School Writing – Some press and reviews we have received....

The Number 1 Education App in Australia - 17th to 25th April, 2012

A few YouTubes on School Writing by other people.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxvDXSynZZA by Kirsty Childs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUsZ6x9Bp2E by SmartAppsforKids
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgtXzqItpK0 by KidsBestiPadApps.com


2014
Link to review - http://www.techinspecialed.com
User rating: 5 Recommended: Yes
Highly Recommended. 
School Writing is a must have app for every parent or clinician teaching older preschoolers to elementary students on how to write. From beginning learners to kids learning cursive, this app has it all. It covers a multitude of writing fonts that would fit into any curriculum, as well as comprehensive settings for customization for each user. Progressive lessons help kids gain skills needed for handwriting into manageable “chunks” and they are laid out in a logical sequence to ensure integration of the material. Both visual and auditory cues are provided and you are able to add your own voice recording. A really neat feature is being able to import lessons, photos, and make spelling lists that can be tailored to other areas of study. A child’s progress can be exported to email, dropbox or iTunes file sharing for parents and teachers to share. Support for using the app is above and beyond, and you can tell this developer believes and stands behind their work. They are very responsive and even have a website for help with the app. Highly Recommended. 

2014
Link to review - iPad Apps for School



School Writing (US Version) – An iPad App for Customized Handwriting Lessons


School Writing is an iPad app that teachers and parents can use to create customized handwriting lessons. Like other iPad apps designed to teach handwriting, School Writing has number, letter, and word tracing activities. What makes School Writing different from other apps like it is number of ways in which teachers and parents can customize the app.
On School Writing teachers can record their own voices with instructions for students. Recordings can be made for every letter of the alphabet, every word in the app, and all of the numbers in the app. Additionally, teachers can upload custom backgrounds to match each letter. For example, a teacher can upload a picture of a turkey to match the letter “T.” Teachers can create multiple student profiles on the app. The video below provides a short overview of how to create a lesson on School Writing.


If you choose not to customize the app, there is still plenty for students to benefit from using. Students can tap the sound icons and picture icons at any time to get support for the pre-made lessons in School Writing.




School Writing was developed by an Australian firm. I was concerned that the letter “Z” would be pronounced “zed,” but when I tried it the app had recognized my U.S. location and “Z” was pronounced “zee.” My only complaint about the app is that “practice” is spelled “practise” regardless of your location. Available through the volume purchasing program.
demografix: Note, we fixed the spelling. A complete new sound set is in the current US and UK versions.


August, 2014
Link to review - iPadFamily.com.au
Our RATING: 10 out of 10!
Age Group: 3-12

Features of School Writing – Learn to write and more:
A full course taking your child through pre-school shape formations to writing sentences.
Learn how to write numbers, shapes, upper and lower case letters and words with maths puzzles and other activities too!
Individual account setup with progress recorded for easy tracking.
Set accuracy difficulty level to easy, medium and hard.
Show guidelines to aid learning and fully customise font choice, type of tracing guide, encouragements plus more.
This is a very effective, well designed, fully comprehensive writing course for children and adults too, perfect for the special needs environment. Designed for students and teachers this content can be exported and emailed to track learning. 

Audio recording is possible for phonetic accuracy or instructions that can be played while your child traces.  You can remove all sounds or add delightful harp or chimes in the background to enhance your child's learning environment if that suits their style. 

Begin the course at any point depending on the skill level of yours child.  Set the  difficulty level to easy, medium or hard for measuring accuracy.  Using a stylus emulates pen and paper style learning. 

The levels where your child is learning their numbers and letters has a LEARN button.  When pressed this shows your child the CORRECT way to form the letter or number.  If you click on the camera icon during the exercise you will see the appropriate picture. 

When your child practises, if they get it right they earn a star, or a half star for nearly right, or they need to redo it.  It is possible to RESET, the number of times it has been reset is recorded. 

Start the course at shapes and pre- letter formations for toddlers and young children.  This course includes tracing shapes, simple maths, dot to dots, letter order and has 14 lessons.

Letters are learned in Upper and Lower Case with every different Australian and New Zealand state variation of style and font. Hints and grids are available. 

There are 4 pen colours to suit your child' preferences with the blue pencil perfect for the more detailed lessons.  

Within the WORDS section there are 35 excellent lessons including Words Starting With, Family Names, Fill in the Missing Letters,  Write the Words in the Pictures, Unscramble Words, Using Words in Sentences, Opposites, Incorrect Spelling and Missing Vowels.
A FIRST RATE APP!

Within these lessons the are lots of individual exercises making this a great value for money App, with the potential of creating your own unique lessons too!

I really could write all day long about the merits of this educational App and the ways in which it can be customised. If you really want an App to EDUCATE then this one is hard to beat!

100% Perfect for the school classroom or as an excellent home school aid! 
Great Aussie App!


