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Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
Writing Series
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Writing Series

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  • Note to Presenter: This presentation is intended for people who are or will be involved in assistive technology (AT) supports for Struggling Writers. The contents of this module focus on the writing process with regards to technology interventions, accommodations and universal design features. The information and processes included in this module are not specific to the state of Texas and can be used with little or no change across the United States and beyond. Note: In Texas, the IEP team is referred to as the ARD Committee. Before you begin: Read through all the materials to become familiar with the structure and sequence of this module. Print the handouts for participants from the TATN website including: PowerPoint Note-Taking Guide Participant Handouts include: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in Writing (TEA-Texas Education Agency Handout 3) Writing Process Stages (TEA Handout 14) Slides most closely connected with activities will have the word “activity” in the upper right hand corner of the slide. Supplement these materials with copies of operating guidelines, policies, or other documents that reflect the requirements and expectations in the customary environments of participants. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: In Writing Next , a report to the Carnegie Commission, Graham and Perin state: “ Writing well is not just an option for young people – it is a necessity. Along with reading comprehension, writing is a predictor of academic success and a basic requirement for participation in civic and life and a global economy…Because the definition of literacy includes both reading and writing skills, poor writing proficiency should be recognized as part of this national literacy crisis.” As students progress through the grade levels, writing differences occur and for some students, and difficulties emerge. Even with good writing instruction, some students struggle with writing while their peers become more and more skilled writers. Let’s take a moment to discuss the characteristics of struggling writers. What areas in writing cause a struggling writer to have difficulty? Activity : To foster discussion With their tablemates, have participants discuss the characteristics of both struggling writers and more skilled writers. Have each table group divide a piece of chart paper into two parts and list the characteristics of struggling writers on one side of the paper and the characteristics of more skilled writers on the other. Each table group should then post the charts for others to view. When all table groups have finished, have a whole group discussion on the characteristics of struggling writers and skilled writers. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: (in addition to what was said as a group…) Struggling writers may: Have difficulty adding detail to the composition because struggling writers do not understand why detail is needed in an effective piece of writing. Struggling writers do not have the variety of word choice that more capable writers have. Problems with the mechanics of writing often interrupt the ability of the struggling writer to plan thoughts, and these difficulties interfere with both the quality and quantity of work. Identifying and correcting errors become a hurdle and a disincentive to writing. Writing becomes a difficult and tedious task. Fluency is a critical component of writing proficiency. It is the internalized command of conventions that allows the writer to write with ease, accuracy, and automaticity. Fluency is also the writer’s ability to create flow or movement that enhances the reader’s understanding of a written composition. If the student is not fluent as a writer and he/she is having trouble getting thoughts down on paper, the process bogs down. When this happens, writing becomes a frustrating task. Christenson, 2002; Elbow, 1973; Graves, 1991; Gunning, 2002; Harris & Graham, 1996b; Indrisano & Squire, 2000; Kirby & Liner, 1998; Tompkins, 2000; Wong, 1998 CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Struggling writers also may have difficulty with the process of writing. These students do not view themselves as writers, nor do they enjoy writing. Struggling writers may… Lack procedural knowledge about the writing process. They are not aware of their own processing or their thoughts behind the writing task. Struggling writers have significant difficulties planning, selecting topics, generating ideas, writing, and revising text. Often they end the composing process too soon. Have difficulty selecting topics and generating ideas. Struggling writers simply pull from memory whatever seems right and write down their immediate thoughts. Because struggling writers write with little plan or reflection, they move from sentence to sentence without thinking of the entire composition as a whole. Bereiter and Scardamalis (1987) refer to this as knowledge-telling. Once the topic is identified, the writer retrieves whatever information is readily available and moves forward in his or her writing. The problem with knowledge-telling writing is that the writer does not provide his own insight or interpretations. There is little or no voice present in the composition. Christenson, 2002; Bereiter & Scardamalis, 1987; Englert, Raphael, Fear, & Anderson, 1988; Gunning, 2002; Strickland, Ganske, & Monroe, 2002; Strickland & Strickland, 2000; Tompkins, 2000; Wong, 1998 CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Struggling writers Are unaware of audience, purpose, and form demands. Novice writers have problems adjusting their writing for an outside audience. “They believe that if they can understand it, so can anyone who happens to read it” (Gunning, 2002, p. 463). Do not understand that writing is a means of conveying a message; struggling writers view writing as merely putting words on paper Do not monitor their progress; struggling writers do not have strategies to self-evaluate and assess their own writing as they compose. They are not aware of how well they are communicating. One of the biggest differences between the struggling writer and the more skilled writer is that the struggling writer is less strategic. The struggling writer uses very few strategies and is comfortable with using the knowledge-telling strategy. Also, he/she is reluctant to use unfamiliar strategies or those that require any effort. Christenson, 2002; Bereiter & Scardamalis, 1987; Englert, Raphael, Fear, & Anderson, 1988;Gunning, 2002; Strickland, Ganske, & Monroe, 2002; Strickland & Strickland, 2000; Tompkins, 2000; Wong, 1998 CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Using the writing process with struggling writers Allows students to be involved in writing regularly for meaningful purposes and real audiences Focuses on meaning first and then skills in the context of meaning. When teachers implement effective intervention approaches that use both teaching strategies for improving written expression and the conventions of writing, the results are more positive. Accommodates individual differences (differentiated instruction) allowing students to work at their own level and pace Involves collaboration during teacher/student and peer/peer conferences Christenson, 2002; Gersten & Baker, 2001; Mercer & Mercer, 2001 CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Using the writing process with struggling writers Provides opportunities for generalization and transfer