Are students still learning spelling and grammar in schools? Or are they being taught to rely on automated spell checking tools? In an age that uses so much technology there is still the need to have a basic knowledge of the English language. If students aren’t learning spelling and grammar basics in school then no amount of technology can compensate for these skills. There is also a need to be educated in computer literacy as well.
Why is learning spelling and grammar important?
Some people think that even if students are not learning spelling and grammar in schools they will be okay because they can use computers and technology to correct their mistakes. This is not necessarily true. What happens when a student is in a situation where a computer is not available to them.
Spell check can’t solve all grammar problems
If a student is using a word processor with spell check they might think it will solve their problems. Spell check programs do work well if you spell a word slightly incorrectly or if you accidentally slip on the keyboard. If a student has absolutely no idea how to spell a word then spell check might not be able to offer the correct spelling. If the student is given a list of possible choices they may not be able to choose the correct word. This is a problem. Similarly if students rely on electronic programs to automatically place punctuation or correct sentence structure for them, this will not always work. There needs to be some basic foundation first, and then these grammar tools can be very helpful.
How can technology be used to support literacy education?
Technology is by no means a bad thing, nor is it responsible for students learning poor grammar. If technology is used properly it can actually be a huge asset to teaching literacy skills. There are electronic readers that are able to provide students with word definitions or audio help for how to pronounce a word. Some e readers are also connected to the internet. This makes it possible for students to further explore certain sections of the text if they want to dive deeper into the background or meaning of what they are reading. This just shows that if used properly technology can be a real asset to literacy education. We should also be aware that technology does not replace basic spelling and grammar education.
The need to be educated in computer literacy
With the advancements in technology there is a need to educate students on how to use computers. Computers don’t take away the need to learn spelling and grammar, but in addition students should be trained in computer literacy as well. In order to reap the benefits of technology, students and teachers need to know how to use it. Learning the basics of how to operate a computer, word processing programs and the internet are all useful skills that should be taught in schools. Parents can also introduce their children to these computer literacy skills at home. Some children know their way around a laptop or handheld device before they hit preschool, but others don’t have access to technology devices. This means that schools also need to provide computer literacy lessons for all students.
We live in a world that uses technology for almost everything. Students should also learn how to use technology and receive the many benefits from it. We also need to remember that technology doesn’t replace basic literacy skills like spelling and grammar. These literacy skills still need to be taught in schools. With both the basic skills combined with technology our students will be able to advance beyond past generations.