November 11, 2011

Word processing taught me how to spell.

I overcame a severe spelling problem thanks to spell check.

I discovered (on my own) that spell check was providing me with individualized feedback on my spelling.

I was missing the same words over and over again. (Just as I'd done with spelling lists all through school.)

By paying attention to spell check feedback I was able to get a visual fix on most of my problem words.  Eventually I could tell by sight when I was misspelling something.  Overtime the number of errors decreased and my sight based error recognition improved.

To this day I have trouble spelling, especially when I'm tired.  I still misspell 'receive' about half the time.
(photo: NEO Loaner Program)

Main point: Let's explicitly teach our students how to improve their spelling by seeing spell check and grammar check as individualized instruction from a slightly crazy robotic tutor.  We can't always trust what the machine says.  However it does give us a series of learning opportunities.

I recall arguing with English teachers when word processing first became widely available.  Many were convinced it was the end of writing (and civilization).  For me it was a technology that changed my life.  (Now, as a Certified Geezer, I still depend on my word processor and spell check to make my living.)

Dennis, who is blurry eyed in Valley Center

 (Five spelling errors corrected when I first checked. Several more after I revised. This did not include three spell check prompted stabs at receive.) 8-)

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