August 19, 2013
Link to review - Australian Teacher Magazine
School Writing – learn to write and more (Aus/NZ) HAVE you ever wished that you could customise a handwriting app with the font that your school uses? With the School Writing app you can.
Teachers are able to customise the app using the approved handwriting fonts for both Australia and New Zealand. School Writing allows students to trace shapes, numbers, words, and whiteboard images, as well as uppercase and lowercase letters.
The app has a ‘learn’ button which, when pressed, demonstrates the correct way to form letters and numbers, and audio instructions can be recorded by teachers using their preferred verbal pathway.
Students can earn stars for correct letter formation and are asked to trace the letter again if it’s formed incorrectly. Students cannot proceed to the next letter until they have achieved success with the current letter.
When a lesson is complete teachers can have student tracings emailed automatically to themselves, or even the straight to the child’s parent


August 23, 2013
Link to review - on Sarah’s iPad
Last year I reviewed School Writing by Demografix, an app that I bought to help my children with their handwriting and one that I’ve come to consider my favourite educational app.  That is a big call, I know, as I have  a lot of favourites, but this app really delivers.  The great thing is that, since I’ve bought School Writing, several updates have been released and each one has added even more supportive features.  With the recent release of Version 2, I thought it was about time I updated my original review.   I could have simply made a list of the new features, but for readers who haven’t read my original review, I thought it might be better to use most of the original review, and to highlight new features throughout.
School Writing is a handwriting app that includes fonts for Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK, and now South Africa and home schooling.  You might be mistaken for thinking it is only a handwriting App, when it is really a versatile App that can be used across the curriculum and is suitable for all ages. School Writing is for iPad only, but iPhone and iPod Touch users should still keep reading as there Demografix has an iPhone App, School Fonts, that is very similar, lacking only one of the major activities.
Features
3 Handwriting Activities for Numbers, lower case and upper case
Trace over each letter or number with pencils of varying thickness.
Tracings are recorded and can be replayed or sent to the teacher.
Three tracing modes are available for beginner scripts – Outline, a dotted letter or a solid letter.  The outline also features a start point and arrows indicating the order and direction of each stroke.
A Learn button shows an animation of the letter or number being drawn for beginner scripts.  This feature is not available for the Cursive scripts, however teachers and parents can add their own recordings of letter tracings using the Customise section.
Illustrations – Tap on the camera icon to bring up pictures relating to the number (e.g. 6 flutes for the number six) or letter (initial letter sound, such as A is for Apple)


NEW FEATURES
Tracing accuracy - After students trace letters or numbers, they can receive a star or half star for tracing accuracy.  If they are not very accurate with the tracing, they will receive a prompt to try again.  They can have three attempts before progressing to the next letter or number.  There are three levels of difficulty for tracing:  Easy, Medium and Hard.  You might start beginners on the easy level, but then increase it as their accuracy improved.  Tracing accuracy can also be turned off.
Dotted thirds guidelines for Victorian schools
New Fonts – plain and cursive fonts for South Africa, and some fonts commonly used by Home Schoolers, (HWT Beginners, and Getty-Dubay in plain and cursive)

Words
In addition to the 37 lessons in this section, teachers can create and import their own.  There are examples of lessons from Prep to Year 7 levels including (but not limited to):
Upper and lowercase letters
Spelling
Sight words (using Dolch sight words)
Phonics
Simple word tracing
Writing names of family and friends
Identifying incorrect spelling
NEW – The Mioow Magic Word lists have been added.  My Prep-aged son has been bringing these sight word lists home so we are delighted.
It is really easy to add words or to edit the word list. I was able to create a custom ”Lesson” with 10 words, all with audio and photographs, in under a minute. Some ways I could see this section being used include:
Weekly spelling and sight word lists – As it is easy to set up a class set of iPads using DropBox, it would be really easy to change lists weekly.
Personal information for students with special needs –  including writing their phone numbers, names addresses and other personal information.
Practice writing names – A class list with the child’s names plus his family and/or friends’ names as well would be a perfect prep activity.

Whiteboard activities
The iPad is used as a whiteboard where students complete activities. (This is the activity not available in School Fonts) There are more than 20 activities that install with the App, covering pre-writing, shapes, math problems, and vocabulary exercises, and even Chinese Characters. It is easy to create your own activity by importing images or drawing freehand on the Whiteboard. This is the section that most lends itself to cross-curricula activities.   It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see the possibilities, particularly with such an extensive list of examples pre-installed with the App, but here are a couple of ideas that I would love to have been able to do with my past students:
Cloze activities – close activities are where students fill in the missing words in a piece of text.  Word lists may or may not be provided.  The text for these activities can come from just about any subject.
Mathematics Activities – Some of the strategies I discussed in an earlier post, Using Painting and Drawing Apps for more than just pictures, would apply here.  Children could count objects and write the number, write sums, group tens, show groups for multiplication or complete patterns. The list is by no means exhaustive.
Following directions – present the child with a picture and the instructions to draw items in particular places, for example Put a cat on the mat, or  Put a ball under the table.
Mapping skills – Trace routes or locate specific places on maps. You could trace the fire escape plan for your classroom, show different routes to get from A to B, or simply identify places in your neighbourhood.
LOTE (Language Other Than English) – Writing Chinese or Japanese Characters, matching items to words.
Individual Student Profiles
You can add unlimited student profiles.   Records of how many lessons each student has completed are recorded.  Student names are used when sending reports to teachers and parents. The video below shows the main features of the App.

