Educational Tools and Apps to Enhance Your Students Writing Skill

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In today's post we are sharing with you this updated collection of educational web tools and applications you can use with your students and kids during this lockdown to engage them in productive writing activities and enhance their writing skills. We have tried to provide you with tools that cover almost every phase of the writing process: there are apps that provide story starters and writing prompts, tools for brainstorming (e.g., graphic organizers and mind mapping applications), tools for doing the actual writing, tools to help with the mechanics of writing, and websites where students can publish and share their writing output.

Since the outbreak of this global pandemic, we have shared a number of educational resources to help you with your remote teaching and to enhance students' distance learning. Among these resources are:

There is an infographic version of this post which you can access and download from this page.

I- Digital storytelling websites
1- Story Wars
Good for collaborative writing on digital storytelling projects.

2- Story Bird
Join a creative community of story tellers and get inspired to write your own stories.

3- Zimmer Twins
‘The Zimmer Twins website invites kids to create and share their own animated stories.’

4- StoryWeaver
It offers a great story creator tool that allows students to write their own stories and share them with others.

II- Comic Strips tools
1- Storyboard That
Create and narrate your stories using beautiful visuals and storyboards.

2-Witty Comics
Provides you with a set of pre-designed characters, scenes and dialogue boxes to write your story. You need to log in to save your work.

3- Make Beliefs Comix
Create amazing comics using a wide variety of materials including characters, speech bubbles, props, backgrounds, objects and many more.

4- Pixton
Create stunning comics using a drag and drop editor. They can choose from ‘fully posable characters to dynamic panels, props, and speech bubbles, every aspect of a comic can be controlled in an intuitive click-n-drag motion.’

III- Mind mappings tools
A good tool for creating visually attractive concept maps. No software download required and maps you create can be saved as an image. It also supports different sharing and collaborative features.

2- Popplet
It offers various features including: recording notes in different formats with text, images and drawings; link notes to each other; export your final work as PDF or JPEG; supports several languages and many more.

3- MindMup
Lets you ‘create unlimited mind maps for free, and store them in the cloud. Your mind maps are available everywhere, instantly, from any device.’

4- Lucidchart
You can use Lucidchart to design concept maps, flowcharts and different types of diagrams. It also support collaborative features and works across several devices.

IV- Story starters
1- Scholastic Story Starters
Choose from four story starter themes: adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, and scrambler.

2- Cube Creator
Offers you tools to create different story genres including a biography, autobiography, mystery story…etc

3- The Story Starter
Randomly generates tons of story starters to write a short story, novel, play, movie script…etc

4- BoomWriter
Offers practical tools to engage students creative writing.

V- Writing mechanics (Grammar and Style)
1- Grammarly
Helps you correct spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

2- Hemingway
Helps you refine your style and improve language structure and lexicon.

3- Quill
It offers various tools to help students with their writing including Quill Grammar and Quill Proofreader.

4- OWL
‘OWL,  which belongs to Purdue University, has a huge online library that features a wide variety of materials covering different writing-related topics such as grammar and mechanics, professional writing, APA and MLA formatting guides, resume  writing, research and citation tips, subject-specific writings and many more.’

VI- Websites to publish students writing
1- Book creator
An excellent educational platform to help students create, published share their writing creations.

2- Google Sites
Share your writing in a website you create and publish on the web

3- Google Docs
Another great option to publish one’s writing in various formats including a web link.

4- Edubblogs
Share your writing in the form of blogposts.

VII- Graphic Organizers
1- Plot Diagram
‘The Plot Diagram is an organizational tool focusing on a pyramid or triangular shape, which is used to map the events in a story. This mapping of plot structure allows readers and writers to visualize the key features of stories.’

2- Essay Map
‘This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline that includes an introductory statement, main ideas they want to discuss or describe, supporting details, and a conclusion that summarizes the main ideas.’

3- Compare and Contrast Map

‘This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point.’

4- Venn Diagram
‘This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles. Students identify and record concepts that can be placed in one of the circles or in the overlapping areas, allowing them to organize their information logically.’

5- Persuasion Map
‘The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate. Students begin by determining their goal or thesis. They then identify three reasons to support their argument, and three facts or examples to validate each reason.’