I would consider myself a good writer. I would even consider myself a fairly good writer in my second language. However, when I was 9 years old I remember vividly that I had a thorough hatred for writing and that I had a recurring daydream when it came to writing things in class. My daydream revolved around inventing some sort of machine that could magically take all the ideas I had in my head and write them for me without me having to actually exert myself with the enormous effort that writing often takes.
Fast forward till 2015. Now we have all manner of technology which can do all manner of things and one of those things is my 9-year-old self’s dream: speech to text technology. But, it has left me wondering: would I be as good at writing today if I had chosen never to write things down but to use some sort of speech recognition software instead? Or is the skill of formulating oneself to be understood not actually dependent on the physical act of writing/typing?
Currently, these softwares are not so amazingly accurate yet we have introduced it to our classes as a support tool which all children can choose to use if they wish to. However, I have some concerns. The fact that they are so inaccurate means that children need to go back and edit the writing afterwards and I’m left wondering if this is actually even more of a demanding skill for children who most need support with writing in the first place. Are we doing children a disservice by allowing them to not ‘write’ in the conventional sense of the word or is it the skills of how to express oneself more important regardless of the method used?
Will the skill of physically writing/typing actually die out in our lifetime?