Demographix has more detailed videos available on YouTube and their website that show the various features in-depth.  See below for the link to the Demografix website.
Customizing
Handwriting Styles – Beginner and Cursive styles are available for all Australian States and Territories, New Zealand, U.K and U.S.  (both D’Nealian and Zaner-Bloser)
Guidelines – available as standard or dotted thirds, with an optional mid-line.  Guidelines can also be removed.
Sounds – three sounds are available for tracing, plus encouragement sounds.  These can b e turned off.
Emails – teachers can have letter and number exercises sent to a nominated email address for review.
Security – The App can be locked to prevent content and profiles being removed or edited.  An option exists for students to be able to add profiles while the App is locked, however this is easily turned off.
Import/Export lessons – by email, weblink, or DropBox.
New customizing features
Custom encouragement sounds – You can now record your own custom reward/encouragement sounds.  Applause at the end of activities is also available and can be turned on or off.  Encouragement sounds are set to off as a default.
Bluetooth sharing for  whiteboard lessons  and word lists.
Palm guard – can be turned on or off.  The lower section of the screen is “turned off” while children are writing.
Other Features
External links are available on the main page but can be turned off through settings, as Demografix obviously respects the need for internet security for students.
Share this App – through email, Twitter or Facebook
Help – links to Demografix website
Rate this App – linking to App Store.  (I hate apps that constantly beg for ratings so it is nice to see this one able to be turned off.)
About Demografix – contact page within the app with links to other apps, social networking, the Demografix website and newsletter.
New Feature – Customise the Logo on the homescreen.  You can now add your own graphic, such as a school banner or photo, to the app homescreen.

Jan 5, 2013
Videos of a Czechoslovakia School using School Writing

August 16, 2012
Link to review

School Writing – Learn to write the ABC, numbers and words toolkit


 
 
Bottom Line: A $4.99 app that fully justifies the $499 investment in an iPad every family needs to make.


The name School Writing does not do Australian developer Demografix' app justice. Handwriting instruction is just the tip of the iceberg. If you take the best parts of any of our four-star rated handwriting apps, supersize them, throw in two helpings of favorite free app Educreations and add a big slice of five-star rated See. Touch. Learn., you might come close to understanding how awesome School Writing is.
Parents are their children's best teachers but there are some subjects that are best left to professionals. Handwriting instruction is one of them. Paul Collins of Demografix is a former teacher and if School Writing is any indication, he must have been a good one. He has thought of everything to make successful the fairly tedious task of learning to print. School Writing includes 12 different fonts covering those most commonly used in the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand. Australians not only talk funny and spell strangely, apparently they also write differently.

Users have the option of working on uppercase, lowercase, numbers or words. Three different tracing methods are available, which include connecting the dots, overwriting and filling in an outline. Young scribblers get varying pen thicknesses and four ink colors from which to choose. Settings allow sounds, including encouragements, to be individually customized for each user profile. Guidelines, including directional arrows for tracing, can be on or off. All settings can be locked with a four digit PIN. This app is as flexible as a Russian gymnast. 
School Writing sets itself apart from the rest of the crowded field of handwriting apps with its unparalleled level of customization. Parents and teachers can record their own tracing demonstrations. This means students can get verbal cues like, "down, up, around", to help them remember how to correctly form letters. Each letter has a default picture and sentence associated with it (like "A is for apple") and both the picture and sentence can be personalized for each user. So my son Dean's profile could have a picture of him and recording of me saying "D" is for Dean, while my other boy Kyle would have his photo with the letter "K." I find this very motivating, although perhaps a bit time consuming for a teacher to set for an entire class.
The recording feature works both ways, so students can see their teachers write, and teachers can get an email in which their students' efforts are replayed. Bad habits such as making letters backwards or going counterclockwise for O's and Q's can be nipped in the bud before they become too ingrained to change. This feature also serves as a nice digital record of progress. OTs and special education teachers should rejoice at not having to waste time at the copy machine.

