Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Access Online Writing Program

I received as a gift a one year subscription for 6 students from Vantage Learning to their MY Access!® Home Edition to review.

MY Access!® Home Edition, by Vantage Learning, is an online writing program designed to guide students through the writing process with engaging and interactive writing activities, self-guided instruction and motivating feedback.

Each 12-month subscription to MY Access!® Home Edition includes one parent account and your choice of three or six student accounts.
  • MY Access!® is completely Web-based, so there's no software to load and it's accessible anywhere you have a computer and Internet connection—at home, at school, or at the library.

  • 90 pre-loaded writing topics for three different distinct age groups (8-10, 11-14, and 15-18) encourage students to begin writing immediately.

  • Parents can easily enter their own writing topics to make writing across the curriculum a reality.

  • Self-paced and interactive lessons guide students through the writing process: planning, organizing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

  • Graphic organizers and other printable resources help students plan successful essays.

  • Essay scoring and individualized feedback is available immediately through a powerful, award-winning artificial intelligence scoring engine

  • Detailed, prescriptive revision plans focus students' revision activities on the key traits of writing: focus, content development, organization, language use, and grammar.

  • Individual progress reports are easy to access and share with others.

  • A writing portfolio enables students to monitor their own progress and easily share their writing with family, friends, or teachers.

  • Dozens of annotated samples of actual student writing help students see the potential in their own writing.

  • A word processor with editing and writing tools including a thesaurus, grammar-checker, spell-checker, and word bank lists help students vary and develop their vocabulary.

I used this with my kids 8-17 , it was very easy to set up our account and get each one of the kids started. They really enjoyed earning the points by doing lessons and aiming for their personal goal. I knew this would be a challenge for my youngest ones as our focus is on reading still so writing is still a beginning endeavor for them, but they did enjoy trying and watching the improvements they made. The older kids could move through this much easier and with less of a struggle. I like that its self paced and that each child could move at their own pace.

That being said we did have some difficulty with the point system as the kids figured out that they could get points for doing work without very much effort. Also my 16 year old worked very hard on one of her first essays for well over 45 minutes and had to leave before she was finished and we could find no way to save her work except to submit it before she was finished. The corrections the children received were too vague for them to be helpful, with comments like "write your sentences correctly" or "run on sentences" leaving them frustrated.

With that being said, I still believe that this is an excellent program, and that it's best use would be as a tool for intermediate writers.

Each 12 month subscription to My Access! Home Edition includes one parent account and your choice of: 3 students at: $99.95
6 students at: $129.95

If you would like to see what other CREW members have to say on their review of this product and others please click here.

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