builder.
- Write About This– Write About This is an app that addresses all genres of writing throughout elementary school, engaging students and making them feel excited about writing!
- Storyrobe– Storyrobe allows writers to write, share their work, and receive feedback from
- Google Docs– Google Docs has all the traditional functionality of Microsoft Word but allows for collaboration between students and for easy-to-give and easy-to-receive feedback from teachers through the commenting and suggesting functions.
- Figment– Vigorous writing community offers authentic feedback.
- Little Bird Tales– Create simple digital storybooks empowering, even for younger kids.
- StoryJumper– Storybook creation site that features outstanding support services.
- NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program– Wildly engaging contest turns students into novelists in 30 days,
- Penzu Classroom– This journaling platform motivates student writers, and also has strong teacher tools.
- Citelighter– Comprehensive all-in-one tool scaffolds the research and writing process.
- Drafting Board– Help students with their persuasive writing skills with this civics-based essay tool.
- Youth Voices– Popular online community hosts authentic student writing.
- Teen Ink– This platform absolutely helps students become better writers.
- Write the World–Boundless site that helps young writers write, revise, think, and evolve.
- Turnitin– Ensure that students submit original work and give feedback with this valuable tool.
- Sentence Builder– Winner of the 2010 IEAR Language Arts App of the Year, Sentence Builder is an app geared toward elementary students.
- American Wordspeller– American Wordspeller is an app that can solve this problem by helping students to “find a word by the way it sounds!”
- The Interactive Grammar of English– The app is progressive, spanning concepts from basic level understanding to complex, collegiate-level pieces of writing.
- No Red Ink– The site uses the students’ self-reported interests to build sentences that pretest, practice, and evaluate students’ grammar knowledge and acquired learning.
- Quill– This writing tutorial app makes grammar lessons more meaningful
- Grammarly– This platform helps student to improve their grammar and build confidence in their writing ability.
- WriteLab– Amazing app that provide feedback on student writing.
- com– Provides students with engaging parts-of-speech instruction and assessment.
- Flocabulary: Language Arts– Adds hip hop music to students’ language arts learning.
- Grammar Girl: Quick and Dirty Tips– Provides students with engaging grammar tips and tutorials.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab– Provides resources to students who ae interested in sharpening their writing skills. Won’t necessarily help reluctant writers.
- Handwriting Without Tears: Wet-Dry-Try– Allows students to practice writing numbers and letters on a virtual chalkboard.
- Grammar Jammers– An addictive way for students to learn basic grammar skills.
- Educreations– This neat app records student’s voice and writing.
What did we miss?