Showing posts with label Word Processing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Word Processing. Show all posts

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Tools to Help Students Improve Their Writing

The spelling and grammar checkers built into word processors are fine for helping students catch basic mistakes in their writing. To get beyond the basics, students need tools that offer more than just spelling and grammar checking services. The following services can help students improve their writing.

StoryToolz offers a collection of free tools for student writers. Writers who are struggling to come up with ideas for fiction stories will like the story starters featured on StoryToolz. StoryToolz has three tools that students can use to get story ideas; Random Conflicts, Half Title Generator, and Story Idea Generator. In addition to the writing prompts tools, StoryToolz offers a few tools to help students edit their work. The Cliché Buster analyzes students' texts to find clichés that they have used in their writing. The Readability tool analyzes texts to estimate a reading level on several scales.

Hemingway offers students a bunch of information about the passages they have either written or copied and pasted into the site's editor. Hemingway highlights the parts of a student's writing that uses passive voice, adverbs, and overly complex sentences. All of those factors are accounted for in generating a general readability score for a student's written work. The Hemingway Editor also provides tools for formatting the text that students write in the web version of Hemingway. Students can create bullet lists, change font size and style, write numbered lists, and indent paragraphs in the Hemingway Editor.

GradeProof is a service designed to help students improve their writing. GradeProof lets students either import documents or write documents within the GradeProof editor. Either way that the students use, the next step is the same. GradeProof identifies spelling, grammar, and phrasing errors within a student's writing. GradeProof highlights and color codes the errors that it identifies for students. Students can then click on each highlighted error to see a suggested change. Students can click on each suggested change to immediately implement the change.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Add Page Numbers to Your Google Docs Table of Contents

When you compose a long document in Google Documents it's helpful to add page numbers as you go. That's been possible in Google Docs for quite a while. It has also been possible to create a table of contents in your Google Documents for quite a while. But until today you couldn't use page numbers in your table of contents in Google Docs.

As announced earlier today on the G Suite Updates blog, you can now create a table of contents that includes page numbers in Google Documents. To do so, select the numbered option in "table of contents" in the "insert" drop-down menu.

This feature appeared today in one of my Google Accounts and not in two others. If you don't see it right away, give it a couple of days and it should appear.

Applications for Education
This isn't a huge update to Google Documents, but it could prove to be helpful to high school and college students who are composing long reports in Google Docs. It could also be helpful to their teachers or peers who want to jump to a specific section of a report.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just Paste It - A Simple Way to Share Notes

JustPaste.It is a free, simple note sharing service. At its most basic Just Paste It provides an online word processor for writing notes and documents. You can also insert images and videos into your Just Paste It notes. Sharing notes online with Just Paste It is a simple matter of clicking the "publish" button. Clicking publish generates a unique url for your notes that can share with others. Check out my note here.

Just Paste It notes don't have to live entirely online. Notes can be started online or started offline in a MS Word document and imported to Just Paste It for editing and sharing. If you need to print your notes, Just Paste It notes can be downloaded as PDFs for printing.

Applications for Education
Just Paste It could be an easy way for students to quickly share notes with each other. Just Paste It also provides a way for you and your students to convert MS Word documents to a format that can be easily used online.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Titan Pad - An Ether Pad Clone
Primary Pad - An Ether Pad Alternative
Entri - Free, Registration-Free Document Collaboration

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Reading Levels in Google Docs

This afternoon while working on an article that I'm writing for a print journal, I discovered a handy little feature in the Google Docs tools menu. If you select the word count option in the Google Docs tools menu you will find three indicators of the reading level of the document you're creating. Google Docs will calculate for you the Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, and the Automatic Readability Index.

Applications for Education
The Google Docs reading level indicators could be useful if you're sending letters to homes of students where English is not the primary language. The reading level indicators could help you formulate your letter so that it can be read by all parents.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Shutterborg - Very Simple Word Processor

Shutterborg is the simplest web based word processing program that I've tried. Shutterborg does word processing and nothing more. As you'll see in the screen shot below the user interface is very clean and simple.

Applications for Education
Shutterborg is a simple tool, good for introducing young students to web based word processing. The user interface couldn't be more clean and straight-forward.

There are a couple of drawbacks to Shutterborg that might prevent it from being widely adopted. Unlike most web based word processors, Shutterborg does not allow for collaboration between users. To save work created in Shutterborg it has to be exported to your local computer as a pdf, Word, or html file.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Word Processing Collaboration- Buzzword

On Mashable there is a list of 13 web-based word processing applications. All of the applications have collaboration/ sharing features. Click here to see the full list.
I tried out 11 of the applications (Google Documents and Zoho Writer were not new to me) and the one that really got me excited is Buzzword. Buzzword is very rich in features but at the same time has a simple interface perfect for use with students. Below I've embedded a short video overview of Buzzword.

Applications for Educator
Buzzword has a much more professional appearance compared to its competitors. So what? Looks matter in web-based applications. Why do looks matter in a classroom environment? Looks matter in a classroom environment because if the program looks "cool" and looks "web 2.0" students are more likely to get excited about using it. You're connecting with students in their language if you're using web 2.0 applications. My former principal referred to this as meeting students where they are. Students will be proud of the work they do on Buzzword because a project completed on Buzzword has the look of a professionally produced magazine (when printed) or blog. In fact, I'm so impressed by Buzzword that I'm considering doing all of my blog writing in Buzzword.