By Ashley Kemper,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Content-specific assistive keyboard has high price tag.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn how to spell content-specific words and hear choices read aloud. Because this keyboard's prediction targets topic-specific vocabulary, it can help students with writing and spelling.
Ease of Play
Selecting a topic-specific dictionary can be difficult at first.
Parents Need to Know
Where to Download
Videos and Photos
There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.
What’s It About?
Kids begin typing words, and the CO:WRITER keyboard guesses which word they're trying to type. Then kids can swipe over the suggested words to hear each one read aloud. The specialty dictionaries help the device anticipate content-specific words. At the end of each typed line, the keyboard reads the line aloud. This can be adjusted to read each word or character aloud, based on the age and needs of each kid. Users can either type directly into the Co:Writer notepad and save or share their sentences, or they can use the assistive keyboard in a word-processing application or web browser.
Is It Any Good?
The specialty dictionaries and read-aloud feature may make word prediction easier for some kids, but it doesn't always offer the right words. This is especially true of words that have multiple suffix endings (such as "-ing," "-ed," or "-es"). The read-aloud tools alone in Co:Writer can be game changers for many reluctant readers and writers. As kids type, the read-aloud feature will vocalize by word, sentence, or paragraph, depending on user settings. Although some words aren't always predicted appropriately (see screenshot for example), kids can have the app read the words aloud to find their errors. Though the high cost and inaccurate suggestions make this an imperfect tool, it's a solid resource for kids who get caught up in spelling errors or finding the right word when writing.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how technology like Co:Writer can help them become better writers. Does the app make writing easier or faster? Why, or why not?
Talk about why you might use specific words for different topics. Why is it helpful to use content-specific vocabulary (such as "atoms" or historical place names) instead of more generic ones (such as "that thing" or "that place")?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Subjects: Language & Reading: spelling, writing
- Skills: Communication: conveying messages effectively
- Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid
- Release date: November 16, 2015
- Category: Education
- Publisher: Don Johnston Incorporated
- Version: 1.4.2
- Minimum software requirements: 5.2
- Last updated: August 25, 2016
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Download
Our Editors Recommend
Writing Apps and Websites
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate