Sunday, February 17, 2013

Write About This - A writing app designed by a teacher with a Universal Design for Learning focus #scc21c

I'd like to share with you a brand new app that was developed by a fellow Michigan educator, Brad Wilson. Brad was a 4th grade teacher before taking a position with Jackson ISD as an Education Technology Consultant.

His app, called Write About This, uses high quality and thought provoking imagery combined with writing prompts that are tied to different levels of Bloom's taxonomy to inspire students to write more. The app is very intuitive, includes a writer's notepad area, and voice narration of the writing prompts to assist emerging and struggling readers. The app is really an embodiment of the Universal Design for Learning principles because it clearly provides "multiple means of  Representation, Expression, and Engagement."

The app costs $2.99 and is primarily targeting grades 2-5 but could easily be used in other grades, both younger and older as well. I could see this being used whole class as a quick write activity by displaying the app from the teacher's iPad or having students rotate through a single or small set of iPads. It could also be purchased for an entire cart using the Volume Purchase Program.

Finally, as a matter of full disclosure, Brad is a friend of mine, and he consulted me for feedback and suggestions during the development of this app. That being said, I'm confident that this app is worth purchasing for your classroom if you want to help students become more active and engaged writers. If you decide to download and use this app with your students please share your impressions with me or with Brad on how it is working and how it might improve.

You can also read about Brad's journey and vision for developing his app here.

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