But in deference to the subject matter, I’ll be brief.
Twitter and Wikipedia have been added to the curriculum at schools in Britain.
Oh, you want more? OK, then. The proposal is to have kids leave primary school with a familiarity with blogging, Twitter, Wikipedia and podcasts. They’ll have to have fluency in using a keyboard and spell check . . . in addition to handwriting and actually learning to spell.
But it’s not all about technology. The proposal also calls for less usage of calculators and more of a focus on life skills, including learning to handle peer pressure and develop relationships.
The teachers union has jumped all over the proposed changes, accusing the government of going with trends instead of evidence-based studies of how kids learn and what they need. “Computer skills and keyboard skills seem to be as important as
handwriting in this. Traditional books and written texts are downplayed
in response to web-based learning,” said John Bangs, head of education at the National Union of Teachers.
As a writer who does a lot of her work on the Internet, I can’t say I disagree with the plans. I love traditional books, I sit down with my daughter and read them every night. But I get my own news on the Web, and I expect she will too soon enough. I can’t see a future where she won’t need keyboard skills or the ability to navigate the net.
If this were your child’s school, would you be protesting the changes or cheering them?