Make Writing Accessible or What to do when you can't read!
For those of you who use a Macbook, you know that, when you open the App Store, you will see Apple's "Featured App." Recently, I was searching the Apple App store looking for a particular app. The "Featured App" was Wrise which was identified as an "accessible word processor."
For some reason, the app caught my attention and so I clicked on it to find out a little bit more. I was greeted with the following:
Wrise has something you don't usually find in a word processor: a play button. The app is designed with accessibility and comprehension in mind: Click the play button and Wrise reads your text aloud, as fast or slow as you need...The Speak As You Type feature reads back in real time.
The description goes on to say...
Wrise's tags control what gets read, how fast, how loud, and in what voice. Use them to bring every character to life!
Now, I realize that, for some time, there have been apps and programs that do just that. However, this app caught my attention because of a conversation which I recently had with a parent who was interested in enrolling their elementary age child at South Charlotte Baptist Academy. This parent asked whether we introduced technology in the classroom. My response was simply, "No." I went on to explain that we want children to learn how to do things on their own; we want the children to learn to think on their own. Technology allows a child to have Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Google do their work for them. All the child needs to do is say, "Hey, Siri, what's 2 + 2?"
Consider this...the header for a news article from October 30, 2019 read:
NC students continue to struggle with reading despite millions spent on literacy program, new test scores show
Now, ask yourself this question, "Why should a child learn to read?" That's an important question to consider. Why should they learn to read, especially if they can simply download an app on their laptop that will read for them and will even "...bring every character to life!"
I think most people, when they stop to truly consider it, will realize that children do not need more technology; they do not need more screen time. Children need to be taught how to use the talents and abilities that God has given to them. In this particular case, children should be taught to read...and they can learn to read. (Just ask Marva Collins!)
At South Charlotte Baptist Academy, students will be taught how to read; they will be taught to think; they will be taught to do the work for themselves. Why? Because they can do it!