Yesterday I participated in an event in which I had to take notes the old-fashioned pen and paper style and it made me feel worse about myself than I have for a while. Not only has the quality of my penmanship deteriorated (and it didn’t have too far to fall), but I found myself thinking far too long about the spelling of far too many words. What’s worse is that I wasn’t even getting them correct after all of that thought.
It got me thinking about the debate you sometimes hear about technology in the classroom, whether it is beneficial for students or detrimental. Although it’s not a huge concern for me, as I don’t anticipate repeating elementary school any time soon, it still was interesting to think about how I’ve noticed changes in my own life.
The funniest thing is that I haven’t had any issues spelling while typing this. Now that I’m consciously thinking about it, I think that the biggest difference for me between typing vs writing is the rhythm and use of the delete key.
When I’m writing on the computer I seem to often stop typing half way through words to finish thoughts, which isn’t natural when writing on paper. Also, the deletion and retyping of phrasings is something that is near constant. I’ll write a few words, think of a better way of phrasing something and go back. Not something that is to easy with a pen and paper.
Going through all of this in my mind, what I kept coming back to is, “Who really cares?” I mean, if the vast majority of any important writing that I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life is going to be on a computer, then who really cares if my spelling isn’t up to where it used to be? I guess it really comes down to the pride of once being better at something that I’m now not as good at.
I guess part of my decision that it isn’t that big of a deal is the only logical remedy to this situation is to start writing more long hand, which I honestly don’t see myself doing. I’d usually just have to transcribe it onto the computer, anyway, which seems like a waste of time. Oh well, out with the old, in with the new.