Writing Center enhances creativity with Apps

On Monday, Kim Pennesi, Coordinator of the Writing Center, hosted a workshop entitled “Using Apps to Enhance the Writing Process.” Several Seton Hill (SHU) juniors presented helpful iPad applications, showed examples of how they are used, and gave the participants time to try the applications themselves.

Junior Josie Rush presented the “SimpleMind Xpress-Mindmapping” application, a bubble chart app that is helpful for visual learners who want to organize multiple thoughts that have a common theme. It is also a great for brainstorming ideas in an organized way.

Pennesi recognized that some iPad applications can be confusing at first, but argued that the benefits outweigh the initial difficulties. She encourages students to come to the Writing Center for help when they are having difficulty using an application.

“If there’s something that you don’t know how to do, ask us. If we don’t know how to do it either, we’ll work with you to figure it out,” said Pennesi.

Junior Alyssa Sanow’s presentation of the outlining application Simple Outliner is an example of an application that is challenging to figure out at first, but can be very a very helpful organizational tool. Outlining applications make it easier to realize which areas need more information and are an easy way to reorganize ideas.

Junior Katie Hillman demonstrated the “Idea Sketch” application, which combines the brainstorming bubble charts and organizational outlines mentioned above. This app allows the user to switch information back and forth between a bubble chart format and a more structured outline format.

Rhiannon Morich presented “Winc,” a note card app that can create a collection of note cards in a more organized way. This application makes it easier to keep track of multiple sets of note cards and is less expensive than going out and buying hundreds of notecards.

Pennesi then wrapped up the workshop by briefly discussing applications that are good resources, like the “New York Times” and “TED” apps. She also wanted iPad users to know that websites can be saved to the home screen of an iPad and used just like apps are.

Harry Damerow, a participant in the workshop, thought this workshop was very informative  and useful.

“Honestly, for my Thinking and Writing classes, I use these apps when I’m brainstorming.  They’re very helpful,” he said.

All of the applications discussed at this workshop are available for free. For more information, go to the Writing Center page under Campus Resources on GriffinGate and click the “Using Apps to Enhance the Writing Process supplemental handout link.

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