Are kids getting dumber?
Mark Bauerlein asks the question,” Is technology making kids dumber?” This is an interesting question. I have often wondered this also. Recently my students had to make measurement conversions. This caused them much distress. I was amazed at how many 9th grade students did not know how many cups are in a pint and from there figure out how many cups are in a gallon. They did not know how many feet are in a mile and even how many feet are in a yard. When they have to pick a verb out of a sentence, they are completely lost. Many cannot do simple addition facts without the aid of a calculator. It seems they lack basic knowledge. They cannot name the states that surround Pennsylvania. Some are not able to locate Pennsylvania on a map. They cannot name the oceans or the continents. They are unable to locate countries on a map. Many cannot make change. Some cannot read an analog clock. They do not know what the term “quarter till the hour” means or “10 after the hour” means. One student didn’t understand why he need to memorize these things as he could Google them and he can use a calculator to do the math and he did not need to know how to read a map, that is what map quest or GPS are for. When proof reading students work, I am finding they do not know how to use proper English and spellings. The use of “U” in place of you,” bcuz” for because, “gr8”, “k” and other short cuts appear in their writing. They do not know what formal writing is. If they are made to write a paragraphs of a least 5 sentences, they are lost. Their world consists of short replies made using language short cuts. They seem unable to put more than two coherent thoughts together. Anything that takes longer than two minutes to do is not worth doing and takes much too long. Yet they think I am the dumb one that I do not have Facebook, or Twitter account. When they find out I do not know or recognize the names of celebrities, I am the dumb one. The fact that I do not care what a movie star had for lunch yesterday is something they cannot understand. This is the knowledge they find important and they need to know. The other “stuff” they can find on the internet when they need to know it.
Link to Mark Bauerlein question and answer session.