School Writing gives kids ample opportunity to both practice their newfound writing skills and generalize, with the excellent and comprehensive Words section. It comes with 35 pre-made lessons that run the gamut from writing your name to writing all the Dolch words. These lessons can of course be edited and custom lessons added. The menu keeps track of which lessons have been completed. There is a connection between writing words and learning to spell them, which is why teachers make you write weekly spelling words three times, so these are useful lessons. 
In addition to practicing writing the Greco-Roman alphabet, kids and adults can learn to make Chinese or Japanese characters or any other less familiar alphabet, symbol or shape. The app includes 13 lesson examples in the Whiteboard section, but these are really just teasers to show off the myriad possibilities. Additional lessons can be created and shared. The app supports import of lessons using Dropbox, iTunes sync, the developer's website or email. This app is still very new and some teachers are still enjoying their summer so I hope the library of shared creations grows once school starts.
Help with discovering all the app's options and features is available in a manual on the Demografix website. There are also a number of developer-narrated YouTube videos for those that do better with visuals. Most of the menus and editing are straightforward, if lengthy directions are not your thing.  

The only option I'd like to see added is a choice of writing paper. The app uses what I call Zaner-Bloser first grade paper which is widely spaced and has the dotted line for lower case letters. Although neat iPad writing is difficult for me, even using a stylus, having regular ruled notebook paper would be helpful. My ASD son knows how to form his letters but has poor fine motor control, so he writes very large. All handwriting apps use big letters so there is little chance to work on mature writing.
If you're looking for a way to butter up a new teacher when school starts, gift her this app. It exceeded my expectations, which few apps have. Do keep in mind that while its name doesn't tell the full story of its capabilities, the school part is apt. Tracing here is all pen and paper and not fun things like shaving cream, train tracks or jelly beans. School Writing is extremely well-crafted but only useful if the child or student participates.
Highly recommended.


August, 2012

KinderTown, an educational app store that helps parents find the best educational apps for preschoolers and young kids. (See our article on TechCrunch http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/11/kindertown-launches-educational-app-store-for-parents/ ) has included your app "School Writing – Learn to write the ABC, numbers and words toolkit." in our KinderTown store. Every app goes through a review process with experienced educators before it's approved and we only approve apps we think are significantly educational and engaging. Please download our free KinderTown app and check out our education blog to see our review of your app. Thanks for building great educational apps!












July 11, 2012

http://appables.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/school-writing-learn-to-write-abc.html

Personal Opinion
An amazingly comprehensive app.  If your older child is learning to write, this is very age appropriate.  I can see why it was the No: 1 Educational App in the iTunes Store


July 10, 2012
Link to review
School Writing – Learn to write the ABC, numbers and words toolkit., by demografix pty ltd, has everything one could ever imagine, all in one wonderful app! Paul R Collins, the developer, is an ex-teacher who created this amazing toolkit for language development. He set out to craft an app using the latest and greatest technologies and capabilities of the iPad and he believes that this is the most customizable educational app available. We, here at Teachers With Apps wholeheartedly agree!

“I set out to develop an app the utilized the full capabilities of the iPad. That is using the microphone to record students work and teacher instructions/words or sounds, tracings and the full use of images, all of which could be fully customized.” Paul Collins, Chief Thinker at demografix.com.au

Each activity area includes a list of lessons, instructions on how to complete each lesson, and the ability to add, edit, import, and export lessons. Each lesson features a large tracing area, on which the student can use their finger or a stylus to trace lines, letters, numbers, words or images. Students will intuitively trace pre-handwritten shapes, uppercase and lowercase letters, and anything you that you import, with ease. Also included with each lesson is the ability to play an audio recording of the lesson and the ability for the student or teacher to record their own audio instructions or responses for each lesson. There are three different tracing options: outlines with directional tracing arrow prompts, solid lines without arrow prompts, and dot representations, this attention to detail should make any teacher BEAM! The app is packed with content that is easily changed and modified in the settings menu, for teacher or parent preferences… again, customizable! You can create and manage multiple profiles. Hear and see letters with associated images and sounds, add your own images from the photo library, and record your own letter with your own dialect of preference. The completed lessons can be automatically emailed with the student’s tracings and recordings included..
Demografix pty ltd was founded with a simple approach, to create quality educational apps that contain the correct resources for each geo-specific area, such as the correct school fonts to enable content to be user created, saved and shared, to create apps that are teacher or parent lockable to ensure control of the content, functions.  Founded in 2011, demografix is an educational think tank, consisting of teachers, inventors and right brain thinkers, for creating the next generation of quality educational apps for the iPhone and iPad.
This open-ended scaffolding enables the lessons to be words, numbers or symbols and extends the use of School Writing far beyond early education and enables differentiation for all in a SNAP! It’s always a pleasure and FUN to work with great apps!




School Writing – the Must-Have App for all schools 
July 2, 2012

http://onsarahsipad.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/school-writing-the-must-have-app-for-all-schools/

School Writing by Demografix is an App I’ve meant to review for some time.  It has handwriting fonts for Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK.  You might be mistaken for thinking it is only a handwriting App, when it is really a versatile App that can be used across the curriculum and is suitable for all ages. This App is for iPad only, but iPhone and iPod Touch users should still keep reading as there Demografix has an iPhone App, School Fonts, that is very similar, lacking only one of the major activities.

