I have heard in meetings teachers lament the use of online dictionaries (amongst other technologies). Why? Because then students will never know how to use a real dictionary. I’m not sure that that is the case, but also I can’t envision a world where a person must spell a word correctly but not be able to access an online dictionary. The Zombie apocalypse? The only “world” that may happen in is a school. So what are we testing? If spelling is the test, then I can see the use of any dictionary would be “cheating” but if the assessment is for other purposes, why not? I’d rather a student concentrate on higher level critical thinking than be a super speller. But there are always those who lament the loss of the old world to new technologies.
The argument that these supports will not be available to students once they enter the “real” world rings false too. It’s an advantage in the private sector to know how to use technologies. We all use tools to help us, why when we’re in school is this a “crutch”? I suppose I could pop popcorn on my stove like it’s 1973, but I microwave it instead. It’s still popcorn. If educators take a one size fits all approach, then I can see why they do not like supports, it can give advantages to some students, who say are great spellers, but not to the “bad” spellers or whatever label you want to insert here). But if a teacher gives dynamic assessments, then the use of individual support fades away, and true assessment can be had.
Technology is not cheating, use the tools!