My exciting tip for you this week perhaps applies as much, if not more, to mainstream education than to special education.
Microsoft Word 97 introduced a new feature called Autocorrect. This is a great feature for people with a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia who might make consistent spellings mistakes. But is it great for the rest of us?
You've probably seen Autocorrect in action. It's a silent realtime spell checker that corrects commonly misspelt words and typos. For example 'Teh' becomes 'The' and 'definite' becomes 'definite'. You can add or remove words from Microsoft's predefined list.
Anyhow - When Office XP came out I noticed that the list of predefined words had grown significantly. A huge array of misspellings could be entered into my documents but because Word makes the change so discreetly I wasn't aware of it - not even a red squiggly line appears. After a while my spellings were becoming more and more 'relaxed'.
Funnily enough I was only aware that my spelling was going downhill because my mobile phone began rejecting words in its T9 predictive text (if you misspell a word on most mobiles the phone will beep and tell you that it doesn't recognise it).
So I turned off Autocorrect altogether by going to Tools > Autocorrect Options and unticking the 'Replace text as you type' box. Well I say altogether but I still wanted it to correct capitals on days of the week and that sort of thing, so I left those boxes checked
Immediately the red squiggly lines (indicating spelling errors) started appearing in my reports, but just a fortnight later and I have re-learnt most of my spellings and my mobile has stopped beeping!
Strange tip this week.
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