Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do you write more or type more?

Here's an interesting article I read today.  Since students spend more time using computers, cell phones and texting how often do students actually write with pencil and paper except for school?  Becuase of the use of technology in school how much time should teachers spend teaching cursive writing?

I remember spending a portion of every school day doing practice cursive writing, flowing letters neatly scripted to each line of the paper.  Many of us took pride in our cursive skills as if flowing cursive writing was a right of passage from little kid work to big kid work in school.  But todays' students are spending less time writing and more time texting.

By December 2008 110 billion text messages had been sent by cell phones.  I wonder how many letters were written on paper, poems composed in a notebook and thoughts from the heart were written in a diary in 2008?  Where does writing fit into the curriculum for today's students?  In some school districts teachers embed handwriting into writing for other subjects, according to Kathleen Reddy-Butkovich, curriculum coordinator for English language art in Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.  Instead of taking time to do practice writing students write to complete subject assignments.

What do you think?  How often do you write with pencil and paper compared to using word processing or texting?  How important is penmanship in today's schools and in society?  Certainly we all need to be able to sign our names but how many of us sign our name in print?  How many of us sign our names in cursive and does it really matter?

Here's another thought - if you send thank you notes to people who give you presents at Christmas will you send a hand-written note or will you send them a text or email?  Surely I wasn't the only child who hand wrote thank you notes to all my relatives who gave me presents for Christmas and my birthday? 

How should writing be taught in schools today and should cursive writing still be taught? 

To read the entire article please go to:
Schools Adjust How Writing is Taught in Text Age

Image taken from the article (SUSAN TUSA/Detroit Free Press)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2009

Jane Hart, Social Learning Consultant at Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies (, has created a Slideshare presentation called Top 100 Tools for Learning 2009. As you look through this list, how many of these tools are you using with your students. Seventy-seven of these tools are free and can be used to enhance student learning and interactivity with the curriculum content being taught.