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RoundUp March 2015 – The Write Apps for You!

Students and Teachers Alike Need to Write all the Time – Here’s Some Great Apps to Help (Plus a Favorite Worksheet App).

By: Todd Cherner and Alex Fegely

As we are in our final month of preparations leading up to the relaunch of App Ed Review in April, this month we are sharing our favorite word processing and office productivity apps. In our classes, we often have our students write a constructed response, journal entry, short story, explanation, and more! After we assign the writing, we watch our students put away their tablet devices and pull out their paper and pencils. With the amount of apps for writing out there, we saw this Roundup as an opportunity to share our favorite word processing apps.

With our relaunch around the corner, we hope you enjoy this edition of the Roundup. If you have any questions about App Ed Review or the apps listed below, please contact us at [email protected].

  1. UX Write is our go-to word processing app because it contains many of the features of Microsoft Word and is free to use. Whereas it is can be challenging to highlight text with other word processing apps, the UX Write app includes an innovative highlighting feature that mitigates highlighting challenges. Additionally, the app connects with users’ Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box accounts, so users can easily save their work to a cloud and access it from other apps. Because the app’s innovative design takes so many of the challenges associated with using word processing apps away, this app scored a perfect score on its Rigor Level, Ease of Use, and Navigation.
  2. SwiftKey Keyboard is a light speed word processing keyboard that will radically increase typing through word prediction and recognition. SwiftKey Keyboard learns as a user types with it, predicting writing styles from past experiences and word choice. SwiftKey Keyboard can have custom words added to its prediction dictionary, if a user touches the user-spelled word in the suggestions box. Students can utilize SwiftKey Keyboard for rapidly-paced assignments like note taking, or for faster productivity on writing assignments or drafts.
  3. Numbers – the same spreadsheet program you know and love on your Macbook – is now offered in app form. Users can type numbers and values into the spreadsheet cells to organize or calculate data. Numbers includes a list of preloaded templates for everything from personal budgeting to grade book spreadsheet outlines. Numbers is an effective app for crunching figures both in the classroom and in the field for your future scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and more!
  4. Hanx Writer is a digital typewriter commissioned by none other than Tom Hanks. In the explanation for why he commissioned this app, Hanks explained that he always felt a nostalgia for the typewriter and what it represented in journalism and writing. After reviewing the Hanx Writer, we share his sentiments. The app captures the classic feel of typing, but it pairs it with the conveniences offered to us in the digital age, which includes the ability to edit our writing, save documents, and share writing over email. With high scores for its ease of use, navigation, and design, the Hanx Writer app has the potential to ignite Hanks’ passion for writing in your students!

That’s all for this month’s Roundup. If you would like more information about any of the apps mentioned in this Roundup or that are on the App Ed Review website, please contact us at [email protected]. And remember, the students do the writing, but apps can sure enhance the writing experience.