Have you considered using your IWB to do strategic teaching during the writing process? For six hours, forty participants in the AQUOPS thematic day explored the educational possibilities of Antidote HD, a Quebec software to aid writing in the French language.
Dolores Tam, trainer at Druide informatique, is passionate about words. She even says that she eats dictionaries, both at work and on vacation. All day long, she invited teachers to travel through the many features of this powerful software.
“We all know how to use paper dictionaries,” she says straight away. But we will see what it is like to use software that is intended to be a bunch of books. With its 125,000 entries, Andidote HD includes a dozen dictionaries that allow you to work on the subtleties of our beautiful language. "It's a library with twelve books," she imagines. I stretch my arm. I choose one and click. "
Antidote HD is useful for both seasoned writers and teachers. Students will also find what they are looking for, whether they are in elementary school or in adult education, French-speaking or in literacy class, skilled with words or with learning difficulties. Using colorful examples, Ms. Tam demonstrated how this sophisticated software can be used by students during the planning, writing and editing phases.
All the words included in the definitions are in hypertext, which allows you to browse from one term to another. His example? The famous word "unconstitutionally" that every student wants to write because it is the longest word in the dictionary. "By looking in the dictionary, he will be disappointed because the definition does not say more," she says. By double-clicking on the word "constitutional" then on "constitution", he will finally be able to find out what this word means. There is no dead end to learning. "
Many practical tips were revealed throughout the workshop. Did you use the font magnification effect (in the lower left corner of the software window), to highlight your explanations? Did you teach how to use the “replace” button to correct in text? This function will become the students' best friend! Have you challenged them to find the cry of the mouse and the tit using Antidote HD? Have you thought about using the hat (upper right corner) to teach a new word every day? Have you considered using the dictionary of co-occurrences to create a word bank during the planning phase? To use the "inspection" filter to dissect texts from different sources to validate the accuracy of information during a documentary search? Here are so many discoveries greeted by "oh" and "ah" on behalf of the participants.
Ms. Tam concludes by slipping a word on the importance of the teacher for teaching writing strategies. “Antidote doesn't understand,” she insists. Students should be taught that if they correct errors automatically using the corrector, this is the best way to sink! It takes the brain of a human being to write… and to analyze all the precious information contained in Antidote's tools! "