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Skills?

September 12, 2007

TypewriterRandommum asks a pertinent question in her latest post, Why don’t we teach our children to type?
I suspect I’m not alone in being a bit of a keyboard thumper as opposed to a real typist, and I find it immensely frustrating at times when I’m trying to do things in a hurray. Being honest, I’ve only ever encountered one pupil who I would say was a true touch-typist. He could rattle out hundreds of words without ever looking at his hands, and I remember thinking at the time that it was a pretty cool trick… fast forward to today, and I realise that it’s probably time to dig out the
Mavis Beacon disks that came with the PC and get the kids busy!

Anyway, this got me thinking as to the ‘skills’ you might think our kids and pupils need to know so they can thrive and survive in the connected world… any suggestions?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Random Mum permalink
    September 12, 2007 9:56 pm

    I think kids and pupils need to learn how to spell properly and also to differentiate when it’s appropriate to use ‘text’ type language and when to use ‘proper’ English.

    For example, ‘text’ type language is fine on sites like Bebo, where their peers are reading it. Also, the more abbreviated stuff is simply too hard for parents like me to read – and I suspect that’s deliberate. I struggle to read some of the weirder fonts too!

    However, if they are trying to reach a wider audience (eg, in blogs such as this one), or submit written work, they simply have to write in a way that is easily understood – in what I call ‘proper’ English, with correct capitalisation, punctuation and grammar.

    PS – I do wish there was a spell & grammar checker for blogging! And I realise how heavily I rely on my word processor to correct common typos!

  2. September 12, 2007 10:09 pm

    With regards to spell checking, you should consider using Firefox (or Flock) as your main browser as both have built in spell checkers! Makes it much easier to give the appearance of competence (in my own case)!

    I like the argument that ‘txt’ is like a dialect… we should be encouraging ‘proper’ writing as it is universal…

  3. Mrs W permalink
    September 13, 2007 8:47 am

    How about the ability to hear and respond to the flesh and blood people around them? That would be good wouldn’t it? You might have a bit trouble teaching that tho huh?

  4. David Kay permalink
    September 13, 2007 9:03 am

    Reading, writing, numerecy and communication, often referred to as core skills. They are vital because they are the foundations upon which you can build knowledge, skills and experience. Many people in the web 2.0 education sphere will acknowledge their importance and relevance but are perhaps too keen to promote technology as a tool for acquiring and enhancing these core skills but I would argue that just because you own a piano doesn’t mean you can play a tune.

  5. September 15, 2007 7:11 am

    My children (you know who they are!) came to amazingly rapid touch typing by different routes. The older took O-Grade Secretarial Studies in S6 and was soon belting along – motivated by the fact that he was editor of the school paper and had access to the 2 Mac Classics on offer at the time. The younger, already computer literate by S2 because of the same newspaper, says the finishing touch was put by working as a copy typist while at Uni; he was taking footie reports off the phone and writing on a computer whose keyboard had been worn blank by over-use.
    I learned to touch type when that same younger son was taking his afternoon nap as a baby – taught myself with a flip-over textbook and an old portable typewriter. That and driving remain the two most useful things I ever learned!

  6. Gordon permalink
    September 16, 2007 5:10 am

    It haS taekn me foor minutwd to tyep thid comment and I hvw to sya that I do’nt seee the point off yur argmrent.

    Mavsi Becon is gerat. IT sped me up.dv

    Happy birthday you old sod.

  7. thommo91 permalink
    September 26, 2007 4:09 pm

    I think Mr W that the only skills the kids need in a classroom is the ability to get there own views across about things without people harrasing or laughing at them. Everybody would surely be able to learn if they were told there ideas on a subject are right or wrong…?

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