Features
3 Handwriting Activities for Numbers, lower case and upper case
Trace over each letter or number with pencils of varying thickness.
Tracings are recorded and can be replayed or sent to the teacher.
Three tracing modes are available for beginner scripts – Outline, a dotted letter or a solid letter.  The outline also features a start point and arrows indicating the order and direction of each stroke.
A Learn button shows an animation of the letter or number being drawn for beginner scripts.  This feature is not available for the Cursive scripts, however teachers and parents can add their own recordings of letter tracings using the Customise section.
Illustrations – Tap on the camera icon to bring up pictures relating to the number (e.g. 6 flutes for the number six) or letter (initial letter sound, such as A is for Apple)

Words
In addition to the 37 lessons in this section, teachers can create and import their own.  There are examples of lessons from Prep to Year 7 levels including (but not limited to):
Upper and lowercase letters
Spelling
Sight words (using Dolch sight words)
Phonics
Simple word tracing
Writing names of family and friends
Identifying incorrect spelling
It is really easy to add words or to edit the word list. I was able to create a custom ”Lesson” with 10 words, all with audio and photographs, in under a minute.
Some ways I could see this section being used include:
Weekly spelling and sight word lists – As it is easy to set up a class set of iPads using DropBox, it would be really easy to change lists weekly.
Personal information for students with special needs –  including writing their phone numbers, names addresses and other personal information.
Practice writing names – A class list with the child’s names plus his family and/or friends’ names as well would be a perfect prep activity.

Whiteboard activities
The iPad is used as a whiteboard where students complete activities. (This is the activity not available in School Fonts) There are currently 12 activities that install with the App, covering pre-writing, shapes, math problems, and vocabulary exercises. It is easy to create your own activity by importing images or drawing freehand on the Whiteboard.
This is the section that most lends itself to cross-curricula activities.   It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see the possibilities, particularly with such an extensive list of examples pre-installed with the App, but here are a couple of ideas that I would love to have been able to do with my past students:
Cloze activities – close activities are where students fill in the missing words in a piece of text.  Word lists may or may not be provided.  The text for these activities can come from just about any subject.
Mathematics Activities – Some of the strategies I discussed in an earlier post, Using Painting and Drawing Apps for more than just pictures, would apply here.  Children could count objects and write the number, write sums, group tens, show groups for multiplication or complete patterns. The list is by no means exhaustive.
Following directions – present the child with a picture and the instructions to draw items in particular places, for example Put a cat on the mat, or  Put a ball under the table.
Mapping skills – Trace routes or locate specific places on maps. You could trace the fire escape plan for your classroom, show different routes to get from A to B, or simply identify places in your neighbourhood.
LOTE (Language Other Than English) – Writing Chinese or Japanese Characters, matching items to words.
Individual Student Profiles
You can add unlimited student profiles.   Records of how many lessons each student has completed are recorded.  Student names are used when sending reports to teachers and parents.
Demographix has more detailed videos available on YouTube and their website that show the various features in-depth.  See below for the link to the Demografix website.
Customizing
Handwriting Styles – Beginner and Cursive styles are available for all Australian States and Territories, New Zealand, U.K and U.S.  (both D’Nealian and Zaner-Bloser)
Guidelines – available as standard or dotted thirds, with an optional mid-line.  Guidelines can also be removed.
Sounds – three sounds are available for tracing, plus encouragement sounds.  These can b e turned off.
Emails – teachers can have letter and number exercises sent to a nominated email address for review.
Security – The App can be locked to prevent content and profiles being removed or edited.  An option exists for students to be able to add profiles while the App is locked, however this is easily turned off.
Import/Export lessons – by email, weblink, or DropBox.

Other Features
External links are available on the main page but can be turned off through settings, as Demografix obviously respects the need for internet security for students.
Share this App – through email, Twitter or Facebook
Help – links to Demografix website
Rate this App – linking to App Store.  (I hate apps that constantly beg for ratings so it is nice to see this one able to be turned off.)
About Demografix – contact page within the app with links to other apps, social networking, the Demografix website and newsletter.

Suggestions
Importing and Exporting activities – If you buy this App, I’d seriously consider keeping an eye on the Demografix website for more activities that you will be able to add to your App.  I’d also consider submitting activities to the site.
Use a Stylus – Tracing with a finger is one way to reinforce letter and number shapes, but I’d strongly recommend using a stylus to help develop good writing skills with a good pencil grip.  There are heaps available, but the one I would use for beginner writers is the Gecko Glow stylus with its non-slip rubber exterior and its tripod grip.
Watch the Demografix YouTube videos as they cover every aspect of the App in detail.  Apart from the general video above, you can also see how to:
Create Word Activities
Create Whiteboard Lessons
Customise Handwriting Lessons
Import and Export Activities via Email
Using DropBox to set up a classroom of iPads
Posture – iPads are transportable, so sometimes they may not be used with classic good-handwriting posture.  Do your best to make sure children are seated well when practicing their hand writing.  I know it doesn’t sound important, but good lower-body stability is important so that children can use their upper body to concentrate on the writing task and not having to stabilise themselves with their arms too.
If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch
Although this App is for iPad only, Demografix have an iPhone App called School Fonts that features all the activities apart from the Whiteboard activities.  Look in the Related Articles section below to read a review of this App by Richard on The Mactrack Blog.

