Purpose: Motor control, letter recognition, sight words
These two apps have a similar core function, but the options vary greatly.
School Writing – by Demografix
Pros: Tracing with customisable sound, a series of lessons that progress in difficulty, customisable whiteboard for teachers to create their own lessons, pre-writing lessons, Victorian pre-cursive and Victorian cursive settings available inbuilt word list eg. dolch words, customisable word lists, voice customisation, screen lock, student profile tracking, importing and exporting options and compatibility with dropbox, video tutorials on youtube channel. volume education purchase available.
Cons: Graphics are a little dull and not as engaging as other apps. Settings are numerous and may take a while to learn to use. It may be difficult to look at the student progress stats without a static set of ipads.
Australian Touch and Write: Victorian Cursive – by Fizzbrain
Pros: Bright graphics, changeable backgrounds, ability to choose textured writing tool with sounds, eg. shaving cream, individualised word lists, inbuilt alphabet and word lists, uses Victorian pre-cursive.
Cons: Voice settings are not customisable, no import function for word lists or graphics, does not have a cursive setting, only precursive.
The demografix writing app has all the customisable functions that a teacher could want, from content to sounds – you can change it including recording your own voice and creating your own traceables. It has more than 40 inbuilt lessons and the ability to create multiple student profiles and track their tracing process. Import from websites and dropbox or by bluetooth. With cursive writing it becomes more applicable to higher levels. Results are emailed to the teacher and the settings can be locked with a simple pin. The flexibility of the program means that, depending on your access to ipads, it could become a fully integrated part of your word study.
The fizzbrain writing app, is more fun focused and better suited for students learning the alphabet and early sight words. It’s fun graphics and textures make it graphically more interesting than the demogrfix app. You can customise word lists for students, but do need to type them into the app itself. Great for developmental use in the classroom.
In terms of functionality, demografix has it all and is the best pick of the two. Despite its numerous settings, the truth is you can use it right away without customising anything as it has more than 40 inbuilt lessons on download.