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Thanks to all who responded to my questions about word processing software for
grades 4-8.  There were lot of responses, and lots of different responses.
Here's a summary of the results:

1.  ClarisWorks was the hands-down winner.  Features liked were friendly
interface and value (cost per unit along with paint, draw, and communications
features).

2.  More respondents use Microsoft Word than Microsoft Works (a surprise to
me).  Several start students on Word in the 2nd grade.

3.  The Writing Center is used in several locations, and seems to be a natural
transition from Children's Writing and Publishing for the Apple II platform.

4.  Microsoft's Creative Writer has been used in some situations, but the
general reaction is that it is too "cute" and "distracting;" students spend
most of their time exploring rather than writing (we've been trying Creative
Writer too, and that was also my impression; however, it is hard to argue
against the enthusiasm that it generates).

5.  Other comments of interest include "use ClarisWorks or Microsoft Works
because you often find it on machines at home"; "MacWrite is easier for kids to
use than Works"; "Kidstime by Great Wave is good for K-2."

So what are we going to do?  Well, just saw some pre-pub information of
Microsoft Works 4.0, due out in July.  Sounds as if Claris and Microsoft will
be doing leapfrogs with each new release.  Think I'll take a look before we
decide, and use all of your advice too.

Thanks again,

Bob Hall
Patrick Henry Local Schools
Hamler, OH
PHE_ACA_BH@NWOCA.OHIO.GOV


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