of learning. When students write with a purpose, the skills they acquire have meaning. “In such an environment, students are reminded daily of the usefulness of a wide range of strategies and skills, and they begin to generalize them to a broad range of writing problems” (Wansart, 1991, p. 86). Gives students control of their writing. The process approach allows students to make their own decisions as they plan, revise, and compose with a specific purpose and audience in mind. Making decisions about their own work is a necessary condition for creating an environment where students will want to write. Helps establish independent problem-solvers both in writing and in the classroom in general. As students move back and forth throughout the writing process, they become reflective self-regulated thinkers. Most importantly, using the writing process creates writers. As students with writing difficulties become writers, they develop more positive attitudes toward writing and toward themselves as writers, and their level of motivation and engagement in the writing process increases. Christenson, 2002; Harris & Graham, 1996b; Mercer & Mercer, 2001; Wansart, 1991; Wong, 1998 CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: There are five widely recognized components of the writing process as used by expert writers. Prewriting involves thinking and planning skills that help to develop a plan that provides purpose for the composition as well as a logical and cohesive organization of ideas. Students who struggle to write, especially students with learning and academic disabilities have been found to spend little if any time on prewriting activities. Drafting places the writers thoughts onto paper. Production factors such as handwriting and spelling have been shown to constrain the struggling writer’s abilities to capture all of their thoughts and ideas on paper. Revising improves the composition by clarifying meaning and expanding ideas so that it is more interesting and understandable to the reader. Editing requires the writer to address the accuracy of spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization of each sentence in the composition to assure that the intended meaning is conveyed to the reader. Publishing will give an outcome of the writing process, acknowledge writing as an effective way of communication, and motivate the struggling writer to produce. This workshop will explore each of these component stages, reviewing the technology solutions that can enhance and support students’ ability to compete the particular stage. Solutions are available that range from low to high tech and are addressed in terms of the features that support each stage of the writing process. You are encouraged to consider whether the technology you currently have available in your setting already incorporates these features. Many of the technology tools available today incorporate multiple features that have the potential to support students. The challenge is to match the supports needed by your students to the features provided by the technology tools. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: The first and most often overlooked stage by students who struggle to write is prewriting. As a result, student compositions appear to be strings of thoughts, with one thought generating the next – indiscriminately and often irrelevant to the writing task. The resulting compositions are brief, disorganized, and lack a logical sequence. This portion of the module will address the prewriting knowledge and skills used by competent writers and the technologies that have been developed to support their use by struggling writers. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Technology supports for prewriting may include one or more of several features for which there is evidence of effectiveness. Explicit plan components , that is, the components needed in the plan including the purpose of the composition (e.g., to tell a story, to explain, to compare, etc.), the intended audience, the topic, and the content are made visible and concrete. Content prompts identify the important components needed in a complete composition; content prompts may be General case , e.g., introductory sentence, supporting details, concluding sentence, or Genre specific , e.g., five elements of a story Procedural prompts for generating, selecting and organizing the component elements and ideas within the plan; procedural prompts may include: Instructions for how to proceed, or Questions that the students can use to self-direct or guide the plan development; questions can be general case or genre-specific. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Other features that planning tools may include are v isual-graphic mapping tools. These tools are used to: organizes and groups information in spatially meaningful ways (e.g., outline, chart or web) enhance representation of the logical sequencing of information (e.g., listing or comparison) coordinate relationships (e.g., main idea-supporting ideas) A printed plan to reference while writing. Digital file version of the plan that may be easily modified. Text-to-speech support with digital or computer-based. Next we will consider some technology tools to support prewriting activities that are available on the web as download files or as commercial products. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: The four categories of prewriting supports listed here represent the major types available on the market today to support prewriting. Each is a distinct type of support, but a particular tool may have more than one type of support available in it. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Graphic organizers may include low-tech options such as paper based outlines or Venn diagrams or even tools like Post It Notes which can be used to record and organize ideas. Listed here are supports that graphic organizers provide with relation to pre-writing and revision and editing supports. Graphic organizers can be found through on-line searches. These graphic organizers web sites are provided as examples; you should do your own searches to find those that best serve your writing instruction process. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Writing checklists may include prompts related to sentence, paragraph or composition structure or specific elements relating to purpose, form, audience, or genre of the composition. Checklist writing supports the pre-writing process because it allows students to focus and organize their thoughts prior to the first draft. Writing checklists may also support the revision process by providing checks for the student to use to ensure elements are present. Carol Englert and colleagues developed “Think Sheets” that have been shown in research studies to improve the planning and organization of subsequent writing samples. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: “ Think sheets’ were developed as an approach to “procedural facilitation.” In general, think sheets were designed as compensatory tools to help students to use strategies during planning, organizing, writing, editing, and revising. Think sheets for planning contained text structure elements, embedded question prompts and a graphic map for organizing planning information. During the prewriting phase, “plan think sheets” help students to identify their audience and purpose, retrieve relevant ideas from background knowledge and develop a plan that places groups of brainstormed ideas into categories, while “organize think sheets” help students organize, elaborate and order their ideas into categories and use the sheet as a map for planning the composition.
  • SAY: Graham & Harris (2005) And their colleagues have contributed an extensive knowledge base to our understanding of writing instruction with struggling writers. Their model combines the writing process model with effective and validated strategies that the students learn to self-regulate their own writing. A key to this model is a series of about 10 writing prompt sets which the student’s use as a way to organize their planning process. These include the PLEASE strategy (shown here) for developing a paragraph; STOP and LIST for goal setting, brainstorming & organizing. They also genre-specific strategies for story writing, persuasive writing, explanations, compare & contrast and report writing
  • SAY: Digital planning and organization tools such as Draft:Builder allow students to record and organize their thoughts before drafting. But more than merely providing an outlining tool, they may provide specific supports for both the process of organizing as well as the content for the composition. Writing prompts may be embedded within outline templates to help with basic compositional structures such as paragraphs. Other outline templates provide supports for organizing ideas for specific genres of writing, for example, narrative stories or persuasive essays. The tool then creates a visual, digital reference that can be used throughout the writing process. Text-to-speech supports may also be available that permit the student to here and review both the embedded prompts and the ideas that they write in the areas provided in the outlines CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Digital mapping tools include such programs like Inspiration and Kidspiration. These tools allow students to record, manipulate, and organize their ideas using graphical organization systems on the computer screen. The graphical organization systems can then be converted into hierarchical outlines for the students to follow. While there is certainly extensive classroom support for the use of digital mapping tools, no studies were found in the research base that examined the use of digital mapping tools as supports for process writing with writers with learning and academic disabilities. This does not include any research that has examined these tools in the context of “writing to read,” that is, the use of summary writing to organize ideas from printed texts to improve comprehension and recall. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: The first version of writing is referred to as a draft. The purpose of drafting is to put thoughts on paper. Generating the ideas, words and sentences to put on paper is called text generation . The initial process of creating words on paper is called text transcription and requires the paper-and-pencil writer to use two skills: handwriting and spelling. Drafts are edited and revised again and again until the final written product is ready. This process of editing and revising will be examined later in this workshop. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Because of the cognitive juggling required to write, it is easy to understand why struggling writers experience so much difficulty during initial drafting. Research has shown that handwriting and spelling skills limits what developing and struggling writers are able to translate onto paper from their thoughts and ideas. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: The activity that occurs prior to beginning writing is essentially a cognitive or thinking process in which the writer Identifies the goal or purpose for writing (e.g., to tell a story, to explain, to report). Then selects a topic appropriate to the goal, e.g., how to make a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich and identify the audience, e.g., someone who doesn't know how. This becomes the writer’s task: to prepare a composition which communicates the goal (explaining “how to”) to the intended audience (someone who does not know how to) The “planful” writer then generates ideas and organizes these ideas according to the structure of the type of text, or genre, being prepared. In this case, the writer must list or enumerate all of the steps needed in the order they must occur. Different text structures such as a narrative, an explanation, an opinion essay, a compare/contrast essay each have different elements that are needed to produce a complete, logical, interesting and meaningful composition. For example, stories require main and supporting characters, setting, a problem, actions, character feelings and emotions and a final resolution. This “story grammar” as it is called forms the framework for organizing the writer’s ideas, information and details CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Technology to support initial drafting may include one or more of several features for which there is evidence of effectiveness. Keyboard text entry is the primary component of the word processor that directly effects transcription. Apart from any another factor, for example spelling, keyboard entry produces well-formed and properly spaced letters and words It has been suggested that this may also improve “on the fly” editing and revising. This possibility will be examined in the editing and revising part of the presentation. Word cueing provides lists of words beginning with the first letter typed during keyboard text entry. Word lists are generated from word dictionaries. Dictionaries can be either pre-set by the tool or customizable by the student or teacher. Word prediction is a more sophisticated version of word cueing that is used with keyboard text entry. Word lists are generated beginning with the first one to three letters typed. Words are selected from the list using the mouse The lists words offered can change dynamically as each letter of the target word is typed. Speech recognition uses speech recognition technology to allow the student to speak into a microphone and have the spoken words appear on the screen. Corrections to text entry can be made by using the keyboard or by using a set of voice commands. Each of these features will be reviewed in more detail shortly. Spell checking assists writers to detect and repair spelling errors. It is mentioned here because it could be considered to be a transcription tool. However, the spell checker must be activated by the student, that is, it does not automatically check and repair errors. Therefore, it will be treated as an editing tool and discussed later. Text-to-speech output supports struggling writers who are also struggling readers by letting them hear what has been written. Speech output can occur at the letter, word, sentence, or paragraph level of text and this may be set by the student or teacher. Speech output can be an additional feature for spell checking, word cueing, and word prediction. