Commentary

Are technological advances setting us back?

Today I was chatting with one of my Profs about an article in the Daily News about a Ball State professor who makes his students hand write their papers. This came after he was teaching at a school in Michigan and discovered that newly graduated teachers were getting complaints from parents about their poor writing skills. My Prof and I discussed this topic for about 15 minutes, and we agreed that we saw the reasoning behind what he was doing and thought it to be extremely necessary for teaching majors and English majors, but my Prof proposed another solution rather than just making everyone hand write their papers. We need to teach students how to effectively use computers, since that is a skill that they will need in the real world.

Computers are the most prominent technology sweeping across the country (and globe) and pretty soon, they will be so integrated into society so that no one will be able to properly function without knowing how to use them (some may argue that this is the case already, but they forget some levels of society where access to computers is still an issue). I question how effective this transition will be, when we still have teachers and professors who will not allow them inside of their classrooms. If life is starting to mold around having technology at our fingertips, how is society going to push education to keep up, without sacrificing some of the basic principles that computers can't give you? Are we sacrificing our basic learning tools all in the name of technology?

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2 comments about "Are technological advances setting us back?".
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  1. Michael Dirmeikis, February 5, 2007 at 11:28 a.m.

    Spell Check, Instant messaging, online calculators, social networking sites...results??

    Young people can't carry on a coherent conversation.
    No knowledge of grammar.
    Can't do a simple multiplication or division by hand.
    Vocabulary at 5th grade level.
    Can't read anything more challenging than the Sports page.

    Maybe nobody cares, because technology knowledge appears to be so prized, but we're slowly building a generation that is unable to function without that technology aiding them. Good? Bad? Time will tell.

  2. Shannon Carreiro, February 5, 2007 at 12:39 p.m.

    C.S. Lewis once advised a 12-year-old girl who had asked him for writing tips to avoid using a typewriter (this was back in the 1940s or '50s). He claimed the sound of the keystrokes would interfere with the rhythm of the words playing in her mind; until she was a disciplined writer, long-hand was best. Wonder what he'd say to today's multi-tasking, iPod-addicted lot?

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