Should Keyboarding be taught in schools instead of handwriting
No I don’t believe that keyboarding needs to be taught in schools instead of handwriting.
As we know children are inquisitive by nature and a fair percentage of them seem to seek out electronic devices and are soon investigating how something works, or how to insert some unrelated object in some aperture of some electronic device or other.
A child will soon master how to operate a new technological device to some level, given the opportunity to investigate and play with the device. After all, aren’t the devices designed to be user friendly and simple to operate?
Or is that just hype and what the manufacturer would have us believe, to enable them to sell the product?
It makes me wonder actually. The reason I say this is. I tried to tune in a combined video/dvd player to a television yesterday, for a female friend of mine. Even though I have tuned in several video recorders in the past and had an instruction manual to refer to, this one (at that time) had me stumped, but as Arnie would say, I’ll be back!! and will have another attempt.
I believe that the computer is an effective tool to aid with so many things and learning is one of those things. The scope to gathering information on any subject is huge and maybe that in itself can be a problem. I find at times I will put a subject in a search bar and the things that appear are at times totally irrelevant
To rely upon computers more heavily and to do away with students learning how to write using a pen or pencil would be an inadvisable direction to follow in my opinion.
We speak of upskilling, but to dispose of one way of doing things and replace it with another is merely change and the possible loss of one skill for another. This has been evident with so many things.
Think of the skills that are being lost due to society thinking that the new way to do something is the better way.
Artisan crafts over the centuries are lost due to mechanization and technological advances giving us the ability to produce something cheaper and faster and to a higher standard commercially, rather than to make it ourselves.
Not all skills are lost as a result of there being another way to do things of course, but the majority of people will take the easier option. For example some people still sew their own clothes and bake their own bread but there are now mechanical devices available to assist with these tasks.
Some things are becoming so technologically advanced that the ability of someone without specialist knowledge is unable to undertake some tasks they used to be able to. Think of the car and how it used to be possible for the average DIY person to tinker and maintain their vehicle to a satisfactory standard. That ability is slowly being removed. This is mainly due to how complicated the electronic componentary has become and that is mainly due to the inclusion of computer controlled management systems for the various functions needed today for your driving safety and comfort. There is now a need for mechanics to plug a vehicles computer into a diagnostic machine to analyze a fault.
Will the same thing happen if the way students learn to write is changed or writing is not taught at all?
Will this principle work in practice? As we know, the education system is mostly reliant upon Government funding and will the greater reliance upon computers also increase the reliance upon Government funding and increase the detremential effects to students learning as a result of manipulations to that funding.
I believe students need to learn the basics like I did, like the times table, how to spell to a reasonable level and be able to calculate basic equations without the aid of a calculator and the same applies with the ability to write.
Just imagine how lost a person would be once the technology is removed. Remember the last time there was a power cut from 5pm to midnight on a week night.
Have you ever asked a young shop assistant how much the three items you have selected costs to buy when they can’t rely on a computer to tell them the answer? Have you ever tried to make a purchase at a business during a power cut? Does anyone remember the power cuts in Auckland a while ago and the problems that caused for so many?
Why is society so hell bent on becoming more reliant on things that cost us financially, rather than to do the opposite when alternatives are available?
My view on the issue remains unchanged in as much as. The skill of handwriting has been and will I believe, remain to be, an important skill and should not be removed from the school environment, now or in the future, regardless of technology or the advances made with it. Society needs to evolve with technology and mostly society has no choice in the matter. The pace of change is such that we are unable to know if there is always only benefit in that change.
I had replies from four other people and their input covered areas such as, schools reliance upon Government funding and the ongoing funding problems that can arise. Changes in Government policy and the funding level manipulations that have ongoing detrimental effects for students and teachers alike. Teachers and schools will be constantly needing to upgrade both their equipment and knowledge to keep pace with change and if history is anything to go by, they won’t be able to, due to a lack of funding. Equity issues between schools in different areas were highlighted.
The lack of basic maths and literacy skills of some has also been acknowledged and this was further discussed in other threads by myself and others
The reliance upon power was mentioned and the impact of any loss in power supply was acknowledged as an issue that others were well aware of and had obviously experienced. The difference in quality of supply between urban and rural areas in both power supply and internet connection quality was covered and how the difference in supply quality affected the ability to use the internet as effectively and access data as freely as those in urban areas.
The invasion upon our lives by technology and our overall lack of choice but to conform to a new way of doing things and our ever increasing reliance upon technology in all areas of our daily lives.
My opinion was asked on whether I saw advantages with both teachers and students using computers and some specific tasks that technology helped them perform to make writing both faster and easier. Reference to computer shortcuts (quick keys) and copy & pasting, editing and the advantages of not having to re write entire pieces of work was made and how this affected the thought process’s of the student and the length and quality of the work presented by students. Examples were given on how students showed interest in technology and used it in preference to handwriting and how the student saw technology as an advantage to them in the work they produced. Mention was also made of the different ways in which students learned to type and the advantage to them of being taught correctly.