As many students type into Microsoft Word, compose emails, use the internet browser Mozilla, etc, computer programming has been developed to automatically correct typos or misspelled/mistyped words within documents. A standard feature in most programs now, there has been a on-going debate about whether or not the programmed ‘spell check’ is hindering student learning.
Well, according to the Oregon Department of Education, it does not. In fact, they feel so strongly about their opinion on the matter that they feel students no longer need to be well versed in the spelling department that they are allowing them to spell check their submissions for student state exams.
“The move is supposed to help the assessments focus less on typos and more on their writing skills. We are not letting a student’s keyboarding skills get in the way of being able to judge their writing ability. As we’re using technology to improve what we’re doing with assessments as a nation, we believe that spell check will be one of those tools,” state Superintendent Susan Castillo told the Oregonian.
The exams that will be administrated to only high school and middle school students will contain a program that identifies misspelled words but does not auto-correct the students typos or misspellings. The program also does not correct or identify bad grammar or missed punctuation.
“Students must still know how to recognize a correct word and correct spelling. We’re giving one additional tool to students to identify potential misspellings. It’s consistent with how we might expect kids to learn how to use the technology in life,” said Tony Alpert, director of assessment at the state Department of Education.
What do you think? Since spell check is available virtually anywhere anyway is the new policy just adapting to an ever evolving technologically advanced generation?