Beginning in February, Microsoft plans to offer a new feature for young students: Immersive Reader dictation, a new feature within Office 365 apps for Windows and the Mac. As a parent of two elementary school students, though, I’m concerned that this feature—which brings smartphone-style voice dictation to traditional desktop apps—will be an unwelcome crutch.
It’s not just on Windows, either. Microsoft is pushing dictation onto Word for Mac, iPhone, Outlook Desktop, OneNote iPad, and OneNote Mac.
Even though I write about technology for a living, I’m sort of feeling my way through applying it toward parenting. Is a smart speaker an annoyance or a learning aid? Do I need to place hardwired parental controls on my kids’ screen time, or can I just check up on them? And when do I need to have “the talk” about using the computer to solve problems that my kids are struggling with?