My experiences as a writer
This continued into junior high school until my family got a computer...and I distinctly remember things changing at this point. Composing text became easier. Editing and improving my writing was quick and didn't require me to start over. Spelling didn't hold me back and I learned new ways to say things with the built-in thesaurus. I could set out a few ideas and pad them out. Something about it just worked for me. Fairly quickly, my writing improved. I even started to enjoy writing! By the end of high school, I was an A student in English...who went on to be a teacher....and now a blogger! (That is not me saying that I am a good writer, just that I enjoy it more)
It is for these reasons (based on my own experiences) that I do not see technology as the evil that many others do. I do not feel that using a thesaurus or spell checker is cheating. My spelling and vocabulary improved with the help of these tools. I actually believe that the online Writing NAPLAN test should allow students to use all of the tools that a real writer might have access to in a platform such as Microsoft Word. If you want to test grammar, spelling or punctuation - do this in the language conventions test and let the writing be about ideas, structure and fluency.
Looking back on my journey, I believe that it was technology that enabled me as a writer and as a learner. In the first few seconds of this video, the nature of digital text is illustrated. It is more flexible, movable and essentially more dynamic. The ability to expand or edit ideas and move them around the page is what makes digital tools powerful when composing a piece of writing.
Writing goes digital
I have always been fan of jotting down a few notes or brainstorming on a big sheet of paper. The digital ink revolution has well and truly arrived. I was excited a few years ago when Bluetooth styluses became available but was sadly disappointed with the experience. Apple Pencil with an iPad and Surface Pen with a Surface allow really pleasing digital inking experiences. I now find myself inking on my various devices more and more. What is even better about this experience is now we are seeing hand written text becoming more dynamic - searchable or expanding to enabling such things as ink to text or ink to math.
Looking towards the future, not towards a test
When you look towards the future, chances are that the ways we communicate will continue to evolve. Californian based company, Tap, have recently released a wearable keyboard. Dictation tools are better than they have ever been and will likely continue to improve. The AR and VR space is gaining momentum and could potentially emerge with the 3D text manipulation the likes of which you might have only seen in sci-fi movies.
It's not about one over another - it's more about the what over the how
I'd love to hear your perspectives on this topic. Please leave a comment below!