SEPTEMBER 21, 2011

Technology worries me
I am all about technology and having people up to date with the latest ways to communicate. But learning with trendy gadgets worries me.

Since text messaging and lazy Internet grammar/spelling have taken over, more and more am I becoming a non-believer that cellphones and tablet computers are advancing the world. Sure, they might help with productivity, but they are just making people stupid.
If you have checked out a website Ė whether it is Facebook, Twitter or even news websites where people can post comments Ė you have undoubtedly seen (though perhaps not noticed, which is exactly my point) the way society is throwing all language rules out the window.

When I heard Manitoba schools are bringing in iPad tablet computers to teach kids it worried me about what that will mean for my good friends the pen and pencil. I grew up having to print and then write and I was able to write pages and pages of notes before my hand cramped up. Now, when I take notes in a meeting or have to write out something, I feel incredibly weak.

My four-year-old nephew can show me how to use an iPod and how to play different games on it, but handing him a crayon to actually print something is another story. True, he can identify letters on a computer spelling game, but is that what you can get by with these days? I can recognize the letter but canít duplicate it with others in succession to form words and sentences.

I had a discussion about this with someone and they argued it is the kidís motor skills not actual knowledge of the language that is to blame. I laughed because there was a time those two qualities were separate. But whatever justifies a kidís smarts, right? Anything we can do to reassure the kid they are great is what gets the grade.

I might concede if my kid wrote (typed) a book without the use of spellcheck and it was grammatically correct. I will back down if that happened, I promise. But with societyís dependence on having computers correct us and do the work for us, I can only imagine where the world is headed.
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