I was talking to a very dear friend and we were discussing the pros and cons about the way education has changed in the last thirty years. In our day, we relied on dictionaries and encyclopedias for our information. And we really could rely on them being accurate. Nowadays, we look up information on Google and Wikipedia and, due to the number of inaccuracies, we can’t be sure if our data is correct.
One of my greatest pleasures in life has always been research. I used to spend most of my weekends at the public library surrounded by gazillions of books. At a very young age, I learned how to use the Dewey Decimal System. Nowadays, students will ask, “Dewey who?”
I have always loved dictionaries and encyclopedias. They held a wealth of information and I wanted to learn it all. Of course, that never happened but it was something I aspired to. It’s sad to see that print dictionaries will soon become obsolete because of the easy accessibility of online dictionaries. Encyclopedias have already become the dinosaurs of education and they have been relegated to the same classification as the vinyl record and the eight-track tape.
Most of the people in my day will tell you that they learned better by writing down the information from books, whereas today, they click from website to website too fast to retain all the information they are learning.
Recent studies have shown that there is a correlation between writing and learning. When you are writing something down, you automatically slow everything down. You can’t write down what you are learning and think about other things at the same time. Not so with the Internet. I often find that when I’m looking for information on the Internet, my mind is free to think about other things at the same time.
I’m sorry to see that the Three R’s are no longer deemed important and that teachers aren’t bothering with them. Spelling is no longer relevant and few children know the rules of grammar.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I don’t want to be late for work. I’m riding there on my brontosaurus and he doesn’t walk very fast, so we have to leave now.