Teen Views: Techno Love erodes basic writing principles
February 23, 2009
Technology seems to have brought about the death of penmanship and spelling. The younger the kids, the more technology they use. It hails as a simple rule of adaptation in a technologically advancing world. Yet, where does it leave them in basic sense of writing? Recently during class, a discussion started concerning written survey answers from various students, and it had not arisen from their answer content, but in the way they had written it.
Do not look to me if you want “nice” handwriting, but I would not recommend many other students either. Handwritten papers have nearly vanished in the education system, except in standardized testing (and it is a good thing that scores do not reflect the readability of an essay). Students generally skip the pen and paper and go for the keyboard or text messages. After so long, their handwriting suffers. As a consequence, anytime they jot something down with a pencil or pen, much turns out messy or illegible, like many of the survey answers that prompted the discussion.
Thank goodness for automatic spell check, too. Or, the instant way to talk to someone through messages using “txt” lingo and numbers, like “wats up?” or “wher r u?” It passes the efficiency test, but disrupts proper English spelling and sentence structure. Scarily enough, in some of the survey responses, students had peculiar spelling mistakes and rarely wrote complete sentences compared to their numerous fragments. Perhaps it is because English uses irregular spelling rules that lead to challenging times. How can we forget the “i before e rule, except after c or when sounded as in neighbor or weigh,” and except in seize, weird, height, either, their, leisure … or other rules that throw elementary students a curve ball when they have to study new words for their spelling tests. But that was in elementary school, not ninth, tenth and 11th grade.
Teens and younger students’ handwriting and spelling face one great disadvantage ” the seemingly unstoppable expansion of technology. That does not mean, however, that students should surrender their ability to write, and do so correctly and neatly without a touch pad or keyboard. We must remember that technology does have a few flaws. For example, a pen or pencil will always work when the electricity goes out or the computer crashes.