Embrace the NEW Digital Literacies
A couple of years ago we had a discussion on my Blog Talk Radio Show The Diop and Dupe Show (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/kaidupe) regarding technologies such as the iPhone and the Kindle and how they will revolutionize educaton. Dr. Diop posed the question: “Do you think in the future schools will continue to teach cursive writing?”
My answer to the question is a resounding No! Why should they? Cursive writing is simply a form of communication or writing using the tools of the day. The tools of a different era were the pen and pencil. After the pen came the typewriter and now the computer. Why would we continue to teach a skill that is based on a fading technology? Pencils and pens, just like a computer, are tools used for writing. They are NOT writing!
Some argue as you can see from the article posted http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/6626663.html, that “In the age of computers, I just tell the children: “what if we are on an island and don’t have electricity?” One of the ways we communicate is through writing,” she said. This is not a good argument. What if we are on the same island and there are no pens? Same problem.
You should not look for the context in which your tool of choice works. What if we are on an island and there is nothing to write on. I can go on and on. The fact of the matter is tools used to write will continue to change. Why are we not still writing using clay the way it was done in ancient times? The answer is we have created or invented better ways to communicate and write.
It turns out my prediction was correct. More and more schools are starting to discontinue the practice of teaching cursive writing. Prepare for the future, and do not be shocked when your child comes home the way the ones did in the above referenced article and informs you that he or she is not learning how to write cursive anymore.
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