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Before discussing each tool in more detail, we need to understand what the evidence about effectiveness tells us overall. First and foremost, no one feature provides all the supports needed by struggling writers to improve accuracy or quality of initial drafts As we know already, prewriting activities have the greatest impact on writing quality. Drafting tools are designed to directly improve legibility, spelling accuracy, and perhaps amount of text. Improvements in composition quality are an indirect result of the writer having more cognitive “effort” available to work on ideas, word choice, and details. For example, features that support spelling may permit writers to use more mature words within their linguistic abilities. Ordinarily, they would not use the word because they cannot spell it well enough. But with spelling support, they include the word in their composition. When these words are included the writers’ apparent word fluency improves. The research evidence also indicates that certain writer characteristics affect the outcome of use of the feature. Some struggling writers can produce handwriting at a functional rate. Some struggling writers have very severe spelling difficulties while others have less severe spelling inaccuracy. Writer characteristics that may affect the selection of a feature in a drafting tool will be specifically identified. Finally, evidence also suggests that operational competence in using a tool or its features can affect outcomes. We would not simply give a student a pen and a pad of paper and tell them to write. We first must teach the student how to produce letters of the right size and shape that fit between the lines. So too must students have enough training in use or understanding of the feature to be able to use it at a base level of competence. This issue will be examined closely in the review of the word processor as a tool for writing initial drafts. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Some digital planning and organization tools provide the means to take information directly from the electronic planning file and ‘drag’ them into the draft composition. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: The effectiveness of keyboard text entry has not been established separate from its inclusion in word processors. In most instances, the spell check feature of the word processor was not available (not part of the tool or was not activated) or it was noted that the student did not use it. Thus, evidence for effectiveness is presented for word processor use by students with academic and learning disabilities. Operational competence affects the impact of word processing on writing. Prior experience in using computers, word processors and prior keyboarding instruction increase the positive outcomes. In fact, there is some indication that lack of keyboarding instruction negatively impacts elementary-aged students who use word processors. In comparison to handwriting, functional rates of word production can be obtained, especially when systematic keyboarding instruction is provided. However, more normative research with students with and without disabilities across grade levels is needed to determine what baseline transcription rates are needed. When students have adequate prior experience or have received instruction in word processing or keyboarding, compositional length is greater when using a word processor than when handwriting. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: The effectiveness of keyboard text entry has not been established separate from its inclusion in word processors. In most instances, the spell check feature of the word processor was not available (not part of the tool or was not activated) or it was noted that the student did not use it. Thus, evidence for effectiveness is presented for word processor use by students with academic and learning disabilities. Operational competence affects the impact of word processing on writing. Prior experience in using computers, word processors and prior keyboarding instruction increase the positive outcomes. In fact, there is some indication that lack of keyboarding instruction negatively impacts elementary-aged students who use word processors. In comparison to handwriting, functional rates of word production can be obtained, especially when systematic keyboarding instruction is provided. However, more normative research with students with and without disabilities across grade levels is needed to determine what baseline transcription rates are needed. When students have adequate prior experience or have received instruction in word processing or keyboarding, compositional length is greater when using a word processor than when handwriting. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: The students’ initial level of skill impacts the effectiveness of word processor use. Improvements in draft accuracy are related to the initial error rates of students. Students with high baseline error rates, especially in spelling, appear to make more improvement than do those with few baseline errors. Increases in composition length when using the word processor are affected by handwriting skill. Students with low initial composition length using handwriting (<50 words) wrote longer compositions using the word processor. Those with higher initial length using handwriting (>60 words) wrote longer compositions using handwriting than when using the word processor. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Word cueing programs assist with keyboard text entry by presenting a list of words or phrases beginning with the first letters typed. For example, all the words beginning with “m” or beginning with “in” if 2 letters are typed. Word lists are generated from word dictionaries provided by the specific program. The dictionaries vary in the type and size. They range from single small word lists to multiple dictionaries which an be selected by the writer or teacher. In some applications, word lists can be modified or customized by the student or teacher to add topic-specific lists or to include “trouble” words. Voice output pronunciation of the offered words can be added further assist students with reading and spelling deficits. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Word prediction programs are also used with keyboard text entry. They were originally designed to reduce the physical demands of typing by reducing the number of keystrokes needed. However, they were found to increase spelling accuracy as another outcome . Words appear in short word list when the first letter is typed. Word prediction programs dynamically changed the word list as more letters are typed. Several different factors are used to generate the lists of “predicted” words. Word frequency offers words most frequently occurring words in the English language drawn from a published dictionary or word bank. Word recency offers words from among those most recently used by the student; when previously frequent words, e.g., the person named in a report, become infrequent selections by the student, they fade from the offered list. Grammatically-based prediction offers words based upon syntactic rules, e.g., a verb follows a noun, and matches number and tense, e.g., after “Yesterday, the boys” the program would offer “were.” Word association offers words based upon words commonly used together in sentences, e.g., “good” produces “morning” and “night.” The words placed into the list come from word dictionaries supplied with the program. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Voice, or speech, recognition software can permit the student to compose by dictation. Research has demonstrated that, when struggling writers dictate, they produce longer and better quality papers. This seems to be especially true of narrative writing. In addition, dictation circumvents problems of writing mechanics, particularly spelling. