Robert Powell
Trading as RCP Training & Consultancy
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Visual planning software for (a) planning writing visually and (b) visual lesson plans
EyeWrite was developed as an answer to both these widespread problems.
EyeWrite for planning writing

This easy-to-use software has four key stages:
1. Brainstorm ideas or key words. For example, in a topic on endangered animals the teacher invites learners to suggest animals they think should be in their writing projects. These are added to the screen as the teacher or ‘scribe’ keys them in.
2. The words are saved to the panel on the right-hand side. The user clicks on ‘animals’ and selects ‘set title’ and the word ‘animals’ appears in the centre. The user has created a folder of animal images and imports them to the bottom panel. The ‘ingredients’ are all ready and now the planning can now begin.
3. The teacher then decides upon the main’ chapters’ or ‘section’ headings, involving discussion with the class first, and drags them out from the side panel. The words attach to the title word automatically to create the overall writing ‘plan’ with 4 chapter headings: threats, hunting, conservation and campaigns.
4. The next stage is to set out the contents or ‘paragraphs’ of each chapter. This can be done either by the teacher or by individual students if they are working on a version of the plan on their own computer. Users simply drag out the chosen words and ‘drop’ them onto their chosen chapter heading. The writing plan is now ready. The big branches are the main chapter headings and the small ‘twigs’ the paragraphs in each chapter.
5. If teachers or students want to enhance the plan further they can drag out images from the bottom panel and ‘drop’ them near the associated word, sizing as necessary. This is particularly useful if teachers are preparing the ‘map’ as a visual lesson overview where the images can help in the understanding of key words.
6. If EyeWrite is being used for writing by students with access to their own computer, they can now add text to each word. They simply right click on the chosen word, a text box appears and they key in one or more paragraphs and then click’ save’. A notes’ ‘icon’ appear next to that word and the text can be viewed by a double click on the icon. If students have no access to computers then the map can still be used to organise the chapters and paragraphs for their writing (or class talk/presentation).
7. Once users have added text to each word in a ‘chapter’ they can click on ‘export to text’ and that chapter opens as a Word document with exactly the same paragraph structure as the visual map (see above). They can then start to improve the writing by taking out headings, adding connectives and so on.
EyeWrite for sharing lesson aims

The exact same process is used by teachers wanting to turn lesson aims or objectives into a visual experience for learners. Compare the two sets of lesson plans below.
The visual one contains photographic clues and the expected ‘outcomes’ can be added below or alongside the map using phrases such as ‘By the end of this series of lessons you will be able to answer the following questions: What do we mean by a balanced diet? Technical terms such as saturated fat or carbohydrates are accompanied by visual clues. This type of visual overview of a topic works well for any subject which challenges learners with a host of technical vocabulary.

Teachers can also right click on a word and add a hyperlink to photos, music, video clips or PowerPoint. They can also right click and add a website link. All these links can be opened with a double click. The example of a Civil Rights map below illustrates the point. Videos linked include the assassination of JFK, the sound file of King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech is attached and a photo of the murder of Oswald opens with a single click of the mouse.
One final benefit of the software is that once a teacher plans such a map with added images, hyperlinks to video, sound, photos etc, the map can be exported in a zip file to any departmental or team folder along with all videos etc. All teachers in that team can then use it.

Additional uses of EyeWrite
This visual plan of a series of lessons can be printed out for students to paste into their folders. They can also be displayed as a classroom poster with alongside learning outcomes such as ‘By the end of this series of lessons you will be able to answer the following questions: “How was the slave trade linked to….’
  • Do you teach students who become anxious when they have to write because, faced with a blank page or screen, they don’t know how to start?
  • Do you worry about presenting lesson aims and objectives with a mass or words when you know that your classes contain students whose reading skills are weak?
  • Revision map. Notes can be added to each word as reminders.
  • Visual scheme of work. An existing scheme of work can be turned into this format. Images can be added and the text from the scheme can be copied and pasted into the notes box against each word.
  • Class talks/presentations. Some courses require students to prepare a class talk or spoken presentation. The software provides students with a method of planning the talk and additional stimuli such as video, music, photographs or spreadsheets can be hyperlinked to instant use when needed by the presenter.
  • Group organisation. On occasions teachers will organise small groups and ask them to undertake research on a particular topic. The visual map offers a natural organisational structure where each group is allocated a major ‘branch’ or chapter and each person in the group takes responsibility for one of the ‘twigs’ or sub-sections.
  • How big is the software and will it run on a network? EyeWrite is approximately 140mb and will run on any Windows network. It has an msi for easy installation. There is no Mac or tablet version and there is no single user application.
  • Is there a tutorial for new users? Yes. Each of the functions is explained with a video tutorial integrated within the software. Robert Powell will also provide a free telephone tutorial to purchasers at a time agreed by both parties.
  • What is the licence? The licence is whole-site for lifetime. Once purchased the licence also allows teachers to load onto personal computers.
  • What if it doesn’t work on a school network? We have not experienced this problem, but should this happen a full refund will be provided.
  • How much does EyeWrite cost? A full site licence for life is £350.00 + VAT.
  • Can I try the software before ordering? No, but if you order the software and having tried it decide that you no longer want to keep it, a full refund will be issued. This offer only applies to official school or college orders.
  • How do I order? Send an official school/college order to Your school or college will be sent the software along with an invoice payable within 30 days. No orders can be delivered to private addresses.
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