K-12 AT Tools for Writing

We all learn differently. (Mallika) Do you have trouble
with spelling, no matter how hard you try? Do you receive scribing help, but wish you could work
more independently? Are writing challenges
holding you back? If you said yes,
there is good news. There is a variety of software
that can help. This video will introduce you
to some of the most popular Assistive Technologies, or “AT”,
used for writing. The first technology we will look at
is Speech-to-Text software, also known as speech recognition. When I’m writing,
I write things backwards, I write letters backwards, I, um, some of my thoughts
come out a little bit turned around. And so when I’m able
to speak it ah, it’s the text is basically more clear
and it takes less time because I don’t have
as many errors to correct. (Mallika) Speech-to-Text software
allows you to talk out loud instead of writing your ideas down. Think about it – most people talk
faster than they can write! (Student’s voice) I choose to write my book report
on a novel by John Steinbeck. If you are better at speaking
your sentences rather than writing them down, Speech-to-Text software
may be a good fit for you. If you feel comfortable
typing your work but struggle with spelling
or finding the right word, there is another kind of AT
that can help – word prediction software. Here is Alex to explain. (Alex) Word prediction software
works a lot like “texting” on cell phones, except in a more advanced way
and with more tools! Here is how it works. When you begin
to type a word, the program analyzes
the first few letters and tries to predict
the word you want. For example,
if I type the letters “W-A-T”, basic word prediction software
may suggest: Water, Watch, or Watched, and other words that begin
with those three letters. The more advanced software
used in a school setting will analyze the rest of your text
and make more accurate predictions even if you make a spelling mistake
in the first few letters. For example, no word begins
with the letters “C-N”, but if I type them,
the program understands that I may have missed a letter,
and suggests words like: Can, CD, or Cans. I still have to choose
the right word from the list. Sometimes I notice that
I use the same word too many times, so I like that my writing software
also has “topic dictionaries”, or “powerlists”. (Mallika)
Thanks Alex! There are even tools
for younger children who are just learning to write. This type of multimedia
writing software has a selection of nouns, verbs and objects
related to a particular image, so children can build sentences
using the mouse to point-and-click. Using software that is
a good match with your abilities, along with the right learning strategies,
can help you communicate your ideas
as effectively as possible, so you feel confident
when you hand in your assignment. You may be able to use
certain assistive technologies for taking tests as well. Ask your teacher. Once you have
finished your writing, you will need to review
and edit your work. For help with that, watch the video
on Editing on our website. Just go to the Student tab,
and click on videos. captioned by

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