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Voice recognition requires that the student spend some initial time training the program to “recognize” the student's speech patterns. The amount of training time will vary with the program and the student’s speech. Older systems required the student to dictate word-by-word, known as “discrete” speech. Newer systems recognize “continuous speech.” But the student must still articulate carefully and avoid extraneous vocalizations. Student must also dictate all punctuation and formatting. The best systems may recognize 91% of speech after initial training and 95% with extended use. But, non-standard pronunciation or language problems or differences will reduce accuracy. However, recognition accuracy continues to improve as speech recognition technology develops. Students must also recognize when the system has “misunderstood” and inserted a correctly spelled but incorrect word. Such a mistake must be corrected, using either speech recognition or the keyboard. The visual display of words on the screen enhances the student’s ability to detect and correct errors. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Voice recognition is an established tool used by medical, legal and business professionals and writers typically to create first drafts. The use of voice recognition by school-aged students who struggle to write is not an evidence-based practice. At present the research base is far too small to provide more than mere indications of how to use this tool and what outcomes will result. Some early evidence suggests that: Initial system training results in only moderate levels of recognition accuracy (50-60%). More sustained training increases this to the 75-80% level. Additional system training can include more standard “training” trials or additional repetitions of frequently misunderstood words. Students can improve accuracy by self-correcting the text appearing on the screen as they use the voice-recognition system. However, the correction procedures need to be learned and may place additional work load on the student. Frustration with the additional work required to self-detect and self-correct dictation errors results in frustration that may lead to rejection or abandonment of the voice recognition feature CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Technology Supports for Struggling Writers © 2006 Texas Assistive Technology Network (TATN) SAY: Other than the increases in writing accuracy just noted, there are only a few other outcomes indicated. First, the quality of writing via voice recognition may be significantly improved in comparison to handwritten and typed writing. Among college students with learning disabilities who used voice recognition, word fluency was better. These students used longer, more mature vocabulary when dictating to the computer. The preliminary results would suggest that voice recognition as a transcription tool may benefit only those students with most severe spelling and writing difficulties. These would be students who have a good language base and adequate articulation. They would need to have significant problems in handwriting and spelling that the use of word processors with word prediction cannot effectively remediate. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: The initial draft undergoes a re-iterative process of revision. Revising can occur while the initial draft is being prepared. In this process the skilled writer reflects upon the content and purpose of the composition as phrases and sentence are being transcribed. This is typically too difficult for the struggling writer who is attempting to get the ideas unto paper as efficiently as possible as not to lose them. For struggling writers revision is a distinct phase in the writing process. Revising must be done explicitly and with appropriate goals CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: The skilled writer revises to improve the composition. Revising actually has two goals The first is to correct errors in the conventions of writing. These include spelling, punctuation, capitalization and grammatical errors. Learning to edit helps the writer to understand that conventions convey meaning. The second is to clarify the meaning and to expand ideas within the composition. Revision helps to make the writing more understandable and more interesting to the reader. Revising helps the writer to learn and improve the craft of writing. Revising literally means “seeing again.” Through revision, the student learns to see what the reader sees and understand what is needed by the reader. This might be more details or it might be a re-arrangement of ideas to make them more understandable or logical. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Just seeing legible text on a screen can help the writer to detect errors. This can happen as the error occurs and is corrected immediately. Or it can occur later when reviewing the sentence or paragraph on the screen. Keyboard text entry obviously supports the easy correction of errors as compared to handwritten correction. But struggling writers are often struggling readers. So voice output review of what has been written can assist problem readers to hear and detect errors. For example, misspelled words will be pronounced incorrectly and sentences without terminal punctuation will be heard as run-on sentences. But some features of writing tools provide even more specific supports. Visual cues such as underlining or highlighting of individual words are used to signal potentially misspelled words. These same cues might be used to signal potential grammatical errors. Some writing tools have also used beeps or other sounds to mark potential errors, often along with visual signals After detection comes correction. Tools may provide lists of possible corrections. The student selects the correct word or phrase and it is inserted into the text. Spell checkers and grammar checkers provide such assistance. Voice output review of the list helps the student with reading difficulties to make correct selections. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Some editing tools provide automatic assistance during transcription to detect and repair errors. Some word processors now offer auto-correction of common or frequent spelling errors as the student is typing. These errors are often limited to common letter omissions or reversals. Other tools may actually prevent errors from occurring. As we previously noted, some transcription tools offer auto-insertion of capitalization following terminal punctuation. They may also provide automatic insertion of the correct number of spaces following words or punctuation. Word prediction programs with advanced features may provide lists with grammatically correct forms of the target words. The grammatical form is generated from the context of the sentence being typed. For example, if the subject is plural then the plural form of verbs are offered. The writer is prevented from making both a spelling and a subject-verb agreement error. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Because revising is about better content and meaning, the tools need to enhance the student’s ability to “see again” what he or she has written. The student must be able to review each sentence for meaning and ask the questions: “Does this make sense?” Could I make it clearer? Beyond each sentence, the student must review sequences of sentences and determine whether There is enough detail to make it interesting to the reader The meaning is clear and the sequence of actions or thoughts are logical All of the needed content elements are present, for example, all the parts of a story Then beyond the analysis, the tools must help the student to make the changes needed, quickly and efficiently without introducing new errors. