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Students rewired by technology

Many educators say that our students are less and less able to read, or analyze, or write with clarity and purpose. Who can blame the students? Everything they meet with in the world around them gives the signal: That was then, and electronic communications are now. (Birkerts, "Into the Electronic Millennium," Writing Material 63)

We are still able to "read," "analyze," and "write with clarity and purpose." We just do it in the realm of electronic media.

We are coded to read and analyze the web page rather than the printed page; thus, we're easily frustrated by the fact that we can't just tell a book which passage we're looking for and find it immediately. As for writing, well, we are perhaps even more clear and deliberate in our writing now because we use fewer words to say the same things and we're often writing under the assumption that our target audience expands to include anyone who has access to the internet whether we like it or not.

Actually, technology is helping to preserve our ability to read the printed page with devices like the Kindle, which combines the old with the new to make the old appealing to us again.

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Comments

maybe it's just me, but I can't analyze electronic texts unless I print them out and highlight passages. You can write notes in the margins on a written text, which you cannot do to an online article. I just don't see what's wrong with a book. For academic purposes, I only use the computer to type, blog, and search for articles, but everything else gets printed and highlighted like a book.

I agree with you. I feel that technology has created monsters in each and every one of us. The "simple" life is easier to obtain. Everything we want is within our reach. What ever happened to working for a living? Good old labor.

I agree with Chris in that technology hasn't dumbed us down to being baby fed information. If anything it has helped us pro long the action of reading for other generations to understand. Maybe it is the education system some people should be upset at, after all they invite this very technology into the classrooms.

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