CAST Science Writer
The CAST Science Writer helps students through the process of writing a report consisting of four sections including the introduction, methods, results, and conclusion sections. Students receive models and information about how to write each section. Specific sub-sections include: A Report Structure, A Process for Writting, Sentence Starters, Checklists, Journals, a SpeechStream Text to Speech Toolbar by Texthelp, and three Animated Helpers. Each student should have their own Science Writer account. Teachers and tutors can view their students’ work and provide feedback throughout the entire writing process.
This resource is a free online tool for teachers to use with students in middle school and high school. However, it is being used effectively in adult education and literacy programs as well. It was developed by staff at CAST, the Center for Applied Special Technology. It is used to scaffold students’ writing of science lab reports or science reports. It is considered an assistive technology tool and has anecdotally been acknowledged as effective by teachers. It is believed that any tool which can overcome barriers for students in reading, writing, spelling, etc. is an important one for teachers to have in their tool kits. Having one that is free and easy to use makes it that much more attractive for educators and students.
This is a good resource for students that need to begin their writing in Science at the very ground level. This site provides for independence but gives significant support to the student for communicating their knowledge of Science. The resource can be used by instructors in group lessons or with individual learners.
This resource could be used in adult education to prepare students for postsecondary education. Instructors could be introduced to the resource in a professional development or through communication directly to them from the state department of adult education or their local programs.