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: One of the primary potential advantages of word processing that is often mentioned is the screen display of legible text. This assist both the student and teacher to see and evaluate what has been written without the confounding problem of handwriting. The evidence suggests that the student should not be encouraged to review during preparation of the initial draft. Attending to the overall meaning of what has been written should occur during a distinct revising step. Hearing what has been written is an important part of the writer’s workshop and peer-review models. For students who struggle with writing, hearing what has been written can take place during initial revision step. Text-to-speech voice output provides this to students, especially those who are also poor readers. Sentence level review can assist the student to edit and correct errors and to revise sentences for meaning. Paragraph and composition level review with voice output enables the student to review detail, clarity, and logical sequence. As with pre-writing activities, students with learning and academic disabilities may not be able to independently review. Remember, these students may lack both knowledge of what to include and how to review. Thus, during this step, students can use the written outlines, plans and think sheets prepared and printed during pre-writing. They become content prompts , or content checklists. Students can review their composition and check off the elements to be sure that they have been included. If not, these writing plans help them to put the missing content in the right place. Procedural prompts provide students with assistance in the actual process of reviewing. Such prompts might remind a student to read a sentence, answer certain key questions, and revise if needed. They then prompt the student to go onto the next sentence until all sentences are reviewed. Evidence clearly established that screen display and voice output enable editing more than review. Students with learning disabilities are repeatedly reported to believe that good writing is accurate and free of errors. Perhaps our concern for “proofreading” has helped shape this view. But good writing is about good content. Content prompts and procedural prompts are needed for students to achieve substantive revising. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: Word level revisions refer to the process of revising individual words to clarify content or increase the precision of the composition. Dictionaries, wordlists and thesauruses are viable tools that may assist a student in the process of choosing new and/or related words to improve the composition. Sentence and paragraph level revisions support the general revision of the document though insertion of new text, deletion of existing text, or moving text location within the composition to create a better cogent composition. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: The final phase of the writing process is publishing, that is, the sharing of the student’s writing with audiences. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: For writing to have a real purpose to the writer, writing must be shared with audiences. Writing should not be just about writing and correcting and getting a grade from the teacher. Writing is communication and publishing acknowledges this authentic goal of writing. Publishing can also serve as an effective strategy for motivating struggling students. After all the work of planning, drafting and revising, publishing presents a finished product. The student can take pride in this accomplishment, especially when audiences, who have no knowledge of how it came to, acknowledge the content. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY: While widely recognized, many tools available for publishing have not been proven to be effective in systematic research. Even so, practice suggests that tools for publishing should include certain features. Formatting options such as underline, bold, or italics, can increase interest or improve clarity or organization. Explanations and compare-and-contrast writing tasks in particular benefit from numbered or bulleted lists. Layout options such as tables can increase the logical presentation of compare-and-contrast writing. Pre-designed templates with headings can give additional support to expository tasks such as lab reports Insertion of graphic elements can increase interest or clarity. Illustrations or graphic elements increase interest in narratives. Graphs or other graphic elements can improve expository writing. CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • SAY : Finally, publishing tools can enhance sharing of writing among peers and other audiences. Publishing options include: Collections of class writings published as book Web-based publishing CLICK THE MOUSE TO PROCEED TO THE NEXT SLIDE
  • Transcript

    • 1. Technology Supports for Struggling Writers Presented By: Brian W. Wojcik, Ed.D., ATP
    • 2. Supporting Wiki <ul><li>http://infinitecwritingseries.wikispaces.com </li></ul>
    • 3. Characteristics of writers Characteristics of struggling writers… “ Writing well is not just an option for young people – it is a necessity. Along with reading comprehension, writing is a predictor of academic success and a basic requirement for participation in civic and life and a global economy…Because the definition of literacy includes both reading and writing skills, poor writing proficiency should be recognized as part of this national literacy crisis.” (Graham &amp; Perin, 2007)
    • 4. Struggling Writers Characteristics <ul><li>Difficulty with… </li></ul><ul><li>Adding detail </li></ul><ul><li>Word choice </li></ul><ul><li>Handwriting/mechanics </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying errors </li></ul><ul><li>Correcting errors </li></ul><ul><li>Fluency </li></ul>
    • 5. Struggling Writers Self Determination <ul><li>Do not see themselves as writers, therefore… </li></ul><ul><li>Lack procedural knowledge about the writing process </li></ul><ul><li>Have difficulty selecting topics and generating ideas </li></ul>
    • 6. Struggling Writers… <ul><li>Are unaware of writing for an audience </li></ul><ul><li>Write to put words on paper - not writing for meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Need strategies to self assess their own work </li></ul>
    • 7. Using the Writing Process with Struggling Writers <ul><li>Allows students to be involved in writing regularly, for meaningful purposes and real audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on meaning first, then skills in the context of meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodates differentiated instruction which allow students to work at their own level and pace </li></ul><ul><li>Involves collaboration during peer:peer &amp; teacher:student conferences </li></ul>
    • 8. Using the Writing Process with Struggling Writers <ul><li>Provides opportunities for generalization and transfer of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Gives students control of their writing </li></ul><ul><li>Helps establish independent problem-solvers </li></ul><ul><li>Most importantly, using the writing process creates writers </li></ul>
    • 9. UDL and Writing <ul><li>Basic Tenets of UDL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Means of Representation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Means of Engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple Means of Action or Expression </li></ul></ul>
    • 10. Stages in the Writing Process <ul><li>Prewriting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Drafting </li></ul><ul><li>Revising </li></ul><ul><li>Editing </li></ul><ul><li>Publishing </li></ul>
