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Thursday, February 8 • 8:00am - 8:45am
Saved by the Spell(Checker)?: How to leverage technology to support students’ spelling and writing

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Children interact with technology on a daily basis that requires them to type, and many programs use spellcheckers to support these tasks. However, those spellcheckers are generally designed for more traditional users: adults. As a result, most commercially available spellcheckers can actually impede the clarity of writing, rather than supporting student autonomy and voice as writers. The fact that out-of-the-box spellcheckers do not work well for children is well known by educators, but they need strategies to help students leverage this technology and develop as spellers and writers. In this session, we will first discuss spelling, generally, and why standard spellcheckers are so bad at correcting student spelling. Next, we will present simple strategies children can be taught to more effectively utilize the spellcheckers integrated into their existing technology. Finally, we will present a freely available novel spellchecker (KidSpell) that uses a phonological approach to spelling correction and provides students with audio and visual cues to help them select their intended word from a list of suggestions.


Katherine Wright

Associate Professor of Literacy, Language, & Culture, Boise State University
Dr. Katherine Landau Wright is an Associate Professor of Literacy Education at Boise State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University, focused in Reading and Language Arts Education. Prior to entering academia, she was a middle school... Read More →
avatar for Casey Kennington

Casey Kennington

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, Boise State University
Dr. Casey Kennington is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at Boise State University where he principally does research on spoken dialogue systems on embodied platforms. His long-term research goal is to understand what it means for humans to understand... Read More →

Thursday February 8, 2024 8:00am - 8:45am MST
440 850 W Front St, Boise, ID 83702
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