Mobile Education Technology Gets Students to Write Longer, Better Essays

in Education (E)

[] Charlottesville, Virginia - Niles Technology has a bird's eye view on issues that students have with writing. A major issue is writing longer, better-reasoned essays. Several major writing programs have asked what we are finding. Our writing assistants have found that the lack of preparation is the No. 1 problem. The solution is to have students spend less time writing and more time preparing. Niles apps, for iPad and iPhone, are very strong on preparation and reasoning skills and put students on a solid writing track.

A classroom of students represents a diversity of writing skills, some being more accomplished than others. However, Niles Technology's writing assistants have found that the majority cannot write much beyond 500 words, after which the essay begins to ramble. A similar chord is easily identified in most students; that being, the lack of understanding how to properly budget time and resources throughout the essay writing process. Paradoxically, too much time is spent trying to actually write the essay and not enough is spent researching and preparing to write. In summary, short or rambling essays simply represent a shortage of concrete ideas and arguments.

Niles Technology Group, based on its extensive interaction and experience with students, have the following suggestions for schools and teachers that want students to be more in-depth in their writing.

1. Instruct students to basically monitor the ratio of time spent writing versus preparing to write. If they do not know precisely their ratio, a good gage is if a student usually spends three hours on an essay, then the minimum they should spend outlining and preparing is 45 minutes to 1 hour. In our experience, most students spend only 15 to 20 minutes preparing and that is simply not enough time to get one's thoughts in order.

2. Whatever the assignment, make sure that there are, at least, three major body sections to each essay (excluding the introduction and conclusion): 1) Idea / Argument 1, 2) Idea / Argument 2 and 3) the concession / rebuttal, i.e., a potentially different idea or approach that is opposite of yours. Doing this alone virtually means that it takes more than 500 words to make one's points.

3. The above two exercises are more on the mechanical and structural sides. However, the ultimate help is to teach students to be reflexive and to continually support and answer their own questions within the essay. After each major idea or argument is written / explained, it should become habitual to ask "Why?; How?; Is there more than one way to accomplish / do this? What is the result(s) / effect(s) of my idea?" The result of just these four questions is rather amazing because students realize, rather quickly, that many issues are not as simple as they seem or sound - it then takes time, i.e., more words, to explain the complexities they find.

Niles Technology Group's writing apps focus on the three activities above and the apps' use ensures that students are prepared to write an extensive essay. The instructional content guides students through a critically-structured writing process and teaches how to develop complex, involved arguments. With repeated use of Niles Technology apps, writing becomes a natural, fluid process and students become more influential communicators.

Parents, teachers and schools are discovering the efficacy of Niles Technology apps. Each month, school volume purchases of the apps increase, which indicates that the use of mobile technology in schools is becoming more commonplace. Parents are also catching on because Essay Workstation 2.1 is the No. 1 gifted app in the Niles inventory. Middle School Writing 1.0 and High School Writing 3.0 are virtually tied as solid No. 2 bestsellers, with both parents and schools purchasing the apps. The Niles app catalog can be seen in the App Store by simply entering "Niles" in the iTunes search.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iOS 3.0 or later (iOS 4.0 Tested)
* 2.1 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Essay Writing Workstation 2.1 is $24.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Education category.

Niles Technology Group was founded in 2007 to develop software for emerging technologies and is developing a series of mobile computing applications dedicated to teaching superior writing and logical thinking skills. With its experience in the technology and content required to develop full-featured products for students, Niles Technology Group is a leading app publisher, and the Essay Czar, Achievers Writing Center and Essay Writing Wizard apps have sold successfully worldwide. The key to Niles Technology Group's success is specificity. Each app is specific to the writing task at hand. Michael A. Niles, the founder, was formerly, for eight years, the President and CEO of The Right Education, Inc. (TRE), a web-based educational technology company that developed The Learning Accelerator. Copyright (C) 2007-2012 Niles Technology Group. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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