Monday, November 2, 2009

New media is dumb is like txting - waaaaaah!

I really wish I could do an Adam Sessler like video podcast on this (complete with sessler-like sarcasm ;-) ) - Oh well, I think I will keep it to text.

I was reading an article on Inside Higher Ed a couple of weeks ago and I was waiting to see what comments this story would bring up. Alas, only about 13 comments.

In any case, the blog post here is essentially about collaborative learning using technologies like blogs and wikis in the classroom, and making the knowledge available to the world and having it be accessible after the course ends - something that is currently not done in Blackboard. I've written about this topic before so it's nice to see others picking it up.

The story here isn't really the blog post itself, but rather the comments that were left on the story by various members of IHE.

What I find AMAZING are comments like these:
I spend too much of my time trying to get students to punctuate, capitalize, and, more generally, to not write as if they're tweeting or texting, etc. Those media are definitely not conducive to careful, reflective, critical discussion, or to good writing. And too much of what I mark already takes on the character of that coarse, casual, and unattractive style.

I really don't get why people think that the medium is inherently not suited for academic discourse. The commenter disagrees that the medium has something inherent in it that makes it not conducive, but it just is not conducive. I wonder if this person knows the meaning of inherent - or if he does, he doesn't want to admit that blogs and wikis can be used in academic discourses and therefore just dismisses them as "not conducive".

I can take a piece of paper and use txting lingo, OMG. U SRSLY think that blogs r the only place that u can use sutch language? ROFLMAO, what a closed minded person - 2 bad hes a filosofer - doing a diservice 2 his profesion.

You get the point,... I hope.

There's more that I disagree with this person, but he is such a close minded individual that it's not really worth taking up any more space on here. It is worth going over to the blog post, reading that and comments.

The bottom line, there is nothing inherent in blogs, wikis and web 2.0 technologies that precludes the possibility of spell checking, creating coherent sentences and arguments that are backed up by research. Students will need to learn, and write, modern standard American English in order to be able to fit into society at large. You can teach someone those skills on paper, using a typewriter, using a computer with a word processor, or using blogs, wikis, and discussion boards. All you need is a good teacher.
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