The myths of writing on the iPad have been challenged before, but it is difficult to know exactly how the writing process can be achieved on the iPad. There are plenty of writing apps recommended for the iPad, but most are only good for one or two aspects of the process, not them all. Below I have listed a collection of apps that can work together to make the writing process painless for students.
What to write about?
Pinterest is a brilliant app for sparking creativity and keeping track of inspiration. Students can have boards for different text types, or different genres to organise ideas. It is so easy to collect beautiful images as story sparks, or links to information for report texts. Pinterest also connects with Evernote, to work on those ideas a little more. It is, unfortunately, only for people over 13, so it is not much use for primary students. For all others, it is brilliant.
Flipboard is a beautiful app, and works for every student because it is what they make it. If they love non-fiction, they can follow the RSS feeds of journalists, scientists or developers. If fiction is more their thing, they can follow the blogs of their favourite authors. Students can then take their favourite ideas and use them in their writer’s notebook. Again, the articles can then be sent on to other apps for students to add their own ideas.
How will I make it my own? How will I structure it?
Penultimate, in conjunction with Evernote, is the closest thing to the perfect writer’s notebook. Almost all inspiration-type apps can send links and images to Evernote, and allow people to add their own comments. With Penultimate, it also allows students who prefer to write by hand to add those ideas to the inspirational material.
Notability is an excellent app as a writer’s notebook because it can be personalised, and students can type, hand write, draw images, include pictures and add audio notes, all in the one note. It has a much smaller learning curve than Evernote, so it is a better alternative for people who do not want to learn a whole new platform. It also works with several other apps, and backs up all notes to Dropbox.
Popplet is not as great as Notability or Evernote for connecting to their inspirational apps, but it is better for students who are very visual and need to see the literal connections between their ideas.
How will I write it?
Pages is the most obvious choice for students to write their first draft. It is the closes to traditional word processing, and works with Evernote and Notability. It also exports as a PDF, which is one of the easiest formats to write over and edit.
My Writing Spot is a great apps for students who like to procrastinate, because it offers very few distractions (especially compared to Pages). It is very simple to use, works with other apps and is the no-fuss option.
How will I improve it?
Adobe Reader is great for students who want to edit by hand, instead of changing what they have already written (or when the teacher needs clear evidence of a student’s editing skills). It is also great for peer-assessment, as it is easy to send between students.
Drive is great for revision between students, or between the student and teacher, because it allows people to either make revisions or leave comments, depending on what rights the document owner gives to the editor. Almost any app can upload to Drive, and is great for Google Apps schools.
How will the world see it?
WattPad is great for students over 13 to publish their writing. It is free, and publishes all types of fiction. It also has millions of members of read the ebooks on the site and app.
Edublogs is one of many blog hosts on the internet, but is great for students to publish their work to a global audience. It is a far safer platform than Blogger or WordPress, as it does not host, or connect to, unsafe blogs. Student blogs can be connected to a teacher account, which is especially useful for younger students.