Speaking on the Record

The ability to write has become completely identified with intellectual power, conflating the visual word with the nature of knowledge. One effect of graphocentrism is the limited path to literacy and learning. We propose some ways to re-value modes of composition that are closer to spontaneous oral language than to writing. We define a new term, spriting (speak + write = sprite), which serves some or all of the functions of writing (permanence, possibilities of editing, indexing, and scanning) but in a spoken modality, without the difficult transition to a different form of representation such as writing. We explore how spriting might support literacy learning and offer different ways to compose, using a design research intervention with novel spriting technology in two culturally and socio-economically diverse schools. This work has implications for literacy learning, educational policy, writing software and speech dictation recognition technology, and Digital Talking Books (DTB) standards development.