What Are Assistive Technologies for Writing and How to Use Them?

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With the start of schooling, some children suddenly find it difficult to read and write. Children have difficulty mastering the writing: their dictations, the exercises they perform contain many grammatical errors. They do not use capital letters, punctuation marks, they have terrible handwriting. Children often refuse to attend classes or perform written assignments. Adults with such problems are not able to compose a greeting card or a short letter, they are trying to find a job where they don’t need to write anything. That is why when teaching writing, teachers and parents must use writing assistive technology. What are assistive technologies and how to apply them correctly, we’ll find out today with Vip-Writers.

In fact, any tools that help in teaching are called assistive technologies. A tool or device that a student with problems uses to perform a task that he/she could not do without this tool/device, or allowing him/her to complete a task easier, faster or better, can be called assistive technology. This may be a simple technology, such as, for example, a rubber pencil nozzle, or a complex technology, like a computer.

Assistive technology for writing can be divided into software and non-program.

Use of assistive writing tools

In order to write easily, quickly and properly, you need to learn how to hold the pen correctly. Typically, children squeeze pens and pencils, bend their fingers. As a result, the hand gets tired quickly, and the handwriting is illegible, with uneven letters.

To keep the wrist from getting tired and the grip to be correct, it is recommended to teach writing with the help of a triangular pencil. Completely smooth or, on the contrary, with many faces, the surface disorients the child, complicating the task. In addition to this almost free way of training, some parents turn to special stationery.

Nozzles on writing utensils are simple devices that allow you to effortlessly work out the correct positioning of your fingers when learning to write. With this device, any stationery is easy and comfortable to hold. Using this assistive writing device, the child plays, at the same time acquiring the skills of proper hand setting while writing.

Stabilo Pen. It is also chosen for right-handers or left-handers, but for other people, it looks like a regular writing instrument and does not cause increased attention. There is the rubberized coverage area with grooves for the fingers. The writing process becomes fatiguing due to both the well-thought form and viscous ink.

Most likely, the child will master the letter without simulators and specialized stationery. However, such assistants are indispensable in post-traumatic conditions, when any activity tires the student very quickly and the writing process requires great physical effort.

Using the keyboard for writing

Possession of keyboard writing allows a person to work with texts much faster and more confidently (write, edit). The ability to freely use the keyboard is absolutely necessary for almost every person, not only for adults but also for children.

Training in keyboard writing should take place in parallel with learning to write with a pen. At the same time, the volume of lessons with a keyboard can be approximately equal the volume of lessons on learning to write with a pen. A good result can be achieved if both the keyboard and pen writing will be used in each lesson. And it is also important that the keyboard writing becomes necessary to use when doing homework.

Use of computer programs and applications

There are many specialized computer programs that can help children who have problems with writing. For example, a fairly common option is the use of programs that convert text to speech and vice versa (the so-called speech-to-text and text-to-speech programs).

Such programs are easy to use even for a child. The pronounced text appears on the screen. Upon command, the program will put the necessary punctuation mark, move the cursor to a new line, or insert any text using the autocorrection of the recognized command. Recognition is carried out locally on the user’s computer, which ensures the operability of the program even in the absence of a network.

It is important to remember that for correctly written text it is important that the user has a clear pronunciation. Such dictated texts enable the child to check the correctness of the written, correct spelling errors.

Using spell-check and grammar check programs. Any work associated with writing or editing texts requires careful checking for spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors, as well as their correction. For children who have difficulty in writing, all sorts of services that will help to make a correction will be an excellent assistive writing tool. Such programs are designed to identify the child’s shortcomings in the text that is presented, which contributes to the better assimilation of the rules and their better memorization.

In addition, there are many applications and websites that help children learn the necessary writing skills. There are options for both the smallest and older children.

For example, for kids:

  • Dora ABCs Vol 1: Letters & Letter Sounds. Easy games will familiarize the kid with the letters.
  • First Words Deluxe. The app is great for novice readers. But it may take a little time to master the program.

For schoolchildren

  • Storybird. Create beautiful books for publication on the Internet. They can also be printed.
  • iDiary for Kids. A great tool for writing magazines for creative kids.

For teens

  • Figment. Teenage authors have the opportunity to express thoughts on the social site.
  • Power Poetry. The online community expands the possibilities of teenage poets.

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