Friday, January 3, 2014

Write About This

Write About This is an app designed by educators that uses the technique of providing photo prompts as a way to foster writing skills. Visuals such as those in this app give students a place to start with their language, and the prompts that come with the app provide a context to develop writing with the use of strategies such as story grammar mapping or use of expository text structure (list, sequence, description, etc).

What I like particularly about the app is that the authors didn't stop at simply substituting printed photo prompts with an app version, but incorporated a few key features of the iPad to make this a more powerful resource. While students can type onscreen (and text or text/images can be sent via email to continue developing the work in class), they also can "Publish with Audio" and save their visual work with an audio narration as a movie on the Camera Roll. Additionally, pictures taken with the iPad or saved to the Camera Roll can be used in the app to create customized photo prompts. This would give clinicians or teachers the opportunity to work with a group of students to select a great photo and create a prompt for another group of students to use. Presenting the recorded audio between groups will also allow you to work on auditory comprehension.

Write About This is available in a full-featured free version with a limited number of prompts (about 50 as opposed to 375). I was excited to see that the authors are developing another app called Tell About This, which takes the writing component out and focuses on oral language prompts for younger students.

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