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Spell Check Is Not Enough!

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Technology is Making Us Stupid

I admit, I rely on technology just as heavily as anyone. Without a GPS and navigation, I’d be a « lost » cause (and probably a missing person). I mean, I usually can’t even find my car in a parking lot. It’s a well-known joke among my friends and loved ones to never follow me anywhere because I will go the wrong way 90 percent of the time. I don’t hate technology, I just think it’s unraveling our society. Keep reading to find out what I mean.

Anyone else who’s directionally challenged can probably understand this weakness of mine. I just don’t seem to have an internal compass. And though admittance is the first step to recovery (I thought using ‘awareness’ here would be too ironic, since I’m never ‘aware’ of the correct direction), I can read and use a map. I relied on state maps in 2008 when I took a 28-day cross country road trip (okay, okay, I had a GPS but it didn’t work in many of the rural and desert areas through which I traveled). The point here is that there’s a generation of children being raised without ever being taught how to use relics like maps, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and the like.

As stated in an E! Online News article from November 2013 titled Cursive Handwriting Will No Longer Be Taught in Schools Because It’s a Big, Old Waste of Time, « Common Core education standards dictate that cursive will no longer be taught in elementary schools. » my love spell worked ‘m sure quite a bit has changed since 2013, and there are states pushing to keep handwriting in the curriculum. But it seems that proponents of old-school penmanship are outnumbered by those who believe that typing skills are more valuable to the future business leaders of America, and therein lies the rub: computer skills are valuable in this day and age because computers are omnipresent and basically rule the world. But does that really mean that basic reading, writing and arithmetic are becoming obsolete?

Technology is Meant to Enhance, Not Supersede

The answer is a big, resounding NO (in my humble opinion, anyway). This isn’t some alarmist « what if all of the world’s computers and technology-dependent systems fail tomorrow » piece, and I’m not going to pick on calculators and the internet for replacing long mathematics and encyclopedias. There are far too many developments in technology that have changed the landscape of education and thwarted human learning and intelligence to deliberate on them all.

But before I continue on to explain the plight of spell checking software, speech recognition technology, and how these « tools » are eroding human intelligence, let me just make known that I am not against technology. Out of mankind’s ingenuity countless lifesaving, efficiency-boosting and quality-of-life-improving technologies have emerged. I believe the danger (a very real one at that) is when we abandon everything we’ve learned and rely on these technologies to replace our innate capability to think analytically and pragmatically.

We’re All Becoming Robots

Universities and corporations everywhere proclaim that ‘problem-solving skills’ are one of the most valuable characteristics candidates can possess. How sardonic, then, that the only way children are learning to solve problems now is with computers and calculators? If put to the test in a technology-free zone, how many students could still solve problems creatively, resourcefully, analytically, logically, or from memory and deduction?

I can’t claim to have learned everything I was taught in school to the best of my capacity, but I am pretty proud of what seems like an intrinsically large, deeply embedded lexicon and an almost instinctual command of it. I would say that reading, writing, spelling, and other linguistic abilities are my strongest skills.

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