July 23, 2012 - Reblogged at OT’s with Apps

iPad Mums  17th June, 2012

School Writing - An iPad App Review
School Writing is another great app that uses the NSW /ACT font.  Suitable for children to adults, School Writing allows the teacher to prepare lessons using written instructions, unique images and audio instructions, to which the student can respond using written and audio recordings. This ‘open scaffold’ enables the lessons to be words, number or symbols and extends the use of School Writing far beyond early education. The ‘Whiteboard’ section allows a teacher to draw or import images to be traced with audio answer responses.
Students intuitively trace pre-handwriting shapes, uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, words or whiteboard images that you import with the touch of a finger. Hear and see letters with associated images and sounds, which can be customised to relate to your students. Create your own pre-handwriting shapes and word lessons with associated audio for the letters, numbers and words. Add your own images from the photo library, and record your own letter phonetics.
Compatible with iPad only.



School Writing – Learn to write the ABC, numbers, words and more. Editors Pick.
13th June, 2012

http://www.appysmarts.com/application/school-writing-learn-to-write-the-abc-numbers-words-and-more-,id_485.php 

What it is: a set of activities for developing handwriting skills (tracing, writing). 
Built-in sets include: practice sets (shapes, prewriting exercises, 
dot-to-dot activities, mazes etc), numbers, lower case letters, 
upper case letters and words. 

What you do with it: add student's profile, customize the settings, add your 
own material (optionally), practice with your child or student (or let them practice on their own), monitor the progress. The typical single activity consists of 'learning' (watching the correct pen strokes for each shape/number/letter), practicing on your own following the visual guides and replaying/reviewing the learned material. 

For detailed info we highly recommend the demonstration videos on the producer's website.

What we liked:the concept, range of built-in material (from pre-writing exercises to whole words, from basic letter tracing to puzzle-like activities), number of exercises (plus the option to create your own exercises), the options for following and monitoring student's progress, high flexibility and configurability, very informative instructions and help files (including demonstration videos).

What we didn't like: only a teacher or parent can assess the quality of student's strokes (there is no automatic recognition of drawn shapes so even when you draw abstract lines instead of the proper ones you'll always be rewarded with 'your such a good learner' message. Some letters (e.g. in the 'words' set of exercises) are small and will difficult to trace with a finger. Navigation could be more intuitive in some cases (some exercises require you to press a button to see a picture or play audio instructions). 

Bottom line: an excellent, very flexible tool for parents and teachers with loads of high-quality educational material already built-in.

(demografix : accuracy being added in September 2012.)

www.theimum.com 
7th June, 2012

Reviewed by Grace
School Writing by demografix pty ltd is a fully-customizable and features-packed app that provides students with plenty of practice to perfect their writing of letters and numbers using their school font on the iPad.  But that is not all.  This app has the most powerful feature of letting you (the teachers and parents) create your own lessons on the iPad using both written and audio instructions as well as your own images.  Students can similarly record their answers using handwritten and audio responses.

I’ve been playing with this app for about 2 weeks yet I’m still discovering the many features that it offers and how I can use its dynamic features to add value to the whole learning experience.  To prove its versatility, the developer has included in the app a great variety of lessons that you can use again and again, from pre-writing skills, shapes matching, math questions to learning Dolch words.  Watch this video to have an overview of this app’s capabilities.

Writing activities
Briefly, the default lessons allow the students to see and hear the letters (uppercase and lowercase) and numbers with the associated names, tracings, images and phonetic sounds as they trace them.   Here are the options that are available for the writing activities in the app and why they are useful features:-
A choice of 17 US, UK, New Zealand or Australia approved school fonts (inclusive of individual cursive fonts).
A choice of 2 types of lined guidelines or no guidelines.
A choice of 3 ways to trace – connecting the dots, tracing over the letter/number or tracing within the outlines with the starting points and numbered strokes sequence shown.
A choice of 4 colored pencil thickness which can be used for drawing and coloring.
Ability to edit the default sounds which means your students get to hear the pronunciation that they can understand and the phonetic sounds that you teach (if different from the app’s).  This also allows you to use a non-English language for instructions.
Ability to replace the default images.  Students can find their own images as an assignment itself.
Ability to customize the teacher tracing animation.  This allows you to change the strokes sequence to suit your students’ needs for example, strokes are written separately to show the different parts that form a letter, letters are written in a continuous stroke or tracing for left-handed letter formation.
Ability to replay the student’s last tracing to check that proper stroke sequence has been executed.  This is especially important for writing of Chinese characters.
A ‘Reset’ counter that permanently records the number of times each letter and number has been traced.
My wish list for this section is to have variable height of tracing guidelines for writing so that younger students can learn to write smaller fonts as they progress and older students can opt to always use the smallest font for their work.  The addition of a black colored pencil would be nice too.  Ideally, (essential in my opinion but lacking in most apps) a writing app should have a palm protection pad (different positions for right and left handed students) so that a correct writing position can be maintained.

