"The End of Typing" ... ?

Hello colleagues, This week Eric Bellman published an interesting article, "The End of Typing" in the Wall Street Journal claiming that video and voice will surpass typing on cell phones and, therefore, there will be a declining need for reading and writing skills.

Bellman writes,

"Instead of typing searches and emails, a wave of newcomers—'the next billion,' the tech industry calls them—is avoiding text, using voice activation and communicating with images. They are a swath of the world’s less-educated, online for the first time thanks to low-end smartphones, cheap data plans and intuitive apps that let them navigate despite poor literacy."

Check out the article and share your reactions here.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP




I saw this article and thought about sharing it! I am so glad you did. Since we live in such a technology driven world, It's fascinating to see where this tech will take us. While writing my dissertation, my chair sent me an email with a link about a dictation software - all I had to do was talk into the computer and it would translate the text to a word document. While she mentioned this was a handy tool, it doesn't get the sentence structure correct (let alone the formatting.) 

My point is that while technology will soon handle the typing, the writing is the critical piece. How do you put thoughts together? How do you transition from one idea to another? How do you support your thesis? And I don't think tech will ever get us that far... but who knows. 

As we look toward these new features and tech tools, I think we are called on to teach our students how to use them to support the communication of ideas while we still need to teach students how to structure their ideas. 

I'd love to hear thoughts on this topic. 



Hi Kathy and all, You correctly point out, Kathy, that writing and typing are not the same thing. I agree that voice recognition probably won't eliminate complex writing anytime soon. However, a personal experience I had with voice recognition tells me that the technology is actually available to do so.

Last year, I broke my wrist and was unable to type for awhile. As a result, I experimented with the voice recognition program on my computer, which --I have to say-- was pretty impressive. The major downside was it took me quite a bit of time to learn how to use it. I was glad to be able to use my typing skills again. However, the experience let me know that voice recognition software has made great strides. Of course, this technology is hugely helpful to people with certain disabilities as well as those who do not type well.

The WSJ  article discusses how individuals with little or no literacy skills can now communicate through voice and images on their phones rather than through text. This is already happening, and I expect it to accelerate. Thinking about what the impact might be is pretty fascinating.


Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning and English Language Acquisition CoPs