As teachers, we have all come across students who can talk a good answer but cannot reproduce that quality when writing. It can be puzzling that a student clearly has the knowledge and understanding and the powers of expression, yet these appear to evaporate as soon as s/he is required to write something.
The complexity of writing means the breakdown may occur at any point during the writing process. Finding out first where the problem lies can lead to offering appropriate support. In my view, an unhelpful ‘solution’ is to provide a scribe.
Instead, there is a wide range of technological tools that may address the specific problem in a way that gives back to the individual a sense of control and independence – vital to their self-belief.
I've outlined some of the potential problems, and suggested a range of relevant tools which can refocus the writer onto the central requirements of the task at hand in a resource for teachers. These tools can transform the writing experience into a more manageable challenge for students.
(This article was first published as a newsletter on 3/10/2016.)