Monday, May 26, 2008

Distraction Free Writing or a Blast From the Past...

I had a colleague in one of my graduate classes recommend a product for Mac called “WrightRoom” and I downloaded it to give it a try. Wow did it take me back. It was very old school even the font looked like something out of the move “War Games.” I am not sure I am ready to go backwards. I like the bells and whistles and upgrades that have happened to word processing in the past 30 years… why would I want to go back? The entire time I was thinking... what would Will Richardson think?

Actually, I can see some benefits, if you want students to simply write what they think without the red underlines or the green underlines of word processors it would be fine. To prepare them for standardized tests that have just them and the blank screen, it may be a good idea. But I am glad I just did a free 30-day trial because I don’t think this is something I would use enough on a regular basis to buy. Besides, I like the crispness of black text on a white page, green on black or any of the other combinations provided just seem strange to my eye which is used to black and white. But I do like the fact that once you close the screen, your text is right there in a simple black and white text file so you can copy and past it into a word processor and edit, or can save it as simple text. So, if you want to see what your students can do without all the bells and whistles of word processors or you want to give them a good chuckle and tell them this is the way all computers used to write, by all means try “WrightRoom.” My colleague says it was a "huge" success with his students, "because it allowed the kids to concentrate on their ideas and the writing process." I want to at least show it to my students and see what they think.
And to my colleague Scott, I did this Jing Screencast about my first experience.

No comments: