SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - Getting students engaged in writing can be a difficult task for teachers, but a Sylvester high school is hoping technology will help.
Two teachers at Worth County High School are using a web-based writing platform called Citelighter in their classrooms. Laney Jones is one of the two piloting the program with her students. She says the program gives students and teachers the tools they need to become successful writers.
"My students have become more engaged in their writing," she said. "They're enjoying using the program. It's user-friendly, it provides them with tools that they can use to formulate their thoughts, organize their writing, access information that's useful to them while they're writing."
Citelighter allows the teacher to customize each assignment and add research material for students to use. Students can then use the highlight tool to pull information from text.
The program uses an outline format to help students organize their thoughts as they're writing. Jones says this is good alternative for students who don't work well with a web or other traditional graphic organizers.
"A web does not necessarily interpret to a piece of paper very well as far as forming a paragraph," she said. "And Citelighter does, it puts everything from top to bottom just like you would see it."
When the student finishes, the program then exports their work into a Word document or Google Doc. It also automatically creates a bibliography from any information students highlight in research materials, and checks for plagiarism.
The biggest benefit Jones sees for students will come at the end of the year during state testing. She says using the program teaches students how to put ideas from their minds into the computer.
"Students no longer use that bubble sheet and pencil to take their test, so it's becoming more critical for them to gain these keyboarding skills."
Jones says if the pilot is successful and the school district decides to work with Citelighter, they hope to start using it in all of the English classrooms.