    • 11. Prewriting “ Planning and organizing”
    • 12. Effective Features of Tools Supporting Prewriting <ul><li>Provides prompts related to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the purpose of the composition (e.g., to tell a story, to explain, to compare, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the structure of the composition (e.g., introductory sentence, support details, concluding sentence, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the genre of the writing (e.g., the five elements of a story) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prompts may take the form of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul></ul>
    • 13. Effective Features of Tools Supporting Prewriting <ul><li>Use of visual-graphic mapping tools to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>organize groups of information (charts, maps or web) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>enhance representation of logical sequencing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ordinate relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Record and manipulate ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Produce a printed plan for the student follow </li></ul><ul><li>Produce digital files which guide the student’s writing </li></ul><ul><li>Provide text-to-speech support </li></ul>
    • 14. Types of Prewriting Tools for Planning &amp; Organizing <ul><li>Graphic organizers </li></ul><ul><li>Writing checklists </li></ul><ul><li>Digital planning &amp; organizational tools </li></ul><ul><li>Digital mapping tools </li></ul>
    • 15. Graphic Organizers <ul><li>Prewriting supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides a means to organize thoughts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can assist in the organization of form (e.g., creating a paragraph) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creates a reference through the writing process </li></ul></ul>Graphic organizer sites: www.eduplace.com/graphicorganize www.writesite.org/html/organize.html
    • 16. Writing Checklists <ul><li>Prewriting supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide prompts relating to purpose, structure, and/or genre of composition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revision and/or editing supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide prompt relating to word choice, content, and/or conventions used in the composition </li></ul></ul>
    • 17. “ Think Sheets”
    • 18. Writing Strategies (SRSD Instruction) <ul><li>(P) pick a topic, </li></ul><ul><li>(L) list your ideas about the topic, </li></ul><ul><li>(E) evaluate your list, </li></ul><ul><li>(A) activate the paragraph with a topic sentence, </li></ul><ul><li>(S) supply supporting sentences, and </li></ul><ul><li>(E) end with a concluding sentence and evaluate your work. </li></ul>
    • 19. <ul><li>Provide a means to organize and record thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>Scaffold the organization of form (e.g., creating a paragraph) </li></ul><ul><li>Create a visual reference through the writing process </li></ul><ul><li>May provide multiple views of the same content (e.g., outline vs.map) </li></ul><ul><li>May have text-to-speech support </li></ul>Digital Planning &amp; Organization Tools
    • 20. Digital Mapping Tools <ul><li>Prewriting supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow for the recording and manipulation of thoughts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a means to organize thoughts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assist in the organization of form (e.g., creating a paragraph) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a reference through the writing process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May provide multiple views of the same content (e.g., map vs. outline) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May have text-to-speech support </li></ul></ul>
    • 21. Drafting “ Preparing the Initial Composition”
    • 22. Drafting Basics <ul><li>While prewriting activities and tools can assist the writer during initial drafting, the writer must still juggle: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planning what to say and how to say it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selecting words, sentences, and text structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Producing the text </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitoring his or her writing in order to revise “on the fly” </li></ul></ul>
    • 23. Planning &amp; Organizing <ul><li>Establish a purpose for writing (the writing task) </li></ul><ul><li>Select a topic and identify the intended audience </li></ul><ul><li>Generate ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Organize ideas according to text structure </li></ul>
    • 24. Effective Features of Tools Supporting Drafting <ul><li>Ability to create print via a keyboard </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to provide word cues </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to provide word prediction </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to create text via speech recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Access to spell check </li></ul><ul><li>Access to text to speech supports </li></ul>
    • 25. Evidence of Effectiveness <ul><li>No one feature provides all the support needed by struggling writers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All features do not affect all writing variables directly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Effectiveness is affected </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By the writer’s basic skill levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By the writer’s operational competence with the tool </li></ul></ul>
    • 26. Types of Tools for Drafting Support <ul><li>Drafting &amp; Planning Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Keyboard Text Entry Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Word Cue Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Word Prediction Tools </li></ul><ul><li>Speech Recognition Tools </li></ul>
    • 27. <ul><li>Drafting Supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Word or phrase “ideas” from prewriting can serve as sentence starters or provide vocabulary for drafting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital outline files can be used to generate a first draft when more extensive written information was produced during planning &amp; organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drafting support can be done through ‘copy and paste’ or ‘click and drag’ or an “auto create” function </li></ul></ul>Digital Planning &amp; Organization Tools
    • 28. Keyboard Text Entry <ul><li>Drafting supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide support in legible print production </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May have text-to-speech support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May have grammar check support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May provide automatic capitalization and spelling correction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May provide word cues </li></ul></ul>
    • 29. Keyboard Text Entry <ul><li>Drafting supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In general, operational competence of students affects impact of word processing on writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Functional rates of word production can be obtained, especially when keyboarding instruction is provided </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Compositional length is increased with prior experience or instruction in WP or keyboarding </li></ul></ul>
