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Computerized Classroom
CCSF English Department

Arts Extension 265

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Software Programs Available in Cyberia
(Looking for Open Source--free--software? Jump here.)

Most of these programs have been installed on the computers in Cyberia, the English Lab, and the Reading Lab.

If your teacher or the lab monitor is not able to help you get started with one of these programs, go to Handouts and see if you can find some tips to help you get started on your own. Sometimes the best way to learn a new program is to open the program and start exploring. You won't break it, we promise!

Be sure to see the list of FREE (open source) software related to reading and writing. CCSF English instructors recommend these free (or inexpensive) open source alternatives to components of Microsoft Windows.


Inspiration: An idea-mapping program to help writers generate and organize writing support strategies. Great for brainstorming and outlining! This program is also available in the Reading Lab.

Learn how to map and outline ideas with Inspiration.


WriteOutLoud: A simple text-to-speech program that 'reads' text to the user. You can copy and paste text from another program or use WriteOutLoud's word processor to create and edit text. Great for editing and revision! This program is also available in the Reading Lab.

Learn how use WriteOutLoud to HEAR your


DraftBuilder: A program to assist new writers with generating and organizing essay ideas, from electronic 'Post-it' note form to draft.

Learn how to useDraftBuilder to Plan Essays.


CoWriter 4000: A word-prediction program to assist struggling writers who need help "fleshing out" their work, adding detail, and increasing vocabulary. Can be helpful to get over writer's block to build or expand a draft.

Learn how to use CoWriter to improve your choices.

Real Essays
Real Essays and Real Writing: This electronic companion to the Real Essays/Real Writing textbook provides writers with great sentence, paragraph, and essay-level reading and writing exercises. Very useful for writers who need examples of different types of essays such as compare/contrast or argumentative.
Writing First logo
Writing First: With a similar format to Real Writing/Real Essays software, this program provides more focused practice with sentence-level grammar and other writing issues.
Bedford Handbook
Bedford Handbook: The electronic version of this indispensible-for-college-writers handbook (6th ed.) contains over 1,000 interactive grammar, writing and research exercises enabling students to practice specific, targeted skills.
Inspiration: Inspiration can also be used to create an outline or story map of a novel or other longer work. Keep track of what you have read and create your own study guide for assigned readings.  Learn more about Inspiration.
Reading Plus logo
Reading Plus: This software solution for reading assessment and improvement develops foundational fluency and increases reading rate and comprehension. If your class isn't using Reading Plus, ask your teacher about it.
ReadPlease logo
ReadPlease: This text-to-speech program allows you to hear what you're reading on the computer screen. ReadPlease 2003 is a free version that never expires. ReadPlease Plus 2003 has a free trial period of 30 days, after which you may purchase a registration code to unlock the software. This download includes both versions of ReadPlease.
WriteOutLoud: WriteOutLoud can read any text that can be copied and pasted. Prevent reading-on-the-computer fatigue and increase comprehension by pasting online text into WOL, and follow along while you listen!
LiterActive: For more advanced students, this program contains tutorials through literary works' elements and their cultural and critical contexts, as well as multimedia library and a research & documentation guide.
Townsend Press logo Townsend Press' Online Exercise Center: The TP Exercise Center contains many helpful reading, vocabulary, and writing exercises at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Students can create an account to keep track of exercises completed and print out a score report for their instructors. Look for main ideas, distinguish supporting details, make intelligent inferences, and more!

Last updated: October 18, 2006
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