A couple of months ago, a student at my school came in and asked my opinions about student writing. I thought she was just writing for the school newspaper, but a couple of weeks ago her story ran in the local paper, the Las Vegas Review Journal. It’s quite good. She got some good material from a couple of other teachers, and put it together very well. Alas, she spelled my name wrong, though. Here’s my contribution:
However, technology cannot be blamed entirely for the decrease in writing quality over the past 20 years.
Jamie Houston, an English teacher at Las Vegas Academy, argued that technology does not affect composition as much as it de-emphasizes sustained focus and this shift in emphasis is part of society’s penchant to prefer visualization to the written word.
“School has always been like going to the gym because you do things that are repetitive, simple and uncreative, but not remotely realistic,” Houston said. “You are never going to do a pushup in the real world. You do pushups because they develop real-world muscles.”
“No one is ever going to put a gun to your head and say, ‘Quick, what’s a gerund?’ School develops thinking and communicating for the untold realms of the real world and for new technologies and innovations that haven’t even been invented yet.”