As Technology Evolves… So Does Education. Does it?

I saw this blog post a couple days ago in WordPress’ Freshly Pressed (as usual) and not long after that, I came across this post as well.

So, the first post tells how the era have now changed. With the advanced of the technology development, children nowadays have become the iPad generation (or iPad-ers generation?–I don’t even know whether such terms exist). These days, children are even more advanced than some of us adults in using the electronic devices, such as cell phone, computers, notebook, and iPad, especially. I once questioned myself (and my friends) whether this is a sign of a degeneration, but we agreed (as well as the author’s statement) that it’s not a degeneration. It’s merely a change of era. Just like when horseback era were being replaced by cars and motorcycles, and so now electronic devices are starting to take the roles of the manual handouts and materials in the educational field. Everything now is self-accessed. Responding to the success of iPad and the popularity of it, I guess now education needs to accept the change and adapt to it. Again, everything is now self-accessed. Children (and parents) can now find many educational applications in their iPad. I haven’t got one, but I’m hoping soon enough (crossing fingers!) so I could see and experience it for myself. It might be useful for me as a teacher as well, right? Right? I’m trying to convince myself, here.

Anyway, so many things have changed. And with changes, adapting and adjusting follow. Similar theme was being discussed in this post as I came across it not long after I read the first one.

Children now have learned to use and operate electronic devices, perhaps even before they could speak (well, I don’t know for sure. It depends on the parents, I guess). And I guess that includes the possibility that children nowadays are learning to type in their flat-surfaced iPad or cell phone even before they could write very well. Oh well, now it’s still minor cases, I guess. But regarding the second post, some parents even now considering handwriting is not that important anymore since now is the typing generation. Perhaps it’s not that they think children shouldn’t learn how to write anymore, but that children don’t need to be taught how to write in cursive anymore.

I remember learning about this back in elementary school, and, oh, how I hate it and love it at the same time. I hated it because my teacher never really compliment my handwriting. I’ve been practicing and tried to make my handwriting as beautiful as possible, you know! That’s the part that I loved. But then I hate it again because I prefer typing. My dad taught me how to type when I was 9 year-old, and, boy, how I love the sound of the keyboard ticking when I touch it to type. I’m a nerd, yeah, I knew that.

The thing is, as mentioned in the article, experts believe that handwriting help boosting the brain’s performance as the handwriting skills actually drills the brain to memorize things and “aid the fine motor-skill development.” (How Handwriting Trains the Brain)

Even the attitude and manner on writing itself teach you something else.

My "laoshi" (老师) told me that we better keep the brush straight as we write.

When I was learning Mandarin back in high school, my teacher, a native Chinese, told me that there’s a reason why Chinese write their calligraphy using the brush (remember the Taiwanese/Chinese TV series Princess of Pearl? Or Curse of the Golden Flower where the setting of the movies and series were back in the ancient Chinese when Monarchy still exist and the Great Wall of China had just been built? Then the characters turn to their table and write a letter using a brush with a specific manner and attitude, remember that part?) –she told me that Chinese children were taught that kind of writing ever since they were very little, and even as they grew older, only some people, if not a few, could master the technique very well. The attitude itself is very tiring and frustrating, if we’re not familiar with it yet. Especially for children whose minds are still full of playing hide-and-seek or tag with their classmates, imagine that. But as they were “forced” to learn the technique, they learned about patience in learning it itself. Not to mention steadiness as they become more and more familiar with it, of course.

This is how you write the word "Ai," meaning "Love," and it's also the last part of my Chinese name! (郑天爱)
Writing in iPad

Therefore, I’m referring back to the second article here, as the technology itself improve, comes the adjusting and the adapting. As iPad become more and more popular among people, and typing is starting to replace handwriting, some applications have been created as well in order to prevent handwriting from extinction. Now, even children can learn how to write in cursive with their iPad–with kindergartens have started to provide the typical apps to teach their little students to learn to write in cursive. I haven’t tried the apps yet (remember I said I don’t own an iPad right now? Hopefully soon. I’m crossing my fingers once again), but reading the post, I think it’s really nice and interesting. I can’t wait to try it for myself soon. Very soon.

So, changes are not always bad, right?

With applications, comes handwriting.

I can’t wait to see how education will evolve with more tech developments in the next 20 years.