I’ve been experimenting lately with the idea of voice to text. The reasoning behind it is that it’s a tool that I have yet to explore fully and I actually am having arthritis problems in my wrists and hands and so I’m trying to compensate for this issue. In order to experiment, my last four blog posts (and this one)have been written through voice to text.
I think this brings up some interesting issues when it comes to the idea of “writing.” So many people believe the writing is a process that is done through our hands, but to me writing is a process that happens in our brains. I’m curious as to why we think that writing is something that has to come through our hands when we have prolific authors in our world who don’t write their hands. In fact, historically many authors dictated their work to someone else who wrote it down and so it’s interesting to me that we have this obsession with the idea that writing is something that needs to come through hands.
Last year one of my students physically was incapable of writing with his hands and had an EA who scribed all his work. I still assessed his abilities in the writing strand because it was his words; she just wrote them down. How can this not be considered writing?
It was interesting as we were talking about this in my morning class. I think some of the students are hesitant to use this tool because they feel like it’s “cheating.” I don’t see it as cheating as it’s still a student’s words, but they’re coming up in text form. One of my students commented that he thought that was oral communication rather than writing and I understand his point as it is completed with oral communication and they are both strands in the English curriculum. When it’s done voice to text you have the opportunity to edit your words which is not an option when speaking. To me, that’s the major difference. I’m also wondering if the curriculum is in need of a rewrite to consider the idea of “communication” rather than dictating between the two as technology is only going to continue to advance which will further blur the lines.
In reflecting on using voice to text, I’m sold. I love that I can talk my ideas through because when I type, I talk out loud. I also appreciate that I can say so many more words faster than I can type. I feel like things flow better because I’m talking and letting my ideas out rather than fixating on the mistakes that I’ve made typing. My posts are longer, my thoughts are deeper, and it’s faster, so I feel like it’s a win-win situation for me. Hopefully I can encourage more of my students to engage in this technology and I would love to hear their reflections.