    • 30. Keyboard Text Entry <ul><li>Drafting supports </li></ul><ul><li>Initial student skill levels affect outcomes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students with higher initial spelling errors improve more in draft accuracy than do those with low initial rates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students with low initial composition length when handwriting (&lt;50 words) write longer compositions using the word processor </li></ul></ul>
    • 31. Word Cues <ul><li>Drafting supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Used with keyboard text entry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Present lists of words or phrases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lists are generated from word dictionaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dictionaries vary type and size from small single lists to large multiple lists </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional feature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customizable to add topic-specific lists or lists of “trouble” words </li></ul></ul></ul>
    • 32. Word Prediction <ul><li>Drafting supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamically changes the lists as more letters are typed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Produce lists of words using </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Word frequency </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Recency of use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Grammatical correctness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commonly associated words and phrases </li></ul></ul></ul>
    • 33. Speech Recognition <ul><li>Drafting Supports </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permits drafting by dictation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dictation produces longer and better quality papers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows production of legible print </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May have text to speech support </li></ul></ul>
    • 34. Speech Recognition Requires… <ul><li>“ training” of the program to recognize the students voice </li></ul><ul><li>the student to recognize and correct mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>the student to dictate punctuation and formatting </li></ul>
    • 35. Effectiveness of Speech Recognition <ul><li>Limited evidence base </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not an evidence-based tool </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recognition accuracy may reach only 75-80% after sustained training </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuous speech systems produce higher accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-editing improves accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frustration with correction process may lead to rejection or abandonment </li></ul></ul>
    • 36. Effectiveness of Speech Recognition <ul><li>Outcomes on writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality of writing with VR may be significantly improved </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only students with the most severe writing difficulties may benefit </li></ul>
    • 37. Editing &amp; Revising “ Editing &amp; Revising the Draft”
    • 38. Two Complementary Processes <ul><li>Editing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Correction of errors in the conventions of writing: spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revising </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clarifies meaning and expands ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Makes the writing more interesting and understandable to the reader </li></ul></ul>
    • 39. Effective features of tools supporting editing <ul><li>Facilitating the detection of errors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Screen display </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Text-to-speech voice output </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Signaling the presence of an error </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual signals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auditory signals </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Providing options for correction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lists of possible corrections </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice output review of options </li></ul></ul>
    • 40. Effective features of tools supporting editing <ul><li>Automatic detection and correction of errors during transcription </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Auto-correction of common spelling errors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Auto-prevention of errors during transcription </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Auto-insertion of capitalization &amp; spacing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Auto-insertion of correct grammatical form in word lists </li></ul></ul>
    • 41. Effective features of tools supporting revising <ul><li>Assist the writer </li></ul><ul><li>To review sentences for meaning </li></ul><ul><li>To review passages and paragraphs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For detail and interest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For clarity and logic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For content elements </li></ul></ul><ul><li>To make revisions </li></ul>
    • 42. Effective features of tools supporting revising <ul><li>Reviewing meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Screen display of legible text </li></ul><ul><li>Text-to-speech voice output </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sentences, paragraphs, entire composition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Review prompts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content prompts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Procedural prompts (instructions or questions) </li></ul></ul>
    • 43. Effective features of tools supporting revising <ul><li>Word-level revisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dictionaries, word lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thesaurus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sentence and paragraph-level revisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text insertion, deletion, and movement </li></ul></ul>
    • 44. Publishing “ Sharing writing with audiences”
    • 45. Publishing <ul><li>Gives purpose for writing </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledges writing as genuine communication </li></ul><ul><li>Is an effective strategy for motivating the writer </li></ul>
    • 46. <ul><li>Provide formatting options to improve interest, clarity or organization </li></ul><ul><li>Provide layout options appropriate to writing genre </li></ul><ul><li>Provide for the insertion of illustrations, graphics, graphs, etc </li></ul>Effective Features of Tools Supporting Publishing
    • 47. Effective Features of Tools Supporting Publishing <ul><li>Provide for sharing of writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Among peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Among other audiences </li></ul></ul>

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