We all use text prediction in text-messages on our phone for speed. We start to type the word and can select the word from the predictions for quick messaging. Phonetic, contextual text-prediction is a wonderful way to support students writing to allow them to complete work faster, with accurate spelling. It removes the pressure of having to get the spelling correct, which allows students to be more creative.
Whilst the technology is designed for users to tap the required word into the text, if students use it this way, their spelling skills may regress. Some students, such as those with physical impairment where typing is difficult should be allowed to use it in this way, however; it is critically important that students learn to COPY the words into their text from the prediction bar wherever possible. When the word is copied, students are afforded the opportunity to improve their spelling, they are forced to look at the letters used for the sounds in the word and will be more likely to spell it correctly the next time they write that word. They can be encouraged to use words they actually don’t know how to spell because when they give at least 3 sounds, at least with phonetic spelling, the high-quality text predictors will most likely show the word they need. This allows our students to write far more independently, showing what they know.