Assistive Technology (AT) is excellent tool teach all students including the students with disabilities because it makes easier to teach and deliver the knowledge to pupils. There are different Apps or software can be used with special education (special needs students).
Writing is one of best way to make others hear your voice whatever where you are. You can write in many different places such as social media (Twitter, Facebook…etc), forums, blogs, word documents, PowerPoint…etc. However, some people may have difficulties to write because their disabilities. Therefore, Co:Writer Universal created to help special needs students who have difficulties in writing to make it more easier.
Co: Writer Universal:
Introduction of what is Co:Writer Universal
Co:Writer Universal is Designed for Academic Use:
- Using FlexSpell technology to correct grammar and spelling.
- Bringing the topic-specific vocabulary instantly when writing in the content areas.
- Transferring writing by using Cloud so easily.
- Giving the teacher feedback and data of students' writing process (count words & Time).
- Read article or paragraphs from the documents or web page by click in "Speak" bottom.
Accommodates specific learning goals of student with learning challenges (writing, reading, communication):
- Writing: correct the grammar and spelling. Also, students can select the topic so all vocabulary that link to the topic will appear while they are writing.
- Reading: it read what the students write so students can read and write at the same time. Also, it can read anything the student highlight.
- Communication: students will able to communicate in writing form in many different places (e.g. student can write and participate in forums to discuss a topic with his/her classmates or other people around the world; student can write a tweet or post his/her state in Facebook; student can create a blog and write his journals or write comments..etc).
Classroom implementation strategies:
- The teacher needs to introduce Co:Writer Universal to the students.
- Show the students install on iPad or Google Chrome or Desktop.
- Show students how to sign in or give them the class code.
- Students will able to use Co: Writer Universal in their devices in many different programs and browsers.
- The teacher can assign assessment or project to do such as journals, reflections, essay, presentations, comments and blog. Moreover, they can use the Co:Writer in quiz if the teacher wants to let them use it. Therefore, students will able to write the things that they wish to write about without find difficulties to write.
- Students will be able to organize information and will feel confidence so they will love to write. Additionally, it will help them in using new words, correct spelling and grammar.
- Students can use an existing topic or add their dictionaries.
- Students can write at home or class or anywhere when they iPad with them because it work in different devices and the writing files are storage in the cloud services online.
- The teacher can see students development and collect data by using her account.
Here is some strategies from the teachers who used Co:Write Universal.
Some good videos to help in classroom implementation strategies:
Ways to use in an inclusion setting:
- Dyspraxia: a student has some difficulties in motor skills (fine and gross motor skills) so she/he has so hard time to hold a pen or pencil and write.
- Dyslexia: a student who have troubles in reading so Co: Writer Universal will read for him so he can write.
- Learning disabilities: some student has some difficulties in learning and understanding so grammar and spelling so Co: Writer Universal will support him/her to write.
These were few examples of many. In addition, students with a disability will not feel they are disabled because all students can use it.
Training requirements for teachers/students/parents:
- Sign up an account.
- Pay for the Co: Writer Universal.
- Give the code to the students.
- Follow up their data and updates.
Students easily can use it by few clicks in their devices after the teacher set up the Co:Writer Universal. While students start typing a letter, five numbers (from 1 to 5) will appear; each number show the expectation word so the student can click on the number that illustrate his/her idea.
Parents can support their children at home, so they need to know the basic of how to use Co:Writer Universal. This can be easily done by email them few videos.
Good Videos for training
Going Google: Accessible Reading and Writing with Co:Writer and Snap&Read
In this webinar, Zach Bender joins us to share how districts are using Co:Writer and Snap&Read Universal to help their students read and write across Google. He will share how you can do the same and instantly track usage and qualitative data that helps implementation.
Whether your district is just beginning to consider Google for your students or have already “gone Google”, this webinar will help you make the best accommodation decisions possible.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — 12:00pm – 1:00pm (Central)
Smart Data, Safe Students: Harnessing Data While Protecting Student Privacy
In this webinar, accessibility leader Mike Marotta joins us to help answer these questions and give you criteria to use when selecting apps and extensions that will keep your student data safe. From COPPA to FERPA, we’ve synthesized the regulations and requirements. Mike will also share the student-safe way Don Johnston is protecting student privacy with data collection in Co:Writer and Snap&Read Universal.
Join us for this webinar to learn what we can do to take to better protect student data — and keep our students safe!
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — 12:00pm – 1:00pm (Central)
Chrome as AT: What You Need to Know
From Chromebooks to Google docs, Google for Education has exploded. The devices and apps change just about everything you know about accessibility.
In this webinar, accessibility leader Mike Marotta will share what you need to know to support accessibility on Chromebooks and Google apps on the Chrome Browser. Mike will also share literacy-based accessibility tools Co:Writer Universal (word prediction) and Snap&Read Universal (text reader and leveler) with you.
Thursday, July 16, 2015 — 12:00pm – 1:00pm (Central)
Other features pertaining to adoption of technology for instruction:
- Using FlexSpell technology: show the expectation words, fix spelling and grammar.
- Reading: "Speaks" option read the highlighted text. Moreover, it works so well with
Snap&Read Universal which read the PDF and Charts texts.
Can be everywhere and anytime: it works on many different devices (Mac, iPad, Desktop and Windows) and programs and website (Microsoft office, social media, online test...etc).
Adding images to the text.
Using Google Apps: students can use cloud services, Google docs, sheet, forms...etc.
Data collection: the teacher can get students summary data (words count, time) so easily from the website (her account). Here is a video to present how to do that.
Information about company which produces the product and pricing:
Website link with product pictures, demonstration and support resources:
- Co:Writer Universal (Chrome App)
- Co:Writer Universal (Extension) - Chrome App
- iTunes store - Co:Writer
Here is the full guidance how to download in each device including desktop
For other supports or questions for technical requirement click here.
Here you can hear and read real stories from students and teachers who use Co: Writer Universal
Bender, Z. (2015, February 5). Cowriter universal - PATINS [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/oGl3Z0SkIDM
Co:Writer Universal. (n.d.). Retrieved from Don Johnston website: http://donjohnston.com/cowriter/#.VWx_jM-eDGd
Don Johnston Incorporated. (2015, March 20). CoWriter universal: Understanding the data [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/JN7gagb0cbM
Don Johnston Incorporated. (2015, April 1). Co:Writer universal vocabulary support [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdkWkvsTM4I
Freeman, E. (2014, November 25). CoWriter unviersal iPad interface [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/AeX1UAm33dY
Johnston, K. (2014, September 4). Co:Writer universal [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/OPTPKY4lCv0
Johnston, K. (2014, October 3). Educator dashboard: Accommodate_CoWriter [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/1q8QCbJWpHM
Johnston, K. (2014, October 3). Educator dashboard: Account setup [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGP3q4ah5E8&feature=youtu.be
Johnston, K. (2014, October 6). Co:Writer universal (chrome extension): Overview [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/9J0sCBzAQsQ
Johnston, K. (2014, October 6). Co:Writer universal (chrome extension): Topic dictionaries [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2Prz-1PA5c&feature=youtu.be