My Apps

Writer’s Hat – New Upgrade – Available in Apple Store and Google Play

Now with the ability to edit word lists – simply export lists to Dropbox, make changes and import!

Writer’s Hat

The Writer’s Hat is my first app for iPhones and iPads.  For me this has been a really exciting journey!  This app is aimed at educators and classrooms although it could easily used for family fun, camp activities and party games.

As a teacher and Assistant Principal I have many years of experience in teaching literacy to young children.  Often students are asked to write a creative piece of work but are left scratching their heads for ideas.  The Writer’s Hat app allows students to have four basic elements of their story selected randomly for them.  For example they can be given a word for What, Where, Who and When.  They then must include each of their words somewhere in the story.  Often it is a springboard of random words that can be all it takes to allow the mind to think creatively.

How Could It Be Used in a Classroom?
After being provided with the four words, students could be asked to do a few minutes of planning using a graphic organiser, and then 10 or so minutes of “lightning writing.”  They may then use this piece to develop a creative piece or they may store it away in their “Writer’s portfolio” to come back to another day, should they so wish.  Often our best ideas grow upon us slowly.  After a few hours, days or weeks of mulling them over, a really good idea may develop.  This is why I like the idea of a Writer’s Portfolio or Scrapbook, ideas can be scrapped or developed at a later date.

Also in the Writer’s Hat app is the Word Box.  Students are presented with a noun, verb, adjective and adverb upon pressing a button.  Each word is selected randomly from the app’s database.  Creative teachers will develop many a great use for this app.

I would love to hear your ideas. Share your thoughts on using this app to develop creative writing and thinking skills with your students.

Now Available!

Kids Write Text Types  

This app investigates various writing genres, or text types and provides the structure, an example and planner for each one.  The user is then provided with many writing prompts, or ideas for each of the text types.  View a video cast to see how it works!  

It even includes online texts such as blogging, commenting, email and tweeting.  All the usual text types are also included.



24 responses to “My Apps

  1. I love the concept. The use is easy, but I’d love to be able to edit the list. Students keep writig ideas all year and this would be a fun way to add words to this list after the stories they’ve read or heard.

  2. HI Karen,
    Thanks for your feedback. Yes in future I hope to add this capability. Keep your eyes open for an update.

  3. RE: Request Permission – Team Picker, Writer’s Hat, Learner Log, eSafe Kids

    I am currently writing a series of books for educators (iLearn-iTeach) on using the iPad apps with students. The book, Powerful Utilities for the iPad, will be published by Visions Technology in Education ( I am requesting permission to use screen captures of the apps (similar to those displayed in the iTunes® store) so that educators can see examples of how the app can be used by the students or by the teacher to prompt learning.

    I am planning to devote a page to each app with a description of the features and uses in the classroom. I would also like to use the square identification graphic with the app’s title (found in the upper left corner of the screen in the iTunes store) next to the title of the app in my book . It is my thought that the graphics will call attention to the application and give educators a better idea of its use with students.

    Promo codes are sincerely appreciated.

    If I have your permission to use captured screens of the applications you publish and the square title image, please reply to this email with your permission.

    Thank you very much,

    Patsy Lanclos
     Apple Distinguished Educator – Class of 1995 
    Smithsonian Laureate

  4. Hi Linda,

    Can you let me know how you annotate over the text type example page? I can’t seem to find a way…


  5. Hi Natalie,
    I think that the best way to do this is to take a screen shot of the planner page so that it is added to your device’s camera role as an image. Then you have a whole host of apps (many free) to choose from for annotating. I believe Skitch (which is excellent) is free at the moment, but apps like Notability, iAnnotate, Show Me, Explain Everything may be worth looking at. If you choose one like Explain Everything, you can record what you are doing and save your lesson for students to access at a later date.

    I am sure that there are many other annotating apps, and would love to hear what others have used successfully.

    Good luck with it. I hope your students are inspired by the topics.

  6. Karen,
    I hope you like the upgrade. Writer’s Hat now gives you the option to edit word lists.

  7. Hi,
    Thanks for your feedback on my Writer’s Hat app.  I love receiving feedback on how people are using it.  Your suggestions are really good ones, and when I update it, I will be sure to try to include your ideas.  I hope to do an update in the next 6 months.
    Thanks again

  8. Loving your apps to help kids write! Question – with Kids Write Text Types, I watched the Screenr, but not sure how they can be saved? As pdf? (Apologies if I should already know this answer!)

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your feedback, and for your tweets too! You can email the pics to yourself, or you can screenshot and use an app like Skitch to annotate over the top. Over the holidays (when I have a little more time) I will look at updating the app so that it can be saved as a PDF. Hope that helps.

  9. Hi Linda,
    I love your ‘kids write text type’ app. Thank you!
    I teach Year One (6/7 year olds) and was wondering if more examples could be given at different levels? Simple recounts with basic structure to annotate over?
    Just a wish!!
    Thanks again

  10. Hi Linda,

    These apps are fantastic and I am planning on using them to help my son in some areas he is lacking. I was showing a friend of mine who is a teacher and she was very interested, however, she had an android and is unable to access them. I was just wondering if you were planning to cross over to the android system anytime soon.
    Thank you

    • Hi,
      Thanks for your positive feedback. Yes you are right, I should produce them for android devices. Perhaps that is a job for next school holidays. I will definitely look into it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  11. I would like to see the memoir text type on here. Thanks!

  12. Karen, the App does not understand school proxies, will you let me have web details so I can add it to the white list and get past our school proxy server [DECS][Adelaide Primary school] – Great App, keep up the good work :-))

    • Hi, which app are you referring to? If it is Kids Write, some of the files are housed in a Dropbox public folder so you would need to allow this in your whitelist. Let me know if you need more info. Cheers Linda

    • I also have some files saved online in my WordPress file, so you may also want to whitelist WordPress. Let me know if I need to be more specific. Thanks for the feedback!

  13. Hi , Ken again, school are using the Kids Write app so any details re Dropbox or WordPress would be great, I can add to the Proxy Server whitelist, works great at home (no proxy), thnx again 🙂

    • Hi Ken,
      Thanks for getting back to me. All files for Kids Write Text Types are kept in my WordPress media library. You will find them at an address like this:

      Can you get your school technician to whitelist something like **
      If this doesn’t work, let me know and I will see if my school tech knows anything about how the proxies work in SA schools with sites like WordPress. I am not sure how it differs from vic schools, but I am sure that we can work it out. Please let me know how you go.

  14. Linda ,
    Added WordPress to our whitelist and all good,thnx problem solved:-))

  15. Do your apps collect personal information from kids? We are evaluating the privacy of your app for use in U.S. schools.

  16. I’ve used team picker for years now but I got a new phone recently and now it won’t let me add any classes or students. I’ve tried deleting the app and reinstalling it but it hasn’t made any difference. Any suggestions?

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