Is Technology a Danger to Literacy?

How often do you write nowdays?  I don’t mean type an email or send an SMS message, but actually write something down with pen and paper. If you’re anything like me, then not very often – in fact last week when I was forced to write out a long shopping list using pen and paper I started to get writers cramp very quickly indeed!!

Computers and technology in general, have started to change the way we do things. Our children probably write far less than we do, although as adults we almost certainly type more than we write.

There are other areas that our lifestyles are starting to remove from our lives.  I don’t know if there’s been any studies but I always wonder if we even talk less to each other.  Certainly I make far less phone calls than I used to, a quick SMS has usually replaced the brief chat.

In fact slowly, technology is changing more aspects of our lives.   I wonder how many of us get our news in the same way as we did a decade ago.  I was an avid newspaper reader yet know I buy perhaps one a month.  The internet has virtually everything online somewhere,  and if you have the ability like this online IP changer to avoid the various blocks and filters then there’s even more choice!

Will this affect our overall levels of literacy? There are concerns that perhaps penmanship may be affected, how many people will be attracted to the beautiful art of calligraphy in these push button days.  If you see the way our children spell on forums and message boards that may be a cause for concern,

In fact most electronic devices will often correct our poor spelling almost automatically.  Corrective text or whatever it is called will soon ensure that even the most hopeless speller will be word perfect – does that mean they can spell now or simply that it doesn’t really matter.   The concerns are likely to be restricted to the older generations, the youngsters who have grown up with this way of life are unlikely to be concerned.  However there has to be some worries that future generations may have some literacy problems if they become over dependent on technology.

Just as the appearance of calculators on every device has certainly impacted our mental arithmetical skills, letting computers corrector take control of our spelling has certain implications. Or perhaps I’m just worrying for no reason about technology. After all it enables me to watch my favorite British TV in the US without travelling across the Atlantic, and is currently helping me to learn Spanish through an application on my iPad!

 

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