Creating lessons
There are 2 sections that you can use for creating your own lessons in the app.  For those that involve only the written forms (e.g. spelling and grammar exercises), you use the Words section and for all other tasks, the Whiteboard gives you ample space to flesh out your lessons.   The Whiteboard is such a versatile tool that I hope to see the workspace maximized, perhaps by hiding the items in the lesson folder during writing and reducing the number of characters allowed for the lesson descriptions.

Since you are able to use your own images, you are no longer restricted to your own original content.  You can take a photo or screenshot of your source of inspiration and include it in a lesson right away, easily and quickly.  On this image, you can even write or draw depending on what your instructions are for your students.  Over the years of teaching (and raising 4 children), I’ve accumulated many teaching materials and they suddenly become so much more popular with my youngest when they are transferred to the iPad.

Designed for Teachers (school or home based)
School Writing has all the features that a teacher needs:-
Ability to create and manage multiple profiles for all the students in a class.  At a glance, you can also see how many lessons have been completed by each student.
Automatic (optional) emailing of students’ work to the teacher’s email address after the work is completed makes for paperless and hassle-free submission of completed assignments.
The many options for teachers/parents to tailor their lessons for the students’ needs can be locked by password.
Ability to export the lessons (via iTunes, email, Dropbox and developer’s website) enables sharing of lessons with other teachers and mass delivery of lessons into students’ iPads.  At the same time, it allows you to email a completed lesson to the students’ parents.  In the coming update, there is even Bluetooth transfer capability!
Ability to import from iTunes, Dropbox and developer’s website.
Because each lesson folder can hold as many pages of assignments as you wish, you can actually put various assignments together to be exported for your students to complete in a session.
Spelling and dictation can be done at the student’s pace independently as he can tap to hear the word or sentence that he needs to write.
Depending on the content of the task, this app is suitable for users ranging from pre-k to adult.

What is truly unique about School Writing is that you not only get to mark the written work submitted by your students but you can also watch the whole process of how it was done and even hear them record an answer to your question.  All these options are available to you when creating your lesson.  Such individualized assessment of students’ work would have taken a sizeable amount of time in class but now it can be done more effectively without sacrificing curriculum time.  With the iPads being increasingly used in classrooms, School Writing’s versatility will ensure that it will have a place in the classrooms of the future.
Even though it has many functions, the app is easy to use and supported by a detailed Help page, in-app instructions and demo videos.  The layout is clean and non-distracting.  Access to the developer’s website, feedback channels and social media can be disabled in the settings page which is locked in the Students Mode.    There is also a new iPhone version called School Fonts which has most of the features in this iPad version.
Overall, School Writing is an indispensable teaching tool for any classroom (school or home based) that uses the iPad for teaching.  From learning to write to writing to learn, from creating to managing your class’ assignments, it gives you total control of your lessons on the iPad.   It is worth your time to check it out and see the endless possibilities of how you can use it in your classroom and home.



Funeducationalapps Review
5th May, 2012
School Writing: A Must Have Learning App for iPad
School Writing – Helps students learn their ABC, numbers, words and more by demografix pty ltd is simply a unique, innovative and amazing learning app for kids. It allows kids to learn and develop handwriting, word recognition and spelling skills using all the interactive and educational features the iPad can bring. An absolute must have!.
It is now a fact that iPad apps can be used as a learning tool to support our kids’ education. Apps are evolving and some integrate of all the technology available to engage children in their learning in a new fun and interactive way. At Fun Educational Apps we have tried thousands of apps but never seen such a complete learning app and we are delighted to let you know about this very impressive educational app: School Writing.

School Writing is an amazing learning app to help kids develop handwriting, word recognition and spelling skills. It offers a full comprehensive learning program and a considerable number of features ... the beauty is that it is very easy and simple to use. It can certainly be used by teachers in the classroom, as part of a home-schooling program or by parents to support kids learning.
On opening the app, you have 6 options:
Profile – Create multiple profile. Enter the name of your kids or students to track and follow each individual progress.
Whiteboard: Includes 13 preloaded activities including lists of Dolch words, word lists based around sounds and pairs of opposites. You can also create your own lessons.
Numbers –number tracing from 1 to 20
Lower Case
Upper Case
Words
For each lesson your kids can see and learn how to trace. You can adjust the tracing according your kids level by choosing between solid, dotted or outlines with starting points marked in. You can also change the font setting to match Australian, New Zealand, US and UK school fonts in both print and pre-cursive styles.
Kids follow instructions, practice their handwriting for numbers, letters or words and then you review with them … Hit the play button and you can see how the tracing was done!
It offers a large number of pre-set lessons but if you are working on a specific lesson and want to create your own to follow your program ... You can. School Writing gives you all the flexibility.
What Fun Educational Apps Liked
School Writing is simply an amazing app for kids to learn how to trace letters and numbers as well as develop handwriting, word recognition and spelling skills. It is customizable to suits the need of each user. As a parent you can use it to support and reinforce your kids learning. As a teacher you can create new lessons, track progress for each student. With School Writing the possibilities are endless.

