Schools should no longer teach skills that can be easily carried out by technology (e.g., cursive writing, multiplication tables, spelling).
I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s debate. Both sides of the debate argued their points so beautifully. Thanks to Sushmeet and Leah on the agree side and Alyssa, Kelly and Durston on the disagree side of the debate.
I remember growing up, my mum spent a lot of time teaching me how to be conservative, make food with what is available, and all that. I used to be so mad about that, I told her that she should not raise me that way because I will be rich and will not have to live a conservative life. Yearsssss later, I am still not rich…..
My upbringing has helped me to survive the past few years.
You get the gist.
I am an advocate for introducing the use of technology in the classroom but there are definitely limits to everything. Hence, I disagree that schools should no longer teach skills that can be easily carried out by technology.
This overreliance on technology is not sustainable. There are basic skills to be learned to have a life dependent of technology. We have had instances where technology failure has had grave consequences. We don’t want to set kids up to solely rely on technology. Innovations today were born out of the foundations laid to afford the innovators’ critical thinking and creativity.
- Cursive writing to me is a skill, there is a creativity to it. I learned it as a teacher and I started feeling like a creative person. I started making greeting cards, writing complimentary notes to people and all. To better prepare our students for the future, they should be exposed to doing things manually and mentally as well as technologically. Not only does research show that cursive writing is linked to increased performance in hand and eye coordination, fine motor skills, retrieving memory and other positive effect on other brain functions. If at all people don’t find cursive writing as fancy as important as I or someother person’s view it, standard handwriting should still be taught.
- As regards multiplication table, imagine having to do simple maths and you are whipping out a calculator. Not even to talk about the fact that most examination bodies have a no calculator rule. As referenced in one of the articles for this debate about “Why do Canadian Students Still Struggle in Maths”, top performing nations encourage mental computation with understanding of concept before introducing the use of calculator. This is similar to my experience too, I only had a minimal exposure to calculator in high school. We were encouraged to do most of our calculations off hand and use a calculator when it is absolutely necessary. There is a way the ability to do mental maths help with thinking critically which is an essential skill. For me, calculators were introduced minimally in high school. I had to do any calculation off hand. I am no guru in maths but at least I am able to do simple maths in my head to a certain extent. There is no thoughts put into typing numbers on calculators and getting a quick answer.
- Spelling is the most important of these three to me. I have sometimes corrected the corrections made by Grammarly. It is like going to a place where you don’t understand the language of communication, as a result, you take whatever translation is given to you without question. If you have experience with google translate, you can relate to this. Moreso, what happens when one is writing a test that does not allow spelling checks. The truth is that whether one is taught spelling or not, we tend to rely more on auto-correct tools integrated in our devices. As a result, I have found myself in instances where I struggle to remember simple spellings like, ‘the’, ‘can’, ‘also’, and the likes. How ridiculous! My brain seems to be adjusting or getting used to a technological tool to do this basic thing. As humans or maybe just me, I don’t pay attention to things that I know ‘technology’ will do for me. If I type a word, I don’t bother myself to necessarily write it correctly since it will be automatically corrected. 99% of the time, to date, I still make the same mistake spelling words like ‘arguement’, grievous, and because Grammarly has me back. I am almost certain that I have been penalized for the wrong spelling in tests such as GRE, IELTS, CBEST, and other exams I have written in recent times.
In a quest to be ‘woke’ and think that technology is the present and the future, there are certain things that should not be removed from the school curriculum. I strongly believe that these are essential ways to encourage critical thinking, fine motor skills, eye and hand coordination, to keep students brain sharp and boost the ability to comprehend.
4 thoughts on “Schools should no longer teach skills that can be easily carried out by technology (e.g., cursive writing, multiplication tables, spelling).”
Hi Dami! I thoroughly agree with your statements on cursive, spelling and multiplication facts. I too use grammarly often, however learning the basic foundation of a language takes time and effort but is very important for expressing our thoughts through writing. Google translate is definitely choppy sometimes when doing direct translations. Technology will be a part of our future, but it shouldn’t exist without other skills too!
Hi Dami. We are in agreement. Technology is a wonderful tool that can help to make our lives easier, but is it a miracle replacement for everything? No, I don’t think so. We should not rely on technology to carry out our every basic function as we may lose the many skills required to perform them.
I like the points that you raise about knowing basic skills before using technology to supplement these learnings. For example, when you talk about Grammarly, you need to know the basics when using it and not just trust that the system is always right. Too often our kiddos in schools just accept all corrections but do not understand that the system can be wrong. Being able to decipher the difference between correct and incorrect grammar and spelling changes meanings very quickly.
Thoughtful post. Understanding the value of basic foundational skills is key. Likewise, your statement ‘Innovations today were born out of the foundations laid to afford the innovators’ critical thinking and creativity’ resonates with me as every career is based on a set of foundational skills.