Many of you will be familiar with Co:Writer in its desktop computer form – this software has been available for Edinburgh schools for some time now. Don Johnston have produced an iPad app that reproduces many of the functions of the program we are used to.
At the time of writing, the app can be purchased in the iTunes store for £12.99. It has many of the great features you would expect from Co:Writer, including:
- The ability to “read back” writing at a letter, word and sentence level as well as the whole piece of writing.
- A huge range of topic dictionaries.
- A great word-prediction function, that is sensitive to the sorts of mistakes that those with dyslexia typically make.
- The ability to change text size or switch to a white-on-black set up for those that require it.
You can also copy text, so that it can be pasted into other apps, for example to create a presentation, to submit work via Edmodo or similar, or to send in an email.
Due to the size limitations of an app, there are not the full range of features that can be found in the desktop software, but it’s still fairly comprehensive. For me, the biggest miss is the lack of choice of voices for the text-to-speech functionality – you can only choose an adult female voice (called Lucy, if you’re interested!).
Despite this, I think this is still a very worthwhile app to support learners with literacy difficulties, from mid-primary upwards – especially at such a low relative cost. One last thing – please make sure that you install Co:Writer – British English, not just Co:Writer, if you don’t want American spelling (and presumably an American voice).
Here’s a video where you can see the app in action:
As always, contact me if you want to talk about this app further.