Telling you all what you can do with School Writing in few words ... It is simply impossible. What I can tell is that I was impressed by the learning possibilities it offers. It is very well designed, easy to use. It can help young learners as well as more advanced ones. It allows you to follow pre-set lessons or create your own. It gives you the opportunity to easily import and export your own words and lists. You can give homework and student can email their work back to you and finally you can track progress for all your student as well as.
Just note, it is an educational apps and does not offer music, animated characters or fun pop animation! and we recommend to use it as part of a learning program.
Overall, School Writing is an impressive educational app. It integrates all the learning capabilities of the iPad and if you had any doubt on how the iPad can help and support your kids in their learning journey.... School Writing is the perfect example on how technology can be integrated into the curriculum. I guess it comes to no surprise... It is for sure a TOP PICK for Fun Educational Apps


The Learning Curve  
30th April, 2012

School Writing - An iPad App Review
I was lucky enough to be given a copy of the School Writing app by demografix to trial with my class. After only two weeks of playing around with it, I feel I am only beginning to uncover the possibilities of how this fantastic app can be used with my students.

School Writing is a well-designed and thoughtfully planned app that can be used to assist children in developing handwriting, word recognition and spelling skills.
The app is comprehensive and packed with useful features but is still simple to use.

On first downloading and opening this app I was pleasantly surprised that it allowed me to quickly and easily add enough users for my entire class, as well as a “teacher” user that I created so I could play with the app myself and become more familiar with its many features.

School Writing comes preloaded with plenty of lessons to keep a class busy for a long time, but then it also allows teachers to create their own lessons to suit a particular focus or need.
Even though the name suggests that it is for teaching and practising writing skills only, it has prewriting activities (traceable shapes, mazes and dot to dots) as well as some numeral activities.
For early learners, the app could be used to develop tracing skills, numeral and letter recognition and formation skills. Some of the preloaded activities include lists of Dolch words, word lists based around sounds and pairs of opposites.

The font setting can be changed to match Australian, New Zealand, US and UK school fonts in both print and pre-cursive styles. For print fonts there is also a choice between solid, dotted or outlines with starting points marked in.

I used this app in my classroom with some of my struggling spellers. I was quickly and easily able to add in my weekly spelling list and had the option of replacing some or all of the letters with dashes to make it more challenging, as well as recording the spoken word, with a sentence if preferred. This gave them an opportunity to practise their writing at the same time as their spelling. As soon as they finished the lesson, the app emailed me a file that I can view on my computer to check to see how they went.
Adding the list to one iPad with multiple users was a very simple process, and with the ability to import and export word lists via the demografix website, DropBox or iTunes, adding the weekly spelling list to multiple iPads is probably relatively painless too.

My brain is ticking over with the possible applications for this app in my own classroom in the future. Having individualised spelling lists in the past has been difficult to administer and time-consuming, but with this app it would be possible to set up customised lists. If the words were entered as blanks and the word and sentence was recorded in the app, then my students could take their spelling tests on their own and they would be emailed to me once they were done. This would mean that the students who worked more quickly would not be frustrated while waiting for the slower ones to finish and the child who invariably doesn’t hear the word due to distractions and is three words behind the rest of the class every week could listen to the word as many times as they needed and not feel pressured by everyone else who needs to move on. Also, any child who was out at the time of the test could take it at another time.

I am wondering if this app would work through a VGA adaptor so that students could write the words on the IWB. I don’t have a VGA adaptor, but if I did then having students trace the words in enormous letters would be another fun way for them to practise their spelling and letter shapes, and would be a good “midline-crossing” exercise. ( Paul>> Yes, Airplay and an Apple TV will mirror the ipad screen to a projector. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYiqyMwtcs4&feature=youtube_gdata_player )

Lessons to focus on word families and rhyming would be a cinch to create using School Writing.
The ability to record the student’s voice enables teachers to assess sight word recognition, or oral sentence construction using a list of words as well.

Because of the number of ways that this app can be customised, its application in the classroom or for home learning is extremely flexible and I am sure that as I become more familiar with the range of settings, I will find many more ways to use the School Writing app to support my learners.
If you are interested in finding out more about this app, visit the demografix website. 




AppCraver article
School Writing 1.0 for iPad – Revolutionary, Teacher-Created Lessons App
18th April, 2012



Number 1 Education App after 3 days of release
18th April, 2012













Spectronics  13th April, 2012



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